Better Late than Later

on February 22, 2007

Late last night my family and I stumbled in from Disneyland. Needless to say, today has been slow to get moving. The kids were all late to school, I was late to a doctor’s appointment, and I just sat down at the computer and realized–yikes! It’s Thursday! It’s after one and where did the day go?

I am SO sorry I wasn’t around for our two American Title finalist guest blogs! Both entries are fabulous, they had stiff competition. I think all ten finalists are wonderful writers and I’m sending Tink over with some fairy dust that their manuscript finds its way to the right editor. Now we have two entries to choose from, Kim and Jenny. I’ve read the entries. Twice. Two unique voices and two great stories. Two talented writers. It’s going to be a tough choice.

When I got home from Disneyland, I had some boxes waiting for me, including some great reference books. You know you’re crazy when you get excited over DSM-IV MADE EASY and the CRIME CLASSIFICATION MANUAL. Awhile back, I spent nearly $100 on a forensic coursebook. It’s not a book to read cover to cover, but it’s GREAT to look things up in.

And then I got this little book, THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR. The hook on the front: “1 in 25 ordinary Americans secretly has no conscience and can do anything at all without feeling guilty. Who is the devil you know?”

The reason this book intrigues me is that not all sociopaths are serial killers. Are all sociopaths CAPABLE of killing? I think so. Scott Peterson is a classic example. In Dr. Keith Ablow’s book INSIDE THE MIND OF SCOTT PETERSON he argues that the only one in danger from Scott was Lacey (and he gave many reasons why this was the case.) But Scott killed his pregnant wife without conscience or guilt.

I wanted to read this book to understand the mind of sociopaths outside of the serial killers I feature in my novels. If it’s true that 4% of all people ARE sociopaths–defined as someone without a conscience and the ability to do anything without guilt–I want to know how it manifests, what signs to look for, things like that.

Anyway, I have two more books to read for the Thrillers, one for the RITAs, and three galleys. THEN I can dive into these research books and see what I can learn.

So, what’s your favorite ride at Disneyland? Can you believe I had NEVER been on the Indiana Jones ride until this week? It was fabulous. But my favorite is still Pirates of the Caribbean. I love that an amusement park RIDE spurred an idea for a story.