Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Waking the Dead is released


It seems like just yesterday that I was announcing the beginning of my back-to-back trilogy, The Mindhunters. This month brings the third book in the series, Waking the Dead.

Although I do a tremendous amount of research for my books, I rarely have the opportunity to visit the location where I'm setting the story. But for this book I flew to Eugene, Oregon for a few days to visit my sister. Years ago she lived in a tiny town named McKenzie Bridge. I had never visited, but always thought it sounded like a great place to set a book.

My sister and her husband are into hiking and kayaking, and they served as my guides as we toured the area. We hiked the Willamette Forest and crawled through Sawyer's Ice Caves. I was so intent on finding the perfect cave for my killer to stash seven sets of bones in, I forgot for a time that I'm terrified of bats! We went through four caves before my mind made the association. Caves :: Bats. Bats!!! After that, I was content to just look from the entrance, LOL.

It was while we were strolling through the forest that I had the most unique experience: the entire final scene of the book started appearing in my head. I'm sure I looked a bit deranged as I stopped in my tracks and stared into space, committing it to memory. And I wrote that scene just as it appeared that day. The experience was so vivid, I might have to make a point of visiting my story locations more often.

Given that the heroine in the story is a forensic anthropologist, I also had some technical research to do. If you're interested, I did pick up some fascinating tidbits on the care and feeding of dermestid beetles, how to extract DNA from bones and how to test skeletal remains for latent fingerprints. Oh and I have a few details about the DNA databases that exist just to provide matches to unidentified human remains. You never know when facts like these might come in handy during dinner conversation.

I always enjoy creating the villains. My favorite scenes to write are the ones in which he or she appears. And this one is especially creepy. As my editor said after reading the manuscript, "I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about defleshing bones."

Is there a particular villain in a story or movie that still haunts you? One you still shudder to think about? I'm giving away an autographed copy of Waking the Dead to one lucky commenter today!

51 comments:

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on your new release.
My answer is the villian from the movie The Cell. He is scary.

KylieBrant said...

Crystal, I didn't see the cell. Who played the villain? I think Hannibal Lector of Silence of the Lambs is the one who scared the bejeezus out of me!

RKCharron said...

CONGRATULATIONS Kylie on WAKING THE DEAD released today!
I tweeted it for you too!
I still like/am haunted by the girl in The Ring. Even though I know she also did the voice of Lilo in Lilo & Stitch - she was still uber-scary in that movie.
:)
All the best,
RKCharron
xoxo

Pamk said...

Hannibel Lector in silence was great but in subsequent books in that series either before or after silence. He was really freaky and he wasn't the only one.

KylieBrant said...

RKCharron, thanks for the tweet! The girl in The Ring *was* scary, wasn't she? In a very creepy sort of way.

KylieBrant said...

PamK, I remember waiting so long for Hannibal to come out and then being so mad at the ending that I tossed the book into the river (I was on a boat). Eventually fished it out but I was sooooo disappointed with what Harris did to Clarice's character. Red Dragon (prequel) was really spooky, too. The villain was doubly scary because you could see how torn he was over the heroine, but just knew his dark nature would come out and he'd kill her, given the opportunity.

Keri Ford said...

eek eek eek squirm

I do not like scary things. I skip over the villians pov in books. I just can't stand it! Their evilness creeps me out so I abstain.

Helen Brenna said...

Yay, Kylie! Congrats!

I love visiting places for books. I think it's some of the best inspiration for story.

Hannibal Lector takes the cake for me. And it's a testament to Anthony Hopkins as an actor that he's been able to pull off so many different types of movies since then and is equally believable in all of them.

Writing a good villain is an amazing talent! Good on you, Kylie!

tetewa said...

It would have to be Hannibal Lechter for me!

Michele Hauf said...

Sounds like the story muse was walking alongside you that day, Kylie! I love how they did the whole series of covers, each a different color. Very eyecatching!

Hannibal Lector is the that haunts me too. Aggh! Now I'm thinking about him!

Virginia said...

I would have to say Hannibal Lector was the worse villian ever. If I think about hime it give me the creeps.

Congrats on your new release! I can't wait to read it.

KylieBrant said...

Hi Keri--I'll bet you didn't like The Sixth Sense either, LOL. I convinced a friend to go to that movie with me and she had her head buried in my shoulder the whole time. I felt so bad!

KylieBrant said...

Yes, Helen, I agree that Hopkins embued the character with the creep factor. When I watched Seven with Kevin Spacey he didn't scare me at all.

KylieBrant said...

Tetewa and Jane, sounds like we agree on HL! I think one of things that made him so chilling was his civilization and intelligence. It's so easy to see how someone like him could pass in society as 'normal.'

KylieBrant said...

Michele, I thought they did a good job of connecting the books with the banner running across the center, too.

lois greiman said...

I can't do scary cuz I'm a weanie, but do you remember the mass murderer in the movie ConAir with Nicolas Cage. Iccccky!

You are cookin', Kylie. Way to go.

joder said...

I found that the character of The Dentist from Brockmann's Troubleshooter series to be very creepy. His obsession with Alyssa was cringe worthy.

LSUReader said...

Kylie--
I'm with you, and many others from today...Hannibal Lector is the scariest. He could be so normal for a monster. That's what does it for me. The freakiest villains are those who behave like normally intelligent folks, up until the time we see what they really are.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Jack Nicholson in "The Shining."

Anthony Hopkins does a terrific villain. He turned Hannibal into such a fascinating character. A real character, not a one-dimensional villain. He's done a wonderful job as the bad guy in other movies, but I can't think of titles.

Glenn Close is a wonderful villain--"Dangerous Liaisons" and "Fatal Attraction."

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, oh...Robert De Niro in "Cape Fear." Love De Niro--such range.

KylieBrant said...

Ack--Sorry Virginia! Didn't mean to call you Jane!

KylieBrant said...

Ohhhh, I do remember that guy, Lois. And yeah, he was creepy. But not as creepy as the pedophile who got loose in that same movie!

Joder, I'm not familiar with that series, but I do seem to recall the dentist in Marathon Man (Lawrence Olivier) scaring me out of my wits when that movie came out!

LSUReader--I agree. The ones who seem so reasonable in their craziness...because their world makes perfect sense to them. Shudder!

Kathleen--Heeeeeere's Johnny! I was never able to look at Nicholson in quite the same way. He brought crazy a face! Oh and De Niro...I have only recently been able to watch him again. He was the absolute creepiest. Great at his job because he just made me hate him forever because of that role, LOL!

steff said...

Somehow as a little girl, I saw that movie Psycho - couldn't close the shower curtain for years.

Congrats, Kylie, I'm reading Waking Evil now. Love the humor in it, too.

wise_witch_woman said...

I'm going old school. However, I never saw him as the villain. I saw him as a poor abused, unloved child. Who grew up and watched the only woman he ever loved go to someone else.

He was a tormented soul.

When we studied this book in Literature class I was the lone dissenting voice. I saw Heathcliff as the Hero, not the villain.

So I am naming Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights as my most unforgettable . . .

Congratulations on the new release. I really hope I win. ;-}}

KylieBrant said...

Thanks, Steff! Yes, Anthony Perkins kept me taking baths for quite a while!

Wise_Witch_Woman--good luck!

Minna said...

I find the villains that don't seem like villains at first glance particularly creepy, like the Icoves in Origin in Death.

Christie Ridgway said...

Congrats, Kylie! Oh, yeah, Anthony Perkins in Psycho. Eeek.

Can't wait to read the book (I love the TV show Bones, BTW). And about bats...I'm doing this exercise bootcamp from 6-7 pm outdoors. Now that it's dark so early, we get 2 kinds of visitors joining us. At dusk it's the bunnies. At dark, this squeaking/squealing begins and the bats fly around. I keep trying to tell myself they're birds.

Laurie D. said...

Oh, hands down it's Hannibel Lecter for me. I had nightmares about that movie for the longest time.

What dedication to your craft! I'm not much for damp, dark caves myself! While it's not a job I would be interested in doing, forensics can be incredibly interesting. My Hub loves those detective shows that use detailed forensics and I find myself watching too!

Cindy Gerard said...

Congrats on Book 3, Kylie. I devoured book 1 and am currently immersed in book 2 and can't wait for #3.
As for scary villains - this goes back a lllooonnngggg way to Victor Price in the old Edgar Allen Poe Movie, The Raven, and I can't remember who played him but there was another old movie - Dr. Sardonicous, that made me pee my pants when I saw it in the theater. Okay, so I was three. NOT. but I think i was fourteen or fifteen and in those days it was a darn scary movie.
what about Freddie??

catslady said...

After hearing Hopkins name as Hannibel Lecter it's hard to think of another villion. Actually sometimes I really like the villions lol. Oh, and I remember Dr. Sardonicous - one of the first villions I can think of lol. We must have been babies when that came out lol.

GunDiva said...

Holy cow, Kylie, you are just cranking out the books! Congrats on your new release! I can't wait to read this one, since forensic anthropology is my passion. I thought that's what I wanted to be when I grew up, but life took me in a little different direction when my mentor died.

Looking forward to reading it :)

Pamela Keener said...

Kylie, I just finished Waking Nightmare & it was awesome. I had to go out and buy Waking Evil as if I needed to add another book to my tumbling TBR pile.

The first villian that came to my mind was Hannibel Lecter also. Another scary movie that comes to my mind is The Bone Collector.

Good luck with your new release.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Debra Dixon said...

Kylie-- I'm cracking up as I visualize the moment when you first made the Cave=Bats connection. (g)

I'm a big fan of location visits. There is just so much you can't get from books.

The series continues to sound fabulous!

Gail Fuller said...

I think it’s so cool that the scene came to you as soon as you found that perfect spot. :) I agree with the majority, HL is an amazing villain.

Congratulations on your new book!

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new release! The books I read aren't too violent and I think that's why I haven't found a villian that's kept me awake at night but my husband had trouble sleeping after he read It by Stephen King. He kept telling me that Pennywise was the most evil villian he had ever read.

Linda Henderson said...

Anthony Hopkins did do a great job as Hannibal but the one who does it for me is that creepy old dead guy Caine that goes around singing "God is in his holy temple" in the Poltergeist movie. That man seriously creeped me out. I believe it was the second Poltergeist movie.

Ketutar said...

Your book sounds really interesting! Congratulations for the book :-)
My favorite villain is Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty LOL She is still wonderful and grand :-D
Darth Vader, of course - still one of the "best" villains ever :-)
One of the "villains" that still haunt me is the guy in Silence of Lambs with the skin suit... brrr...
Another "good villain" was the German spy in Ken Follett's Eye of the Needle. I think one of the most important things with him was that I wasn't sure whether he was a good guy or a bad guy :-D I still wonder about that...
Oh, and Agatha Christie is good of creating villains too!
LOL there really is an ocean of "good" villains out there :-)
I am not much fond of thrillers and scary movies, because I get really scared :-D But a good story is always a joy to read, even when one gets scared ;-)

Betina Krahn said...

I'm in the Hannibal Lecter crowd-- I was blown away by his subtle menace. . . especialy in the movie "Hannibal"

My favorite villain of all times is the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. . . played by no less than Allan Rickman. I so adored him in that role! So funny and a little scary at the same time. Utterly amoral, and utterly luckless. What a combination.

Lady_Graeye said...

The creepy guy that was in the movie "Phantasm." Man, he is scary!!I just hated that movie. Freddie Krueger is a nasty character. He's not a favorite of mine either. If I had to go with a book I say, "Jack Torrance" in "The Shining" played by Jack Nicholson. Stephen King is the best in Horror books. Where that man can go with his mind is beyond me!! Pure Horror!

KylieBrant said...

Minna, funny but I remember that book for the very same reason. I like the way she passes over the villain at first--they seem so ordinary. And then after learning more she comes back and leans on them harder...and the reader discovers just how twisted they are.

Christie, nature took on a more sinister aspect once I learned that birds don't fly at night. So everytime I see something...it has to be a bat. Shudder. They really creep me out.

Laurie D, I love love love NCIS. And not only because Gibbs and DeNozo are so nice to look at!

Cindy, Freddie didn't do much for me (slasher movies don't bother me) but I remember the Vincent Price movies. They *were* scary!

KylieBrant said...

Catslady, yes I think Hannibal will go down in history as a villain to remember!

GunDiva, I had two forensic anthropologists helping me. And neither seemed to bat an eye no matter how detailed / creepy my questions got, LOL.

Thanks for the kind words, Pamela :) I loved the Bone Collector, too. The book and the movie were exceptional.

Debra, yeah I'm not real quick on the uptake! But once I made the connection...also slammed my head against the ceiling of an ice cave despite all the warnings given!

KylieBrant said...

Thanks, Gail. That experience was awesome. I was just stopped in my tracks, staring into space, watching it like a movie in my mind. My new brother-in-law finally asked, "Is something wrong?" LOL. He's since wised up!

Maureen, I think I read that Stephen King one, too, and your husband is right! Really creepy!

Linda, I didn't see those movies but just the sound of him sounds scary!

KylieBrant said...

Ketutar, yes, Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. He was actually based on a real serial killer from Bob Ressler's days in the FBI Behavioral Profiling Unit.

Betina, I suppose that wasn't the one that Kevin Costner played in? I loved that version!

Lady Graeye, Stephen King is a master, I agree. And the old Alfred Hitchcock movies used to scare the bejesus out of me, too! Or what about Betty Davis in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? She freaked me out when I was a kid.

mariska said...

Is the 3rd book already? YAYS! Congrats for the release Kylie. I'd read the Waking Nightmare, waiting my Waking Evil to arrive (I won this on a blog), and hoping to win Waking the Dead. Coz I Love this Series!
My scary Villain for me will be Vera Farmiga (If i'm not mistaken) who played Esther in Orphan. Have you seen this movie?
A 'young girl' who is old. She can't grow old because of genetica problem. Then when a family's addopting her, the terror begins.

victoriasdreams said...

i would love to win Waking the Dead..thanks for the great opp. Also the movie that haunts is Hostel..ugh that movie is crazy. You never know if this really does happen somewhere.. yikes.

KylieBrant said...

Hi Mariska--I'm not familiar with that one. But we all have a villain that haunts us, don't we?

Victoriasdreams--I haven't seen that one either. But the recent one with the haunted room in the hotel did freak me out a bit. I think of it everytime I'm alone in a hotel!

Martha Lawson said...

Hannibal Lector hands down!!

Kylie I love this series - unfortunately I've only read the first one.. Can't wait to read the next 2..

Mitzi said...

Oh, I'm excited for you.

Yep, I also vote for Hannibal Lector. He gives me chills just thinking about him....That grin!!

Congrats on the release!!!

Stephanie said...

The last scary movie I saw was in the 70's...When a Stranger Calls. It was right at the time I was doing a lot of babysitting, and I was so scared I haven't seen a scary movie since.

KylieBrant said...

Martha and Mitzi, I wonder what Anthony Hopkins thinks about having his most memorable role be that of HL? LOL!

Stephanie, I have a friend who avoids movies like those like the plague, too. The way she feels about scary movies is the way I feel about chick flicks!

GunDiva said...

Edward Norton in "Primal Fear" - he creeps me out now, no matter what he's in. He just did that role a little TOO well.