Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guest Post -- Ethan Cross

Welcome Ethan Cross to Beth Art From the Heart.    Ethan has answered a question for his readers  in the Guest Post below:   Thank you Ethan, for joining us!    (crazy wild audience applause)

Consumed by Dark Thoughts

According to legend, Bret Easton Ellis became so consumed by dark thoughts when writing American Psycho that he began to lose his sense of compassion. Considering the dark subject matter and ruthless nature of certain characters within my novels, people often ask me how I can come up with such things and if it affects me.

The answer is...no, it doesn't affect me. It's a lot of fun to get into the head of a killer and imagine the world through a different set of eyes, but it's like an actor playing a role. I don't become a killer or let dark thoughts consume me. I think that we all have a darker side (myself apparently more than others), and I just tap into that part of my brain.  But that's the cool (and therapeutic) thing about writing…I get to be all of the characters, good and bad, hero and villain.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that my sense of compassion for both the killers and victims has grown since writing this type of book.  A lot of situations within my books stem from imagining the scariest possible scenarios for me on a personal level, from both an internal and external viewpoint. It's not what I'd like to do to someone else; it's what I would never want to happen to me.  And I think that's why it resonates.

My wife has asked what I would do if someone tried to duplicate the killings from my books in real life.  My first reaction to a question like this is always that people have to take responsibility for their own actions.  If every time that a writer (a thriller writer especially) sits down at the computer, he or she has to worry that someone is going to attempt the things they write about, then the world would be filled with a lot of really boring books.  That being said, it’s hard to say how I would feel if someone tried to “copycat” my books.  Perhaps I would feel a certain measure of responsibility.  Even if the feeling is unfounded, emotions don’t always follow logic.

So what would happen if a situation like this arose or the dark nature of my books did begin to affect me?  Hopefully, we’ll never have to find out, and it seems a very unlikely scenario.  But as an author, it’s my job to ask “What if?”

I guess the answer for me would be simple…I’d write something else.  I’d switch genres.  Maybe I’d write science fiction or fantasy or adventure.  I guess the point is that, at my core, I’m a storyteller, and I try to write books that I would want to read.  It doesn’t matter the nature of that story as long as it’s something that some reader, somewhere would enjoy.

Thanks again for joining us Ethan.    I think mystery thriller is your genre'...you do it well!!    Good luck with continuing success!

Please read my review at http://bethartfromtheheart.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-prophet-by-ethan-cross-pict-vbtour.html


Gina @ Hott Books said...

I love this! Its never occurred to me to ask that question!! What a terrific post!

Unknown said...

Thanks Gina!

CMash said...

Great post. Thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...

My Pleasure CMash!