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Only their mother can tell them apart.

So one of these fellows wrote about interesting ways of killing people. The other killed a person.
One was a creative powerhouse who penned the freshest horror stories to ever be written. The other is partly to blame for the assassination attempts on Martin Luther King, JFK and Ronald Reagan.
What is the difference between an author of evil doing and an author of evil doing?
As I did with my last book I’ve once again found myself asking the question, “Does this book need to be written?”
My first book was about a kind man who, suffering from mental illness committed murderer.
The book I’m writing at the moment is completely different, the murderer is emotionless, manipulative and evil. The book is as much about the effects of his hideous actions on other people as it is about the lack of effect they have on him.
Do you think that books like this should be written?
One man is Edgar Allen Poe, the other is John Wilkes Booth.

About ispiderbook

Anthony is a first time novelist who is based in Sydney Australia.

25 responses to “Only their mother can tell them apart.

  1. Thinking about ways to kill someone and actually killing someone are certainly two different things.

  2. Definitely. Don’t know why, exactly, but I still do. Hope that counts.

  3. eCharta

    Very nice comparison indeed!

  4. My partner often asks me why I write ghost stories — and why I don’t write wholesome stories for children. My answer is simple: there is more horror in our local communities, on every street corner, than there is a single macabre tale. Tales of nefarious needs and the supernatural are often vehicles for exploring human frailty; in telling them, we may help society to debate and unravel the age-old moralistic dilemmas we as humans are constantly trying to understand and define.

  5. Daniela ⋅

    The difference is in the act itself. One yield works of art, and thus reflection of human nature and condition, the other extinguishes that very nature and condition by extinguishing the life itself. Books of all kinds ought to be written, as there is no end to miracle of life (or death).

  6. I think the conundrum might be how to portray this character so that, although he’s horrifying, the reader finds him compelling rather than revolting.

    • That bits the easy bit. The antagonist in this case is so easy to write for. He’s so interesting and devious. I used to believe that what goes around comes around, but I’m questioning that at the moment and this guy goes from strength to strength. The protagonist is really hard. He’s the detective and he is suffering from post traumatic stress. My brother is a working fireman and his second day on the job he went to a nursing home fire where eleven old people died. he can’t talk about it without tearing up. So this detective is a bit of a miserable. I’m finding it hard to make him likeable.

  7. I agree with both Daniela and Luddy’s Lens. Mayhem — small scale or large — and misery are a part of the human condition, and the important thing to do with them is to figure out how to learn from and rise above them. Making those characters wretched and stomach-churning is also an important part of portraying them, I think, and when you can do that and still make them at least a tiny bit sympathetic so they aren’t flat (think Iago from Shakespeare’s Othello or the rapist/murderer from Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones), then you’ve created something artistic. Iago and the psycho from TLB are horrible people and I cannot stand them or reading them, but I also cannot argue that they have depth, perverse though it may be. This is part of what separates good horror fiction from garbage like the Saw movies and similar slasher exploitation films.

  8. Mick ⋅

    …”partly responsible for the deaths of King, JFK and Reagan”. I might be missing something here but Booth was definitely responsible for the death od Abe Lincoln. As for the others, they were in a different century. Please explain.

    • Yes, Spider are you implying that Booth’s assassination of Lincoln influenced the others?

      • Hi Freaky! Sorry I was a bit abrupt in responding to your other comment but I thought I’d have a chat here.

        I know that assassinating those in power has a rich history, but I do think that the assassination of Lincoln set a benchmark in American history. He was such a high profile President that yes I think that it influenced the others.

        I’m surprised they haven’t started a whole language around it. “Did you hear? The President got the Booth.” “That Oswell bloke sure put the Booth into the president.” “Reagan was lucky, someone tried to put the Booth in.”

        This brings me back to the earlier problem of ‘Should books like this be written?’ Nothing happens in a vacuum, and just like science, industry and history we learn from what has preceded us. (Booth probably picked up a few tips from Brutus.) By putting evil ideas out there are we adding to the collective evil, again raising the bar?

        Now I’m not saying that I’m right by any means. That’s why I’ve put the question out there.

    • Merry Christmas Mick! I bet you had to look up the century thing. That’s exactly what I’m saying though. Without Lincoln’s assassination I’m not sure that trying to kill the president would be such a popular American pastime.

  9. Lois

    Writers write… their readers read and understand and interpret and are affected by (or not!) in their own way that the writer can never anticipate, and usually never know!
    Great series of pictures, intriguing!
    Happy new year, and happy blogging in 2013!

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