Next on my list of October’s Hallowed Authors – Pam Richter, author of four edgy thrillers, The Necromancer, Midnight Reflections, The Living Image, and Deadly Memories. To sweeten the blog pot, Pam is awarding a complete SET of all four books to TWO of my lucky readers. Wow, four books….free….and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post! I’ll draw names on Sunday. Don’t be selfish, share the info with your friends. If they win, maybe they’ll let you borrow one. :)
Read on to see what lurks in this talented writer’s mind!
The Necromancer is steeped in witchcraft and wickedly good suspense. How do you make your characters so multi-faceted and intriguing? Does your Psychology degree help with character development?
Actually, the characters seem to take on their own personality. Sometimes one of them will just insist on doing what they want. I let them! This makes plotting more difficult, and I find it easier to list questions for myself so I don’t let any loose threads go. Recently in my newest book, I had just finished the novel and I looked over my questions. One of my minor characters who was injured did not have any resolution. Did he live or die? I had to go back and it only took a few sentences to settle his fate. You can bet the readers would have been asking questions if I didn’t fix this though. I take plotting very seriously. I want the whole arc in my book, beginning, middle and I pretty much insist on a happy ending. Readers don’t want to be let down and depressed. They learn to love our characters if we writers do our job. We are actually entertainers who take the reader out of their world for a little while into an alternate reality. It should be fun and suspenseful.
Yes, a degree in psychology is very helpful in character development. When I wrote about the psychological aftermath of rape on my main character, Michelle, in The Necromancer, the way the violation influenced her behavior because of sub-conscious fear was a real problem for her. The fear generalized to all men so she was uncomfortable in social situations. She couldn’t stand the thought of a man touching her ever again. When she finds out the real reason for her fear, and that her panic was justified, her whole outlook is changed. The flight-or-flight burst of adrenalin which happened to her when alone with a man ended. She could love and live a normal life again.
Some readers were distraught over the rape scene in the third chapter, but it was written in the third person, as a flashback, and the reader knows Michelle survives. It was necessary for her character. Personally, I think what I wrote about her subsequent reaction is the best I’ve ever seen in fiction, even if I did write it. My degree in Psychology was important here to make it realistic.
I enjoy the paranormal and sci-fi elements in your books which takes them to another level. What made you decide to write thrillers?
Oh gosh, I don’t think I decided to write thrillers. I loved paranormal books by authors like King, Koontz, Konrath, and I wanted to write a big book in their tradition. For The Necromancer I added witches, an animal familiar named Lucifer, (after the orange striped cat in Alice in Wonderland) a professor of the occult, and of course a woman in jeopardy, Michelle, and her best friend Heather. The Necromancer is Omar, who stalks Michelle, and then there’s our hero, Rob Nakamura. A classic clash between good and evil; it’s for mature audiences.
I’m an identical twin, so I wondered what would happen if a person found someone who looked exactly like them. That started The Living Image. It evolved into a thriller just because a lot of people wanted to possess the woman who had been changed by a scientist, and the two women have to evade them.
You live in southern California but hail from Sacramento. (Lived there myself for some years and loved it.) Do you incorporate settings from places you’ve lived and visited or do you research new locations based on the plot?
I lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for a few years, so I took that location for The Necromancer. Still, I did a lot of research on Hawaii and some of the other islands so I could add fun tidbits about the traditional culture. I love to learn things when I’m reading so I added these things for the reader. In another book one of my characters was French, and I had a wedding in the novel on the French Riviera, so I had to do a lot of research on France.
The location of a book I’m doing now is on a cruise ship visiting Puerto Rico. I have a character lost in the Rain Forest there. I found out there are tree frogs that screech all night long. She has a horrible night in that jungle. It was fun doing the research because I saw a YouTube video and heard the actual noise. Those frogs are loud!
Like many authors, you’ve had an interesting employment background. Do you use those experiences as inspiration for your stories? Where does your ideas come from?
In The Necromancer, Michelle is a property manager in Hawaii. I did that same kind of work in Santa Monica. I had a review on the book by a person who said one incident in the book couldn’t have happened. But it did–in an office building I managed. There was a burst pipe that flooded a whole floor of offices. The water went down through the floor, through a smoke detector, and set off the building’s fire alarm. I thought there was a flood and a fire in the building simultaneously. Talk about being in a panic! The whole building, all 22 floors, had to be evacuated. I put this incident in The Necromancer. I’ve never thought about doing a story about teaching ballroom dancing, one of my former jobs, but you’ve got me thinking….
Name three books/authors that you found memorable and tell us why.
It, by Stephen King. One of my favorite books he’s written because his characters seem so real. I like big books with big themes. He has the children who eventually become adults and solve a haunting mystery that started in their town when they were young.
The Mill River Recluse, by Darcie Chan. This is simply great.
The Entire and the Rose, by Kate Kenyon. This is a Science Fiction series of four novels. It’s very complex, intriguing, mysterious and wonderful. She makes the other worlds seem so real, and the reader is catapulted into different realms.
May I add another series? Wool, by Hugh Howey. This is Science Fiction, wonderfully done.
What is something that scares YOU most?
Bugs–insects. I don’t mind them when I’m gardening. But when they’re in my house, forget it. I panic, wave my arms, act crazy. I start off The Necromancer when Michelle sees a Big Bug on the wall.
One of my friends said, “I don’t know why I even started The Necromancer. It has big bugs, a rape scene, and it’s scary–nothing I like. But it’s my favorite book this year.”
If you had a magic rock that could take you back in time to any era, where you visit . . . and why?
First choice: Atlantis. The legendary island first mentioned by Plato.
If Atlantis doesn’t really exist in history, hum…. The big cities of long ago are enticing. London, Paris, Rome. The problem is they are beautiful to see, but while visiting I think of the lack of sanitary conditions, poverty, starvation.
About the Author
PM Richter is an author living in West Hollywood California. She has a degree in Psychology, from Northridge State University. She has worked as a property manager for Nansay, Corp. a multi-national corporation, been a dance teacher for Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire Dance Studios. She has five novels available on Amazon Kindle.
The Living Image
Number of pages: 346
Word Count: 121,705
She picked the worst guy to have an affair with! - Evil stalks in Hawaii
Michelle was brutally attacked in her locked hotel room in Las Vegas. The police didn’t believe her and thought she must have lured a man up to her hotel room for a little sexual adventure, which went dangerously out of control.
Michelle sustained visible scars from the terrifying and almost lethal attack, but pure fear motivated the move from her home in California to Hawaii. She’s scared her attacker will come back. She’s sure the next time he’ll kill her. Now she has a successful career and she figures abstinence is an acceptable, if lonely, way to live.
Michelle decides that an affair with a wickedly handsome man who moves into her building might cure her of the humiliating, embarrassing, and uncontrollable anxiety attacks which plague her whenever she finds herself alone with a man.
How could she know she made the worst possible choice?
Omar Satinov, the man Michelle has chosen, is a secret, whispered legend across several continents. His lure is a mystical religion based upon Witchcraft; his hook, the addictive herbal products he sells his followers. But does he really have supernatural powers, as many of his disciples believe?
It was just past twilight, almost time for the Crystal Prophesies. Omar leaned his elbows on the penthouse balcony, enjoying the moment. This was a magical time of day and he was a magician. He preferred calling himself a Necromancer to the common titles: warlock, conjuror, magus, seer or wizard. There were subtle variations, but he fancied ‘romancer’ in his title. Necromancer. It described him. He romanced his way into hearts and minds. With the help of a little magic.
As he gazed at the panorama spread out below, the Pacific slowly changed from light blue to a misty topaz. Lush clouds floated on the horizon, and stars began to glow. To his left was the tinsel-tourist Waikiki, and to his right the city of Honolulu was lighting up. Below him, in this very building, he could sense the presence of a remarkable woman.
He turned, gazing through plate glass windows into his new penthouse. Ginger and Samson were inside. Ginger noticed his look and, with a flourish, she uncovered an enormous crystal ball from its leather shroud. She winked at him. Ginger was a disciple, a beautiful tall woman, with long curly red hair. She wore a flowing blue gown for the ceremony.
It was a tradition for the three of them to gaze into the crystal ball to divine their future when they expanded to a new location. They had arrived in Oahu a week ago. Tonight was perfect, the time of the full moon.
Omar went inside and sat down in front of the crystal. The sphere was almost two feet in diameter and sparkled on a base of black onyx. The three were seated in the main living room, beneath a skylight. White rafters crossed the cathedral ceiling. The room was dark except for a cold silvery glow from the candles Ginger had placed around the room.
Omar passed his hands over the crystal ball several times for theatrical effect, principally for Samson, who was watching with curious eyes. Omar’s acolyte, Samson was a gigantic man who would never age mentally. He did remember this ritual. His mouth was open in anticipation.
Omar frowned and leaned closer, gazing into the depths of the crystal. Indeed, the omens were not auspicious. Red forms floated amorphously inside, constantly changing shape. This denoted the substance that controlled all magical rites. Blood was a fluid like the tide; it flowed like the ocean, was coaxed by the moon to move subtly in bodies, causing emotional changes called lunacy. Sometimes it spilled.
The black he observed, swirling around the red forms like a night wind, could be taken as a symbol of his own influence. It was the bright white light clashing there which forced Omar’s dark eyebrows to slide together. White, an opposing force, seemed capable of exerting great influence in these Hawaiian islands. Omar couldn’t tell if it indicated an old curse peculiar to these islands, with their ancient polytheist beliefs, or if it referred to a threatening individual.
The white was glowing, taking over. There was busy movement inside the crystal. It might have been a reflection from the stark white walls, but Omar was not taking chances.
“Who will sacrifice?” he asked, frowning at Ginger and Samson in turn. He took a dagger from the leather sheath that Ginger had placed beside the crystal ball.
The colossal young man cowered away.
Omar shook his head. Samson let out a tiny moan, but Omar swiftly reached across the crystal and pointed the tip of the dagger at Ginger.
“I need heart blood,” Omar said.
Ginger closed her eyes and nodded. He made a small slashing cut above her left breast, above her heart. The cut was superficial, but blood immediately started flowing.
Ginger leaned forward and red dripped on the round crystal ball, and slowly, like wine with good legs, inched down its sides.
Omar recited incantations and waved his long expressive hands. Both Ginger and Samson saw silver sparks extend from his fingertips and enter into the crystal. Ginger thought the effect might have been starlight drifting down from the skylight above. Samson was sure it was magic.
Omar peered into the depths of the crystal and was satisfied. The white light was winking out. The sacrifice had been potent.
His mind again sought the lovely feminine presence he had felt below him in this building. When he found it he smiled. His final aspiration would be fulfilled. The Crystal Prophesy said so.