Today Scott Nicholson is back with a guest post. So I'll leave the rest up to him!
Scared Hitless: Writing Liquid Fear
By Scott Nicholson
(Scott’s mystery/thriller Liquid Fear is launching at the sale price of 99 cents at Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords—the signed paper version can be preordered at Haunted Computer).
How much would you pay to make your fears go away?
Sure, money is the simplest measure of value, but usually the steepest prices we pay in our lives are drawn from our stores of time, compassion, integrity, and morality.
In Liquid Fear, I wanted to explore what happened to people who were stripped down to their “primitive brain,” those core impulses that ensured the reptile survival functions of breeding, fighting, or fleeing. Luckily, I had a varied cast of characters, because not everyone’s worst fear is going to be the same—for Roland, it’s responsibility, for Anita, it’s rejection, and for Alexis, it’s failure. The way those test subjects play off of each other is enthralling, which is why Dr. Sebastian Briggs has been so reluctant to let his test subjects go after all these years.
Briggs already has his fortune guaranteed—he’s invented a drug that helps treat post-traumatic stress disorder. But he’s not content with that, because he loves power and control even more than he loves wealth and fame. His biggest fear is not being able to control the outcome of the original clinical trials, and he relishes the opportunity to throw his “monkeys” back into the cage and see what happens.
I’m fascinated by psychological experiments such as the Stanford Prison Experiment, in which volunteers took on the roles of prisoners and guards at random and how the make-believe quickly took on real consequences—so much so that the researchers had to abort the experiment. (There’s a great fictionalized movie version called “The Experiment” if you like that sort of thing.)
Mostly, though, I am scared to death of what happens when other people can control or change our minds, even for “our own good.”
Well, actually, I would be far more worried if they hadn’t already changed me into this happy camper sitting at the keyboard today. Yes, Doctor, you are a good doctor and I am feeling much better now! I feel…normal.
Scott Nicholson is author of 20 books, including Disintegration, The Skull Ring, The Red Church, and Speed Dating with the Dead. Visit him at Haunted Computer.