First Love (and a Serial Killer) with Julie Anne Lindsey–and #Giveaway

Please help me welcome author Julie Anne Lindsey to Preternatura today! Julie’s most recent release is Deceived, which was published on September 18. And read on for a chance to win a copy.

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. In 2013, Julie welcomes five new releases in three genres including her newest title, DECEIVED, a YA suspense from Merit Press, and her first cozy mystery, MURDER BY THE SEASIDE, book one in the Patience Price, Counselor at Large series from Carina Press (a digital imprint of Harlequin). Julie is a self-proclaimed word nerd who would rather read than almost anything else. She started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world. 

Most days you’ll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.

You can learn more about Julie by visiting her website, on Facebook, by visiting her blog, or by following her on twitter. 
ABOUT DECEIVED: Ever since she could remember, Elle has had to hop from town to town to keep up with her dad’s demanding career as a corporate insurance agent. Each time, a reoccurring nightmare followed her wherever she went–until the day that the frightening figures haunting her at night became all too real. When news of a serial killer spreads throughout her new school, Elle worries that the Reaper has been leaving her his calling card in the form of cigarette butts on her doormat and an unusual ribbon in her locker. With the help of Brian, a boy she meets at a flea market, she discovers that this isn’t her first encounter with the murderer and that her father has been concealing her true identity for the past twelve years. But despite her father’s desperate attempts to protect her, Elle still comes face to face with the darkness she has been running from her whole life. Trapped in the woods and with help hundreds of miles away, will Elle be able to confront the Reaper and reclaim the life she lost?
Okay, I’m intrigued! And now, let’s hear from Julie…

First Love and a Serial Killer

I grew up on classic thrillers. I’ve watched scary movies for decades, from black and white Hitchcock classics to network original B-rate junk just to get my fix. In fact, many a slumber party at my place was based around Killer Clowns from Outer Space or C.H.U.D.D (Canabalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers). It’s true. I loved the Wax Museum movies and The Shining has snuggled a place in my soul forever. Heck, as a child of the eighties, I played Michael Jackson’s Thriller video on VHS until the tape wore thin. The irony to this story is that I’m afraid of absolutely everything. Which is why I wrote a thriller.

I’m not sure what my therapist would say about it because I’m a chicken Little, through and through. Real things scare me. Not the silliness on screen in a movie. Not masses of birds or sharks in a tornado. Real things. Like mice. And spiders. Strangers. And monkeys. After all, the rest is just good fun. I can turn off the light and feel secure in the knowledge a Killer Clown isn’t headed here from Outer Space and since I have no plans to move my family to a secluded ski resort for the winter, no worries about that either. See? But mice, spiders, strangers and monkeys….those are real potential threats to my life and/or sanity. I can watch a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon and sleep like a boss, but I avoid the late night news because people are real. People are scary.

When I sat down to plot the details of my scary book idea, I knew two things. 1. I didn’t want a comic relief character, I wanted a romance to give the reader a break. 2. I wanted the fear to be emotional, not caused by excessive ick scenes. So, I put myself in the heroine’s place and thought of all the scariest scenarios (spiders, mice and monkeys aside). In my mind, the character is mentally and emotionally tortured into a frantic state. It’s rough to be her and I understand. On the flipside, I wrote several chapters from the perspective of the villain/serial killer. I named him The Reaper. I wanted to make sure I knew his demented reasoning and motivation for the pervy sicko things he does for fun. I understand him now. Those Reaper pages are secure in my hard drive, never to be read by anyone – especially my therapist – ever. 

This story is scary to me because people like my villain exist in this world and girls like my heroine are everywhere, ripe for the reaping. *Shivers* 

And then there’s the romance. 

I can’t write anything without romance. I can’t read anything without romance. It doesn’t have to be the main storyline, but it has to exist or I lose interest. To me, romance is the icing on everything. I live and breathe for scenes of perfect chemistry, unspoken longing and ugh….wait for it….the first kiss. There’s nothing better. So, inside my YA suspense, I’ve tucked a hot US Marshal and a girl who’s both in danger and the quicksand of her first love. You know what I mean. That devouring, all-encompassing, love that blinds you to everything else and makes you wonder why you ever slept or ate when you could be kissing your guy instead? That. 

DECEIVED filled a void for me. I wrote it because I wanted to read it. I wanted fear and want twisted together in dangerous and confusing ways. If you’re a fan of YA or suspense, I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s available now in ebook and hardback. 

Thanks, Julie! Want to give Deceived a try? Tell me the scariest villain you’ve read (or seen in a movie)? In the human realm, that first “Halloween” movie–you know, the old one with a teenage Jamie Lee Curtis, before the hockey mask became a joke? I lived near a hospital for the criminally insane, so that one creeped me out, big-time. In a book, Pennywise the Clown? Hello? How many people are afraid of clowns after reading It?

Leave a comment for your chance to be entered to win a copy of Deceived. 

13 thoughts on “First Love (and a Serial Killer) with Julie Anne Lindsey–and #Giveaway

  1. I would like to give Deceived a try. Pennywise the clown, Stephen King did one heck of a job. I live near Chicago, we had John Wayne Gacey, the “Killer Clown”. True crime is just a lot scarier than any fiction I read.

  2. The creepiest villain in a movie is the demon in The Exorcist book and movie!!

    Thank you:)

  3. Olaf in the Anita Blake series is a serial killer who thinks Anita should be his girlfriend after they take out a vampire’s heart together.

  4. I’d have to go with Freddy K 🙂 I finally saw those movies when I was in my 20’s and I was still creeped out!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Pennywise the Clown from It was really creepy and frightened me long after I read the book.

  6. To me, scariest is the little kid from Pet Cemetary after he came back because I definitely wouldn’t be able to fight back against a little kid, evil or not!

    ChaoticKarma23 at gmail dot com

  7. Thats hard for me to say. Like you I grew up watching and reading anything horror related I could get my hands on. I also watched the Thrilled VHS over and over and over. 🙂 The only thing I can ever remember scaring me a little was I was in about 4th grade and I read Salems Lot one night and it freaked me out. Thats the only thing I can think of. I would watch the movie IT over and over too and just think it was great so not much frightens me monster wise. Though I guess I’m like you where its more the idea of the real people out there. The serial killers that are unknown. I can read or watch anything but just not knowing whose out there is what’s frightening to me.