Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Stories that Shape Us


Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” I feel the same way about my books.

Each book starts out because of something inside me, after all. They all grow out of my way of viewing the world. At a certain point, however, they start to take over. Since I started writing romantic suspense, for instance, my view of the world has gotten a bit darker. I see a lot more situations as dangerous.

It gets pretty hot in the summer where I live so some time around May or June, I start running in the early morning. The bike paths and streets aren’t completely deserted, but they’re definitely quieter than they are at mid-day. The other morning, just as I ran past an apartment complex, a man pulled out of the parking lot in his car. As I was running down the street, I saw him pull his car to the curb and get out. Then he opened his trunk.

I put on a burst of speed rivaled only by the time Lamb Chop the Airedale tried to take a chunk out of my calf. I instantly imagined this man (who I think was just trying to stop something from rattling in the trunk of his car) hitting me with a Taser, dragging me to the car, stuffing me in the trunk and driving away. No one would ever know.

Then as I continued to run and the man had long since gotten back in his car, I started wondering how hard it would be for a decent-sized man to get a good-sized woman like myself into a trunk. Would I fit? What injuries might I sustain in the process? What injuries might he sustain?

I don’t remember thinking like that before I started writing romantic suspense. It did, however, get me home in record time.

So do you imagine weird creepy things? Am I alone in this? Oh . . . and by the way, my newest romantic suspense, Vanished in the Night, is available for purchase starting today! Leave a comment below and maybe you'll win a free signed copy!

15 comments:

Alesia Holliday said...

Yes, I totally do. I remember when bulk coffee beans in the grocery stores first became popular, and I thought how easy it would be for a serial killer to poison the beans and kill tens of people. Who could ever find the killer? When the police looked at each individual victim, they'd look for people with motive, not random bean-poisoners.

Also, I watched a Christmas choir pageant here in Japan where the schoolgirls singing had no emotional expression or movement at all-they looked almost like robots-but the choir director woman was bouncing all over the stage like a madwoman. So of course I imagined this whole scenario where she was an energy succubus, who was thousands of years old and every Christmas she'd suck enough energy out of choir girls to survive another year.

My son said (while clutching his head): "Mom. No other moms think things like that."

heh.

Joelle Charbonneau said...

I totally imagine creepy things...especially when my husband is out of town. Which is funny, but he sleeps like the dead and wouldn't notice if an ax murderer broke out a window and started chasing me around the bed, but for some reason, those are the nights where every sound has me imagining some kind of creepy adventure taking place. Perhaps it is the mystery writer in me. At least that is what I'm blaming it on!

Sheri said...

When my area of the world was rocked by the disappearance of Lacy Peterson, and the subsequent arrest and conviction of her husband for the deaths of her and their son Connor, I use to drive my commuter bus over the Altamont every day and think of ways to dispose of a body. I'm pretty sure that if I ever decided to off someone they would be hard pressed to find any evidence! Lol!!

Molly O'Keefe said...

What a gorgeous cover on that book!! Pre-order DONE!

I spend most of my life imagining terrible things - there was a whole week of time I went to bed trying to figure out how to get out of a car going under water until I finally had to wake adam up to ask him.

I run in a quiet place in Toronto and everytime I come around this bush, I think, this is where the guy will be who tried to kidnap me.

Alesia - that choir? wow.

Sinead M said...

That is a gorgeous cover... and
Alesia, love that choir idea..... me, I'm all about trying to figure out what goes bump in the night and why.
It's part of the fun in being a writer. Getting to think of creepy weird stuff without having to worry about your mental state, because it's all part of the job.

Susan Hatler said...

FANTASTIC cover, Eileen! I can't wait to read Vanished. :) :) :) :)

Karen Whiddon said...

And my daughter thinks *I'm* weird! But yes, I totally think stuff like you do. I'm always making up imaginery conversations for people and I totally would have thought the same of the guy with the trunk.

Nice cover - the book looks awesome!

Stephanie Doyle said...

A choir leading succubus... that's awesome.

As for murder... I'm glad every day I decided I could turn my talents to writing instead of murder... because I know I could get away with perfect crime.

Eileen said...

I think Alesia might have finally found the kind of Christmas story I could write.

Thanks, everyone! The cover is pretty groovy.

Unknown said...

I have a head full of creepy scenerios and its what stops me from running alone in the early morning. Congrats on the book!

Joyce Lamb said...

Hi, Eileen! Congrats on the book release!!!! I cant' wait to read it. :) As for my weird/creepy thoughts: When I walk into a new room, I can spot a potential murder weapon in a nanosecond. If it's heavy and pointy, I'm checking it out. My closest friends are used to me saying, "Ohhh, you could really hurt someone with that." Hazards of being a suspense writer! For the record: I've never actually tested my good-murder-weapon theories. Except for that one time.

Maureen McGowan said...

Happy release day, Eileen!!!!

The kinds of books I'm writing definitely shape the way I think/see the world. It was the same when I was taking painting classes. Suddenly everything around me was shapes and angles and layers of colors and which blue would I use to make that shade...

A year or so after I stopped painting so much, I stopped thinking that every time I looked at something beautiful. Now, it's about my books. And you've made me glad I'm not writing suspense. ;) I'll just read it. :)

Eileen said...

Well, Joyce, since you pulled me out of the way of that speeding taxi in New York, I'm glad you're hyper-aware of dangerous situations.

BTW, did we ever decide who was in that taxi? I think Josh Holloway is too young for me. How about Keanu Reeves?

Eileen said...

Maureen, that's so true about painting and drawing! It really changes how you view your surroundings. I kind of miss that. Of course, now that I'm obsessed with locker-hooking, I'm constantly evaluating items as to whether or not I could use them in a craft project.

Proserpine said...

I love horror movies even if I imagine thing after seeing it! My boyfriend don't understand why I watch them when I know I will freak out when he's gone! When I'm alone in the house, every single sound freaks me out! Or I imagine awesome thing with a big bad warrior who came to save me! ... LOL Really love the cover BTW!


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