A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

The Killer You Don't Think About.

Villains come in all shapes and sizes. But when you think about it, one of the scariest villains never dies. Any idea what I’m talking about?

Natural disasters.

Earthquakes aren’t the only killers. Tornadoes, tsunamis, typhoons, cyclones, volcanoes… The list goes on. When I was thinking about the kind of villain I wanted to tackle for my Adrenaline Highs novella, A Little Danger, I wanted to make sure I gave the bad guy his due. The recent earthquake in Nepal is a frightening example of the devastation. The aftershocks alone made for sizeable earthquakes in their own right. 

Here's a shot from the bay area earthquake many years ago:
 Disasters are certainly good for external conflict, but I think there still needs to be an internal conflict. The one thing about a disaster is that they make you realize what’s important in life and just how fragile our lives really are. It can all go away in the blink of an eye. The characters in this story were reminded of that fact in a very scary way.
I’ve been trying to come up with disaster movies where the villain was a natural disaster. The Perfect Storm, for instance, or Earthquake (naturally). I know the upcoming San Andreas with Dwayne Johnson looks like a doozie. Can you think of any others?  I’m curious what your thoughts are about using natural disasters as the bad guy, too.

In case you're interested in checking out A Little Danger, now's the time to grab it for 99 cents before the price goes up.

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Wynter said...

I loved Twister. Not only did it happen once, but it kept coming and coming. It was a great villain. Every time they showed a wind chime moving, it was like the villain's signature music playing!

Anne Marie Becker said...

I agree with Wynter - Twister was the first one that came to mind for me. :)

I love when natural disasters are the villain. It makes things that much more eerily real because I know it could happen!

Samanthe Beck said...

Any disaster movie featuring an epic wave has me hooked for some reason. Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012. I've seen 'em all.

I think natural disasters make great villains because we all live with the unsettling knowledge that they can, and do, strike. In a lot of ways we're still at Mother Nature's mercy.

Elise Warner said...

You made me think of an oldie, San Francisco. Enjoyable blog, Dee J.

Dee J. said...

Hi Wynter,
Yes! I forgot about Twister! That was a great one! Oh and those wind chimes... you just knew something bad was going to happen. Thanks for reminding me of that one.

Hi Anne Marie,
Maybe that's the extra scary part of natural disasters as villains... We know they can really happen. It's one of the reasons I'm scared to see San Andreas. Haha. Thanks for stopping in!

Hi Samanthe,
Yes! The big wave movies! How could I forget those? We are definitely at Mother Nature's mercy and she's constantly reminding us of that, I think. Thanks for making a double header, lady!

Hi Elise,
Thanks! Ah... San Francisco. They get hit a lot, don't they. I'm thinking I need to check my earthquake kit after this blog. LOL. Thanks for dropping in!

Marcelle Dubé said...

One natural disaster that always strikes fear is a forest fire. Forest fires are so unpredictable, and when you live in the middle of a territory that is nothing but trees... well, let's just say you feel vulnerable.

Also, a natural disaster is a perfect cover for a human bad guy to work his evil. :-)

Toni Anderson said...

I like natural disasters as a setting. The Impossible is a Ewan McGregor/ Naomi Watts movie about the big tsunami. It's a powerful movie that hardly anyone seems to have seen. I need to buy your book!!

Toni Anderson said...

I meant as a backdrop/villain. Not setting :)

Susan J Berger said...

I don't love natural disasters. Been in too many of them. I never see those kinds of movies. I do think they make great plot villains.
There is a little know hurricane that hit Long Island, Boston, Connecticut and NY in 1938 September 21. I researched first hand accounts of this. The hurricane that no one saw coming. I know it would make a great book or movie.

Dee J. said...

Hi Marcelle,
Yes! I didn't even think of forest fires. They are scary as hell. And never thought of those disasters as a cover. You have a wonderfully devious mind! Thanks for popping in!

Hi Toni,
Yes! I saw The Impossible! Oh my God how my palms sweat during that movie! It was the reason I had tsunamis on my list! Thanks for dropping by!

Hi Susan,
I've always thought I'd rather live through a hurricane, because at least you know they're coming unlike an earthquake... but to NOT know... Ugh! That would suck. Glad the weather is so advanced that those days are over. Now if they could just predict when the earth is going to move... Thanks for stopping in!

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