First may I say, Thank You Shandy, for hosting me on Mama Knows Books! It's a pleasure to be introduced to your readers. I thought I would talk a little bit about Women & Thrillers. Afterall, everyone likes a good thrill...don't we? :)
After completing my first book, Vigilare, in the Vigilare trilogy, I thought I had written a detective mystery with a paranormal spin. Lo and behold, my surprise, when I kept reading reviews referring to my novel as a THRILLER. I had no idea I was that exciting!
Gabino Iglesias of the Austin Post said, “Vigilare walks the line between a thriller and a supernatural adventure while safely anchored in a scientific discourse around blood that James put together so well that it's reminiscent of a Douglas Preston or Michael Crichton novel. With action, romance, a strong female hero and a likeable group of characters, Vigilare reads like a good action movie.”
After reading his review, I call up my Editor, and I say, “How would you classify Vigilare?”
She says, “With all of that action, twist and turns, and a cliffhanger-ending, you have a thriller on your hands, my dear.”
With further research, I found that I did in fact write the beginnings of a thriller trilogy, as the novel has aspects of suspense, tension and excitement. Wikipedia says, “Thrillers heavily stimulate the viewer's moods giving them a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and/or terror.”
With renewed clarification of just exactly what my novel consisted of, my curiosity was piqued about the Thriller genre. After looking into it further, I found men have been writing and reading thrillers for years, with the name James Patterson dominating that list. The genre is relatively new as a mainstream medium for women, however there are many talented female thriller writers, such as Tami Hoag, who successfully made the jump from romance to thrillers. I always found Anne Rice to be quite thrilling, even before the term thriller became synonymous with books.
Vigilare is set in the town of Vanguard, where Detectives Gina DeLuca and Tony Gronkowski investigate a string of murders among Vanguard's most loathsome population, rapists and pedophiles. With fed up citizens, the city is on the verge of a vigilante uprising in support of their seemingly superhuman Vigilare with the sparkling emerald green eyes. Friend or foe, Vanguard Police Department has a job to do in bringing the vigilant one to justice, causing their own internal battle with right and wrong, immoral and just. Following their leads, Detectives DeLuca and Gronkowski find themselves pulled into a mysterious world of super blood and super powers, and closer to the Vigilare than ever expected. It's a race to the finish between Detectives DeLuca and Gronkowski and the Vigilare to figure out who she is and why. The first in a trilogy. Vigilare—the one who watches over—comes to light. Where one system fails, another never gives up!
Vigilare, an Italian term, meaning to watch over, to look out, to protect—is a play on vigilantism. I was inspired by comic books and movies, such as Batman and The Punisher. Pitting evil against good, and how good can turn bad, even with the most pure of intentions.
I am an upbeat, positive individual in my personal life. I like light, love, peace and tranquility. However, when I get into writer mode, most often I enjoy allowing my mind to take me to uncomfortable places. I find fear only propels us to a deeper understanding.
In my first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me (An Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarter Finalist), I take on themes, such as domestic abuse, alcoholism and suicide. I certainly do not take on darker subject matter with the intent to justify it or glorify it. Shocking things happen to people everyday. As a writer, I feel difficult subject matter can be delivered candidly, yet with enough finesse and tact to allow readers to transport through it (maybe on the edge of their seats...or biting their fingernails) to the other side.
To start in the darkness, allows an author to steer her words toward the light, allowing characters to come to terms with tragic things in their past, growing, evolving and coming out of it. For me, dark, intense reads allow for pivotal character development. And as a reader, I enjoy works that are more than the words on the page. Books that make me think. Books that make me question my own morality, standards and outlook. Books that leave me wondering, What would I do? If given the same set of obstacles. As a reader, I don’t pay particular attention as to who is delivering the story…male or female.
“If there is something in which James excelled, it has to be the way she treated her subject matter. Scenes of attempted rape and physical violence abound in Vigilare, but they're always carefully and tactfully done. Instead of going for the cheap thrills and shock value, the author gently deconstructs a sad reality and unflinchingly exposes the psychological devastation that such an experience can bring.” –Austin Post
Maybe it’s the mixture of dark and light, hard and soft, trauma and romance, that makes it glaring. There are some questions as to whether a true thriller should include a romantic underbelly. For me, that is the redeeming quality. It’s like a female heroine. She can’t be concrete tough and without flaws, or the reader will not relate nor empathize. Right? I get no satisfaction out of reading a book that starts out dark, intense and at times horrifying, and ends the same way. As a reader, I have to have a resolution. Take me on a journey, even a harrowing one, but life me up at the end, give me closure.
Essentially, I write from the female perspective, with intent to tell a good story, and empower those who have come through challenging circumstances. It is not by choice that darker subjects pique my attention and weave their way into my writing. It simply is what comes out of me. It has been a most interesting journey into the thriller genre. If you may be interested in a suspenseful journey, I hope you will take into consideration my Vigilare series.
Vigilare, book #1 in the trilogy can be found on Amazon, in both Kindle and print form @ http://www.amazon.com/
Vigilare-ebook/dp/B005W4YEEC Kindle is now $2.99!
Vigilare: Hell Hound, book #2 in the trilogy, NEW RELEASE in both Kindle and print form @ http://www.amazon.com/
Other places one can find me: My Website: www.brooklyn-james.com, Facebook: www.facebook.com/
BrooklynJamesSinger, Blog: http://BrooklynJamesBlog. blogspot.com, Twitter: @BrooklynJames7. My music is on Pandora:http://www.pandora. com/#/brooklyn-james/music-to- novel-boots-my-mother-gave-me, & iTunes:http://itunes.apple. com/us/album/music-from-novel- boots-my/id396730010