Kim Slade has many admirers but only one wants her dead.
Kim Slade is a clinical psychologist specializing in young women with eating disorders. She also has someone who specializes in her: an anonymous stalker.
When Kyle Stannard, a former model with a facial disfigurement, steps suddenly into her life, Kim assumes he’s her stalker. Partially scarred after a childhood accident, Kim believes this is the reason for Stannard’s obsession and reports him to the police. But smart-mouthed Stannard denies the accusation and has a plausible explanation for every twisted move he makes.
Can Kim nail him? Or is the person who wants to destroy her closer to home…
Doesn’t that look rather good?! I’m delighted today to welcome to Being Anne another author I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” through Book Connectors, the Facebook group for authors and bloggers. Beautiful Losers by Eve Seymour is published by Midnight Ink, and available for kindle and in paperback – the first book in a planned series that I’m sure many will enjoy.
Over to Eve, to tell us more about real life versus fiction…
Beautiful Losers features Kim Slade, a clinical psychologist who winds up with an anonymous stalker. I deliberately chose clinical psychology as Kim’s profession because I wanted to explore how a highly intelligent, emotionally literate young woman, well able to out-psyche someone with a heavy mental health issue, struggles like hell to do so.
In today’s world women hold down demanding jobs and sometimes are the main breadwinners. They are smart, capable, resourceful and commanding. In fiction, female main protagonists share similar attributes. Additionally, they are often portrayed as adept at handling themselves both physically and mentally against any number of foes. Yes, we want tenacious, determined and courageous main players, whatever the gender, but must they always seem to ‘have it nailed’? Terrifying levels of intimidation can reduce even the most secure individual to an illogical and irrational mess – an entirely human response.
While some of us are pretty good at counselling others, we’re not always great at dealing with the vicissitudes of life in a calm and reasoned manner when it comes to ourselves. I’d wager that I’m not alone in thinking I’d go to pieces if I had someone actively ripping my life and mind apart, bit-by-bit.
So, for good or ill, I decided that Kim Slade would react realistically to the unwanted attention of a stalker who is not only out to ruin but kill her. Yes, Kim is analytical. She uses her skills. She understands precisely what she is up against and knows what she should do. She is no wimp. She isn’t needy and pathetic but she does become suspicious of everyone, including close friends. For much of the story, fear is her undoing. It’s as if the terror itself is a separate entity.
Conscious that my main character’s reaction might buck the trend of what is conventionally expected in dramatic terms, I was careful to seed into Kim’s backstory a childhood trauma that would resonate throughout and explain how she is more susceptible to falling apart than most. Paranoid becomes her buzzword until, in the final stages of the novel, Kim is forced to face not only her adversary, but also her own paranoia and terror and with surprising results. I’ll be honest – I’m not certain I’d have the courage to do the same!
Thank you Eve – must say I’m rather looking forward to this series…
Eve Seymour is the author of seven crime/spy novels. Published by Midnight Ink, Beautiful Losers is the first in a series of psychological thrillers and features clinical psychologist, Kim Slade. An Imperfect Past, the sequel, is scheduled for release in March 2017. By day, Eve works as a freelance editor for a number of editorial consultancies.
Follow Eve on Twitter and Facebook: she also has an excellent website where you can read more about the author and her books, and a blog called Word on the Wire.