When reality really is stranger than fiction


Work didn’t allow me to catch AMC’s The Killing last night, so I thought I’d turn to another source of inspiration on this Mystery Monday… the news.

Reading the newspaper and keeping up to speed on current events is an excellent way to help either formulate a plot for our next page-turner, develop a good character or two, or to help get us unstuck from a case of writer’s block. Case in point, the current Long Island serial killer case. It has everything that a good mystery or thriller would: gruesome murders (several of the bodies have been dismembered), sex (many of the victims were prostitutes), and potential twists (with the body count now at 10, authorities believe there may be more than one killer. There is also a theory that the killer is a law enforcement official). Due to the sheer scope of the investigation and the terrain (they are dealing with thick underbrush that the cadaver dogs can’t get through), officials are using helicopters equipped with GPS to locate areas of interest. 

First, let me say that these hideous murders are beyond tragic for both the family members and friends of the victim. As writers, we can never forget that a murder reported in the news is also a tragedy that has ripped apart someone else’s life. That said, when I’ve followed cases like these, it has inspired my writing, every time. Architects look to other buildings for inspiration. As mystery and thriller writers, our inspiration must come from the dark side of humanity. It is what it is.

So, what say you, dear friends of the pen? Will the LI serial killer case inspire you? Is it too gruesome to follow? Are there other cases that you’ve come across that have inspired or are just too grotesque to even allow into your brain? 

To the keyboards!


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author. Bestselling author Sandra Brown recently had this to say about Mark’s latest novel, The Brink: “[The Brink] is a hell of a read. The chemistry between [the main characters] Danny and Sydney is terrific. The action sequences were heart-pounding, and I was left feeling that you have a sequel in mind!” Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at www.markfadden.com.

BREAKING NEWS!!! The Brink is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle  for only $2.99!


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