What inspired you to write this book?
This book started as an interest in hypno-relaxation technique (HRT), a therapeutic technique I was studying as a clinical psychology grad student. By the time I was working in my second grad program, forensic psychology, I was playing around with ways to use the therapy to treat survivors of trauma. Being a survivor myself, I toyed with the idea of seeking out treatment with HRT. By then, I had already begun writing out this story that was growing in my head. I never did pursue HRT seriously as a treatment (I don’t relax well under guidance), but, surprisingly, writing Fatal Compulsions worked as a means of self-treatment.
What topics in your book or background do you think book clubs would find interesting?
The events in this book are fictional and I should state the HRT is NOT used in the manner portrayed in the book. However, there is a possibility that it could be. There is a dark side to all therapy treatments if used unethically, just as there is a harmful side to all medications if not used as recommended. This book presents possibilities, as well as a distinct ethical issue. I would hope that after reading this book, one would reexamine the medical care and practitioners they are associated with. Any medical practitioner, no matter how noble, how good, how empathic they may be, is still just a human being who is capable of unethical behavior if the circumstances are right.
Tell us about your career outside of writing and how it influences your writing.
I hold an MA in Clinical and in Forensic Psychology. Is it any wonder that my first book introduces women in both these fields of study? There is a very humanistic view in these fields. I understand that people who utilize me as a therapist, place a great deal of trust in me; emotionally, physically, and mentally. But often, they forget that I am just as human as they are, just as fallible. Releasing those fallibilities into my writing, my stories, enables me to work out different choices and their consequences, without actually making those choices; thereby freeing me to be a better therapist and a better “investigator” in my 9 to 5 jobs.
Describe your style of writing
I have a minor in English so as my children will tell you, I like to use “big” words. I love language and often, I’ll slip in a word here and there, in my writing, that isn’t a common part of everyday language. I like my characters educated, at least to the extent that they don’t devolve into “street talk” when in conversation or while thinking. I write in third person or first person which allows me a lot of freedom to play with my main characters internal and external “voices”.
Which authors have inspired you?
I love Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, and Mary Higgins Clark. I love Ms. Clark for her ability to convey darkness without resorting to calling things “dark”. She is a wonderful purveyor of words. Mr. Brown tells a wonderful story that has you questioning who is the “devil incarnate” and even more importantly, forces you to question if the devil truly exists or were they a product of circumstances they had no control over. His concepts of black, white, and grey are simply beautiful. As for Mr. Cussler, I adore how he spins a tale, giving his readers “historical” background in a manner that feeds his main story. I hope that as a writer, I can emulate his prowess in this manner.
By: LT Bentley
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