Stephen King’s Influence
This is a guest post written by Carlyle Clark, author of mystery thriller, The Black Song Inside.
Some writers’ greatest joy is to bring characters to life and share them with others. A skillful writer has the ability to enthrall and entertain no matter what the genre. What a feeling! To touch people, make them cry, laugh, bite their nails, wipe their brows with anticipation, and to ask the question all writers hope to inspire - what happens next?
My favorite genres for both reading and writing are crime fiction and fantasy, but I am also a fan of the prolific master, Stephen King. I’m not a fan of horror novels, but he’s the only novelist whose short story collections I sometimes prefer and I’ll read anything he does that’s not horror, like his epic Gunlslinger novels. He puts his down-home characters in the most horrific situations, often immersing them in bodily fluids that King is so fond of describing, and I’m not all that fond of visualizing or worse, smellilizing. However, King has one specific talent with which he rises above the rest - the uncanny ability to imbue each character with a unique voice. The words he gives them serve to show the reader exactly who these people are, and that creates a powerful connection. We care for them, feel their terror, wish them well, and mourn their gruesome deaths.
King said something that made a great impression on me when I began writing seriously - “We want your hearts”. That made me wonder - how does a writer touch a heart? By designing the cleverest of plots? By making up fantastical settings? Those things are wonderful, but they are not enough. There is only one element, if skillfully executed, that has that magic power. It lies with the characters that occupy that bustling space in every writer’s mind and the voices with which they speak.
Sure, there are some stories that you are awed by and enjoy because of some aspect or another, a surprising plot twist, or a fascinating mystery, but the majority of tales you cherish are because the characters have moved you and stayed with you for a very long time - like the best of friends, or the very worst of nightmares and I hope that I have included both types of characters in The Black Song Inside.
Carlyle Clark was raised in Poway, a city just north of San Diego, but is now a proud Chicagolander working in the field of Corporate Security and writing crime and fantasy fiction. He has flailed ineffectually at performing the writer's requisite myriad of random jobs: pizza deliverer, curb address painter, sweatshop laborer, day laborer, night laborer, security guard, campus police, Gallup pollster, medical courier, vehicle procurer, and signature-for-petitions-getter.
He is a married man with two cats and a dog. He is also a martial arts enthusiast and a CrossFit endurer who enjoys fishing, sports, movies, TV series with continuing storylines, and of course, reading. Most inconsequentially, he holds the unrecognized distinction of being one of the few people in the world who have been paid to watch concrete dry in the dark. Tragically, that is a true statement.
Visit his website at carlyleclark.wordpress.com.
Atticus Wynn and Rosemary Sanchez, newly engaged private investigators, have seen the dark and violent side of life. Nothing, though, has prepared them for an explosive murder investigation that threatens to tear their relationship apart as they struggle to solve a case that could leave them in prison or dead.
Atticus’s manipulative ex-girlfriend bursts back into their lives wielding a secret about Rosemary’s family that she exploits to force the couple into investigating the execution-style slaying of her lover. The case thrusts Atticus and Rosemary headlong into the world of human trafficking and drug smuggling, while rendering them pawns in Tijuana Cartel captain Armando Villanueva’s bloody bid to take over the cartel.
The Black Song Inside is a vivid crime thriller rife with murder and madness, melded with gallows humor and the heroism of two flawed and compelling protagonists who, if they can save themselves, may learn the nature of redemption and the ability to forgive.
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