Guest Post: The Psychopathic Author, by A. Jacob Sweeny

I’d like to present a special guest-blog post by author A Jacob Sweeny, entitled: The Psychopathic Author. I hope you enjoy it, and please feel free to click the links to visit the author’s website or pick up her book if you’re interested. Enjoy!

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A Psychopathic Author

I sometimes wonder what people think about me personally after they read the violent scenes I include in my novels. Do they wonder, just like I have so many times, if the author is just a bit psychotic to write down, let alone imagine and come up with such frightening and gruesome details?

Well, I can’t tell you about everyone else, but I can tell you that for me it was rather difficult to convey violence and gore and yet I found it necessary to do so in detail. If I didn’t make the scenes believable, I would fail as an author. I didn’t put in gory details for the shock value alone, in fact, in the beginning the few violent scenes in my first novel, Pulse of Heroes, were very sanitized and glossed over. But after reading them I realized that I wasn’t making an impact like that. If I wanted to make the reader think, feel, fear and regret, I had to bring the action not only into their minds, but into their eyes and their noses, and their ears.

I would like to make it clear that I do not in any way glorify violence, but if I’m writing a war scene, especially a historical one, like the ones I depicted in A Sword for His Women, which deals with Vlad III (AKA Dracula) campaigns’ against the invading Turks, I wasn’t going to neutralize what we know as a historical fact. However my first violent scenes left me quiet disturbed, and the first time I read them out loud in front of someone, they looked at me in surprise, and I had to apologize and tell them that it’s not me that is violent, but the characters and the situation. In fact to prove this point I will share with you a true story:

In Pulse of Heroes there is an ‘almost’ rape scene. I say almost, because the idea of rape sends such horrors to my brain that I refuse to let even my characters suffer such torture and fear. At this point in my life I can no longer stand movies that show sexual violence against women. There is too much out there, to the point where I personally feel that as a society we have been desensitized over them; they are like a no brainer, put sex and violence together and tickets sales go up. What this means about our society can be left to a whole different blog, essay, or an entire book. But going back to the scene I wrote, I felt compelled to include it because I was building up one of my villain’s characteristics; simply a womanizer/abuser. Writing the scene was very difficult as I had to put myself in the victim’s position. I had to feel the fear, the exposure and the humiliation. I had to make it real in my mind as if it were happening to me in reality. The results? An amazingly realistic scene that gives my readers’ goosebumps and heart palpitation, and for me? After finishing it, that same night, I had a nightmare about being raped. Never had one before and I woke up sweating and in fear.

As for my second novel Of Blood and Pulse, as you can imagine with a title such is this, I attacked it as a professional, and it definitely has blood in it and will definitely raise your PULSE-promise!

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