Have you ever looked down at a sleeping child and realized you would do anything, resort to any measure, to protect the life entrusted to you? Have you ever loved so deeply that it’s almost like a physical ache? Excused behavior even when you knew it was wrong?
If the answer to any of these is yes, perhaps you’ll understand the inspiration for my latest romantic thriller, Triple Exposure, where I explore the idea that even the best, most wholesome emotional attachment can be taken to deadly extremes.
Fine art photographer Rachel Copeland is acquitted of the self-defense slaying of a nineteen-year-old student who’d been stalking her back in Philadelphia. But thanks to a heart-wrenching emotional appeal from the young man’s mother, a popular television personality and the doctored-pornographic photos the “victim” posted to the Internet, Rachel finds no peace, even when she returns home in an attempt to reclaim her life.
What Rachel does find is a new assignment that leads her to photograph reclusive desert craftsman Zeke Pike without his knowledge. The picture taken highlights both his strength and sensuality as he creates his furnishings, igniting feelings Rachel had thought extinguished by her ordeal. But the lit fuse also burns toward hidden dangers, from the mysterious lights that rise above the desert plateau to the fragile gliders Rachel pilots to a killer intent on avenging a secret buried in the past.
Though I was deeply invested in Rachel and Zeke’s story, I found myself feeling compassion for those characters who choose to journey into darkness rather than struggle toward the light. I may not approve, but I understand them, for I, too, have watched a sleeping child.
So what about the rest of you? Are you ever caught up in a “villain’s” story? Do you catch yourself wondering how you might respond to the same situation or hoping one will find redemption in a sequel? If so, which stories’ villains caught your attention?
Thanks for reading,