On Writing: 5 Best-Selling Authors Talk About the Business of Writing Serial Killers

Kellie Larsen Murphy asked 5 successful authors, who write about serial killers, questions to get inside their heads about their writing process. Interesting feedback, especially if you write or read thrillers/horror.


Norman-batesWhen it comes to villains, serial killers are at the top of the food chain. They have no conscience and, crucial to the plot, they’ve been getting away with it for years, sometimes decades. As readers, we love a good whodunit and nothing beats a serial killer as the bad guy. To be fair, a serial rapist or arsonist or kidnapper will also do (just variations on the serial killer theme). Books and films are littered with them from Norman Bates in Psycho to Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Still, in order for a thriller featuring a serial killer to work, the author has to create a real and believable villain, one we root against and one our hero/heroine will stop at nothing to apprehend. While it sounds simple on the surface, a great deal goes into the creation of the fictional serial villain.

Having recently published a novel featuring my own serial…

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