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Showing posts by: Brenda Novak click to see Brenda Novak's profile
Sep 28 2017 1:00pm

Are YOU a Psychopath?

Are you a psychopath?

Dr. Evelyn Talbot, the psychiatrist heroine of my suspense series—which began with Hanover House and Her Darkest Nightmare and now continues with Hello Again on October 3—studies psychopaths at a remote facility in Alaska. Creating this unusual prison where so many inmates are serial killers has been a fascinating project for me, probably because Evelyn’s desire to know why these people do what they do—and why they are so difficult to detect and treat—mirrors my own. Although I don’t have Evelyn’s education in psychology, I have done a great deal of research in order to help me create believable characters with this personality disorder.

Psychopaths are almost always portrayed as sadistic monsters, so you might be surprised to learn that some are “subclinical,” meaning they don’t kill people or get in trouble with the law. They are prone to wrecking lives in more subtle ways, however (i.e., using people, sabotaging people, manipulating people, blaming people, etc.), and there are a lot of them out there. Statistics indicate that psychopaths comprise about 4% of the population. That means, if you live in the United States, you have a greater chance of being a psychopath than of getting colon cancer! 

Here are six criteria that might indicate whether you have at least some antisocial traits.

[See if you might be a psychopath!]

Sep 25 2017 10:00am

Brenda Novak Excerpt: Hello Again

Brenda Novak

Hello Again by Brenda NovakHello Again by Brenda Novak is the second book in the Dr. Evelyn Talbot series (available October 3, 2017).

Evelyn Talbot, a psychiatrist at a maximum-security prison in Alaska, studies some of the world's worst serial killers. But she’s about to meet her most elusive patient at Hanover House yet: Dr. Lyman Bishop, AKA the Zombie Maker given his fondness for performing ice-pick lobotomies on his victims. A brilliant cancer researcher, Bishop is either the most cunning psychopath Evelyn has ever encountered—or he is wrongly convicted.

When a new ice-pick fatality occurs, it seems Bishop really was wrongly convicted. Except ... Evelyn has a personal connection to the victim and that suggests the killer may be someone from her own past: Jasper Moore, her high school boyfriend who tortured her and left her for dead when she was only sixteen. Jasper also murdered three of her friends—and was never caught. Is he trying to send a message with this copycat crime? The only thing Evelyn knows for sure is that if Jasper is on her trail, she might not be able to escape again...

[Read an excerpt from Hello Again...]

Sep 15 2016 3:00pm

Q&A wth Brenda Novak, Author of Her Darkest Nightmare

Brenda Novak, author of Her Darkest Nightmare, is fascinated by the inner workings of the minds of psychopaths. This fascination is what inspired her to write the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, featuring Hanover House—a maximum security facility in a small Alaskan town.

Ms. Novak was nice enough to take some time away from her research and writing to answer some of CrimeHQ's questions about Hanover House, what exactly fascinates her so much about psychopaths, what she's currently reading, and more!

Brenda Novak's Book Club on Facebook is discussing Her Darkest Nightmare! Join the discussion now!

[Read the full Q&A here...]

Aug 30 2016 4:00pm

10 Surprising Facts About Serial Killers

Developing a good novel requires research—a lot of it. The reading I do before I start to write helps me understand different places, cultures, and people so I can create a more believable world for my readers. One challenge I faced with Her Darkest Nightmare (and the previous book in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, Hanover House) was getting into the minds of my psychopathic characters. Psychopaths don’t think like “normal” people. They lack empathy and are completely narcissistic, which can make them ruthless in getting whatever they want. As I descended further and further down this rabbit hole of research, I turned up some pretty fascinating facts about serial killers. Here are 10 of the most shocking: 

[Check out these interesting facts about serial killers!]

Feb 18 2016 3:30pm

Hanover House: New Audio Excerpt

Brenda Novak

Hanover House by Brenda Novak is the prequel to the upcoming Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, introducing psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot who opens a revolutionary medical health center in Hilltop, Alaska to study the behavior of some of the most dangerous psychopaths in the world—to the dismay of the people of Hilltop, including Sergeant Amarok.

Welcome to Hanover House....

Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the psychopathic mind. Why do psychopaths act as they do? How do they come to be? Why don't they feel any remorse for the suffering they cause? And are there better ways of spotting and stopping them?

After having been kidnapped, tortured, and left for dead when she was just a teenager - by her high school boyfriend - she's determined to understand how someone she trusted so much could turn on her. So she's established a revolutionary new medical health center in the remote town of Hilltop, Alaska, where she studies the worst of the worst.

But not everyone in Hilltop is excited to have Hanover House and its many serial killers in the area. Alaskan State Trooper Sergeant Amarok is one of them. Yet he can't help feeling bad about what Evelyn has been through. He's even attracted to her. Which is partly why he worries.

He knows what could happen if only one little thing goes wrong....

[Listen to an audio excerpt from Hanover House here...]