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Confessions of a Thriller Author: I like turtles…and distractions.

I assume you’ve all seen one of my favorite viral videos. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Watch. I’ll wait.

So what does this have to do with being a thriller author? One word: distraction. I don’t know how it works for authors of other genres, but writing about all things dark and twisted takes its toll on a person. In order to put the reader into the moment, I’ve got to be in the character’s shoes. That means trying to process how he or she is feeling. One of my favorite quotes from Jensen Ackles is when he’s describing one of the best scenes in Season 4 of Supernatural. The scene involves Dean telling Sam about hell and the things he did while he was there. It’s heartbreaking, and Jensen said after the shot, he just had to walk away because he was an emotional wreck. It didn’t matter that Jensen didn’t have Dean’s forty years in hell to draw from – he still put himself at an emotional place and used that to make the scene work.

That’s not much different than what writers do. Grieving mother, sick killer, abused kid–whoever our character is, we’ve got to get into their heads. Believe me, that wears a person out.

And so the distractions come in. Now, I’m the first to admit I probably have too many distractions, but that’s another post. Sometimes, when I’ve written a particularly rough scene, I hop onto my favorite websites in search of something to make me laugh or say aww.

Here are a few of my faves:
Huffington Post – weird/dumb criminals section

What do you do when you need a moment of laughter? As a reader, what scenes/books affected you so deeply you had to search for something lighthearted to pull you out of the funk?

ALL GOOD DEEDS is the January Book of the Month for Psychological Thrillers at Goodreads! This is a major honor, and the discussion is great. Stop by and join in!

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