Saturday, February 27, 2010
Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight - Duncan's Diary: Birth of a Serial Killer (Book Review and Interview)
Duncan is in the throes of a mid-life crisis and searching for his own identity. His problems seem no different than other men facing the same issues, but as he struggles through a divorce and the challenges of co-parenting his children, Duncan soon realizes that he feels complete inside only when he begins to secretly explore a world of torture and death-a world that only he controls. Suddenly, Duncan's life is no longer normal at all. As Duncan deals with his newfound guilty pleasure of destruction and wickedness, his diary entries reflect a roller coaster psychological journey. Duncan grapples with the ramifications of what he is becoming, but at the same time, graphically describes the deaths of several of his victims. Clearly a man caught between his morals and an evil calling, Duncan leads a seemingly typical life during the day, but in the dark of night becomes a monster. Only one man suspects what Duncan is capable of-his best friend, Sudhir, a detective in the Palo Alto Police Department. Despite Duncan's cries for help penned on the pages of his diary, he becomes a master at hiding his transformation from "the guy next door" to a masterful serial killer.
This is one of my favorite books I ever reviewed here on DBH. It is so graphic and detailed in describing the scenes of murder, rape, and the cleaning of the bodies that I have to remind you this is a work of fiction. The emotions in this book are like a roller coaster, from the euphoria describe by Duncan as he lets his aggressions out, to the pain and fear of the victims he lets it out on. The relationship with his ex wife reminded me of my parent's divorce, and the murders reminded me of the recent murders committed by Anthony Sowell here in Cleveland, so I became very emotionally attached to this book. The way it was written, it just felt so real and really creeped me the hell out! The ending shocked me a little, but then you think back to the little hints left here and there about the fate of Duncan, and you just sit there thinking "I shoulda saw that". This is a great book and I highly recommend it!
The author, Christopher C. Payne, graciously sat down to answer a few questions for all of you reaplings out there!
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: I was on match.com, spending all this time writing e-mails. One day I thought, if I am going to write to strangers, why not write a book. I sat down at my computer, attempted a few different roads and the book evolved. No whiteboard, no path, just letting the character and story develop as it did. I had never written anything before in my life. Nobody believes that story, but it is too funny and oh so true.
Q: How did you get into the mindset to write such a graphic, descriptive novel?
A: OMG, this is not really me. I had no idea it would even turn into a horror story. The character literally hijacked the theme, plot and it took off. If you asked me 18 months ago if I could even write anything like this I would have said no. I have no idea where it came from but the character's disintegration came about as a natural path.
Q: Do you follow the stories of other serial killers such as Manson or Bundy?
A: No, I honestly don't. I have heard of them and read a story here and there but I don't spend much time following them. I was more interested in showing a character's evolution and this specific character just happened to evolve into a serial killer. I can't even tell you where he will go in the next book because I honestly don't know.
Q: What other projects are you working on and where can we learn more?
A: I am currently working on a book that delves into the relationship between a father and a teenage daughter who is lost within herself. She is struggling with drugs and alcohol in the midst of her parents divorce. It is a gut wrenching tragic story that I guarantee will have most people bawling as they get to the end. I hope to finish it in the next few weeks and work on getting it published. After this project is complete I will immediately begin the sequel to Duncan's Diary. I chose to wait on the second book simply because the first one was so draining to write. I had not idea the realistic depiction of a sadistic character would be so hard to portray.
You can always follow my rantings on JournalStone.com which is my website or jump on my facebook account, duncan carl-moron. The book can be purchased on Amazon.com, just click HERE