I’m delighted to welcome Diane May, author of EVO, with a guest post, but first here’s the book info.
A serial killer nicknamed “The Hypnotist”.
What if someone could take complete control over your mind?
And what if that someone was a serial killer?
Langley, Virginia, twenty years earlier:
John Blake, a CIA special agent, stumbles upon an illegal genetic experiment within the agency, conducted on unborn babies and officially presented as a fertility program designed to help couples get pregnant. When he realizes that his very own daughter is a product of this sinister plot and that she is in grave danger, he vows to do everything it takes to make sure Maya will be safe and the people behind the experiment will all pay. With their lives.
Verona, Italy, present time:
Livio Marchiori, a homicide detective with the highest rate of solved cases in Verona, is faced with The Hypnotist, a serial killer the likes of which he’s never seen before. He never touches his victims and he leaves no evidence behind, except for the detailed videos of his murders. And what Marchiori and his team see on those videos is more disturbing than all their other cases combined. Because this one is different. This one defies all rational thinking and borders the impossible.
Then The Hypnotist gets personal and threatens to kill Dr. Abby Jones, the chief medical examiner and the woman Marchiori is in love with. Caught in a cat-and-mouse game with the elusive killer, Marchiori knows he is quickly running out of time.
So when Captain Victor Miller from Interpol walks into town, Marchiori is more than happy to partner again with the man who two years ago helped him put an entire mafia clan behind bars. But Miller has his own agenda, and Marchiori soon discovers that there is more to these crimes than meets the eye, an entire thread of things way beyond his pay grade – illegal experiments, secret agencies, and the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.
Now over to Diane with her post asking …. Why Do We Label People?
Why do we label people? And why do we label ourselves? As a writer I tend to pay more attention to people’s behaviour and listen to what they say because that’s where I find inspiration for my characters. And one thing I have noticed consistently is how we put people in tiny boxes, slap labels on them and seal the lid shut. We do it to others and we do it to ourselves. And I’m no different.
But what compels us to do this, to define ourselves by such narrow parameters like equal, different, right, wrong, fat, skinny, slow, intelligent, sweet, generous, selfish, weird, normal, etc? Is it because it’s simpler this way? Because it saves us time? When we attach a label to a person we immediately get that false sense of I know them. They become familiar to us and we feel safe. We feel like we really know them when in reality we know only the side that person is showing us at the moment. Unfortunately, nowadays, most people don’t even want to dig deeper, to discover the real, genuine person underneath that public facade. And the reason for this is often…because we don’t have time.
You know that guy at the office who always cracks jokes and makes people laugh? We all have a colleague like that. You see him in the morning and instantly smile as you say “hey, buddy, what’s up?” because you’re expecting to hear something funny, something upbeat. He’s the Joker, right? And then a few weeks later you come in to work and find out he killed himself the night before. “What??? How could this be? He was so happy all the time!” Evidently he wasn’t. Maybe he was lonely, and in pain, but he just didn’t show it. Because nobody ever took the time to ask him how he was and really mean it. Why? Because he already had a label attached to him, remember? We already “knew” him.
Can you remember times in your life when you have been labeled, and it hurt you or made you feel uncomfortable? Like when you were at school and the other kids labeled you a nerd because you happened to like reading and studying, and were a little shy? Or a no-good kid because you went through some really difficult times at home, had a lot of bottled-up anger inside and couldn’t focus on your studies? But being a nerd doesn’t automatically make you ugly and un-cool, and being a no-good kid doesn’t mean you’ll end up a criminal. When we are reducing the person to just one label we are ignoring the full picture of that unique human being and we are just being lazy and shallow.
After my friends found out I had written a book, and they began reading it, I was surprised to hear many of them say: I never thought you’d write crime. Romance, yes, but crime? Never. When I asked them why, these are the labels I got: kind, sweet, shy, loving, most non-violent person I know. Does anyone really think that a person can be described using just a few words? We are infinitely more complex than that and we also have the power to change if we don’t like something about ourselves.
Try this little exercise the next time you meet someone you know. Say to them: “Tell me about yourself. What makes you happy?” You’ll be surprised at their reaction. Some will laugh and give you a smartass answer, others will look at you as if you’ve suddenly grown another set of ears, but a few will try to understand if you really care, and if what they see convinces them, they’ll open up and start sharing. And with that sharing you’ll find yourself with a whole new set of labels for that person. Because the more you know about someone the more you understand how beautifully complex human beings are and how limiting it is to label them.
Thanks so much, Diane.