A Dark Psychological Thriller Writer.

When I set out to write fiction after my memoirs got published, I wished to continue writing, only about something other than me. A couple of years ago, I was nearing the end of a four-decade-long career as a painter. I needed a change, a different way of sharing what I observed, what I thought.

Being me, this meant I plunged headfirst into books on how to write novels, signed up for MasterClass, held weekly Zoom meetings with a writer friend, even received help (mentoring) from an established thriller author.

But, I had so much to learn; the hill I set out to climb seemed steep at first, with craggy outcroppings and slippery, uneven terrain. Although my experience as a painter prepared me well, I knew and accepted that the work ahead would prove difficult; I also knew that the best way to approach studying how to write and doing research for the novel was to simply get to it. So, although I have a long road ahead of me as a writer, I think I will be in learning mode. I hope I will, up till the end.

Until recently I was satisfied with the notion that I was writing a thriller, I still didn’t fully grasp the nuances of the type of story I was actually writing, that sub-genres were a thing and that the story I am working on, is what I now understand to be a dark psychological thriller, yes that’s actually a thing. As soon as I read those words and the definition, I knew I was home; it just felt right and comfortable. When I started out writing this thriller, I was poking around, finding my way, asking help from other, more experienced writers on how to go about the everyday exercise of putting words down, of creating a plot, sub-plots, slipping in red herrings, ensuring that if I made a promise, it was kept. But, it wasn’t until yesterday that I really figured out what got me feeling enthusiastic when writing, which genre truly got me feeling alive and motivated to continue creating stories that I hope will excite and captivate future readers on my novels.

For now, because this is all still relatively new to me, I understand that the story I’m working on is, in fact, a dark psychological thriller. Here is why I think this; the story is about a woman who has survived a traumatic life, is broken, living in quasi-isolation for many years until she is pulled into a case by a serial killer whose ultimate goal is to destroy her. But first, the killer wants to break her down, wants her to feel guilt over the murders he’s committing, placing the onus of their deaths on her shoulders. The protagonist, Mary, once ran away from the possibility of working as a profiler, she wasn’t able to deal with the transphobia levelled at her, she broke down and left the big city to live a quiet, uncomplicated life out in the countryside. The killer is playing a game with her, getting into her mind, making her question her worthiness as a profiler and as a woman.

Throughout this story, Mary will be triggered by past traumas, loss, and fears. Yet, she will also be confronted with choices. Will she again fold and give up, or will she be able to really see herself? Will she finally embrace her identity and love her uniqueness? This is about troubled lives, about deep dark connections lost in the fog of lies and secrets and, in the end, about owning one’s truth.

I don’t have a clear idea how long it will take me to get this novel completed; at first, I had to set some sort of goal, but now, I am going to simply enjoy the process, it’s the road there that is filled with riches if you stop and take the time to experience the details.

Keep an eye out for Mary Dubois; her first story is on the way!


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