Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Darker Side of Midnight

Hello, most of you… well, pretty much all of you, have no idea who I am. I’m new to Midnight Ink (the ink on my two book contract is still damp), so I thought I’d use my first Inkspot blog to introduce myself.

My name is Maegan Beaumont and I write thrillers…

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff. Like, why I write thrillers.

A bit of background—I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I’ve also been moderately obsessed with human behavior since I was a child… or more specifically, deviant human behavior. It makes perfect sense that at some point, these interests would intersect, but while I’ve always loved writing, I didn’t always want to be a writer. When I was ten, I vividly remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. It went something like this:

Poor, unsuspecting soul: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Me: A criminal psychologist.

Poor, unsuspecting soul: Why would a sweet little girl like you want to be a criminal psychologist?

Me: Because when a man chops his entire family up with an axe, I want to be able to understand why he did it.

Poor, unsuspecting soul:

 Yea... I wasn’t as sweet as I looked.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been obsessed with understanding ‘why’. Why do people behave the way that they do? Make the choices they make. Why does one person react to a set of circumstances differently than another… objectively, I can look at my moderate childhood obsession and realize that it had everything to do with my desire to make sense of chaos and my deep-seated need to control my environment. Yes, you’re saying, that’s all well and good—years of therapy have just paid off…

But what does that have to do with why you write thrillers?


It’s a two part explanation—my moderate obsession with deviant behavior and the fact that I am a control freak. As a thriller writer, I get to indulge both. I get to explore the dark side of human nature and manipulate people that I’ve created into doing and saying what I want them to.

Wow… that made me sound like a sociopath. Let’s try again.

As a thriller writer, I get to explore the dark side of human nature—those things inside us all that none of us want to admit to—and I get to tell stories about how we, as people, overcome that darkness. How we survive. How we ultimately win.

I believe that there is darkness inside every one of us. We’re all dangling over the abyss—it’s just that some of us have a firmer grip on humanity than others. Most of us would never do the things I write about—would never even entertain such thoughts. Most of us live in the light.

But there are others who’ve let go. Who’ve fallen. Who’ve allowed themselves to become monsters. These are the people that fascinate me. They walk and talk like regular people, but they’ve been corrupted. These people don’t just live in the dark. They embrace it… and when a poor, unsuspecting soul wanders too close, they get snatched up and dragged into the darkness. If they’re very, very lucky, they manage to break free. To find the light again… but spending time in the dark with a monster will change you.

And what do you do if the monster wants you back? How do you fight something you can’t see? How do you win against the darkness after it’s become a part of who you are? Is it even possible?

These are the questions I’ve been asking myself since I was a little girl—and as a thriller writer, I’m finally getting the opportunity to find the answers.

So, here’s my question(s) for you:

What is it that you look for in a book? What are the fundamental questions about humanity that you’re seeking answers to? What book or books have you read that revealed these truths to you?
Maegan Beaumont is the author of CARVED IN DARKNESS, the first book in the Sabrina Vaughn thriller series (Available through Midnight Ink, spring 2013). A native Phoenician, Maegan’s stories are meant to make you wonder what the guy standing in front of you in the Starbucks line has locked in his basement and feel a strong desire to sleep with the light on. When she isn’t busy fulfilling her duties as Domestic Goddess for her high school sweetheart turned husband, Joe, and their four children, she is locked in her office with her computer, her coffee pot and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, and one true love, Jade.



Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Maegan,
When I read a mystery/suspense/thriller, I, too, want to know WHY the killer/kidnapper/thief did it. Nothing turns me off on a book more than the author failing to provide sufficient motivation for the antagonist to do what s/he did.

Deborah Sharp said...

Nice post and good intro, Maegan. Four kids, huh? Yikes! Here's my fundamental question: How does someone with four kids and a big dog find time to write???
Welcome to Midnight Ink!

Shannon Baker said...

Nice intro Maegan. Looking forward to Carved in Darkness.

Kathleen Ernst said...

It all sounds very reasonable to me. I like books that include a thoughtful look at why people act as they do. Welcome to the MInker clan!

Kathleen Ernst said...

It all sounds very reasonable to me. I like books that include a thoughtful look at why people act as they do. Welcome to the MInker clan!

Maegan Beaumont said...

Hi, Beth ~
Why is the most important question, isn't it? In the real world, there isn't always an answer--that's what makes fiction sooo much better. :)

Maegan Beaumont said...

Hi, Debbie ~
I didn't even mention the German Shepard (our Louise to my Ridgeback's Thelma)or my live-in father... as for finding the time to write--I don't sleep, I drink waaay more coffee than I should and I have a wonderful husband who always says, "don't worry about it, the dishes can wait."

Maegan Beaumont said...

Thanks, Shannon! It feels really good to be a part of such a wonderful writing community. :)

Maegan Beaumont said...

I do too, Kathleen. Examining the tough stuff is how we really find out who we are as people. Thanks, for reading... :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to spend the rest of my life reading your books! You are an amazing lyrical artist - its a joy to read your words and have them move me every time. I'm grateful others will now have the same pleasure. Congratulations!