Eliciting a Reaction

A quick update on Conspire – this weekend I finished the final edit of the first draft. My mum and I have tied up all the loose ends, well, all the loose ends we could find anyway. I put up a message on the Goodreads Mystery and Thriller group to see if anyone was interested in beta reading my first draft, and I have one person reading it now. I’m so anxious to hear what he thinks of my story! It’s hard putting my work out into the world for the first time, but it has to be done! I like the idea of getting feedback before the manuscript is finalised, from someone who isn’t a friend or family member. Depending on the feedback, I will either keep working on the first draft, or will move straight to professional editing.

I am still undecided on whether I will approach agents and publishers, or if I’ll bypass the traditional route altogether and go straight to self-publishing. I’ve got to a point where I’m really not sure which option is better.

Moving on from Conspire, I want to share an amusing story with you about something that happened to me. Yesterday I went to see the Australian movie – Snowtown. Here is the wiki page about the real events, and here is the link to the movie trailer.

I grew up in South Australia where the murders took place, and so I remember well the effect these crimes had on our small city. The Snowtown, or ‘Bodies in the Barrels’ story is about a group of serial killers who murdered people in their community for money and sadistic pleasure. They put some of the dismembered bodies into barrels, hidden in a bank vault in the small town of Snowtown.

I have always been more afraid of horror movies that are based on reality, and let me tell you, this was one horrifying movie! The evil was portrayed in such a way that you felt a bit dirty having watched it. I was terrified throughout the whole thing and had nightmares last night. I would definitely recommend seeing the movie, if you don’t mind having your entire world turned upside down for a couple of hours.

The main character, based on the real life serial killer – John Bunting – was played by Daniel Henshall. Bunting was particularly ghastly and Daniel played the part brilliantly.

Less than a day after seeing the movie, it was still hanging in my mind, when I went to my local supermarket for some groceries. Standing right in front of me was Daniel Henshall. I recognised him immediately, but I saw John Bunting, not Daniel Henshall. Without realising what I was doing, I gave a little scream of recollection. I was picturing this face torturing and chopping people up in the film. Daniel noticed me standing, stunned, in fright and the best I could do to retrieve the awkwardness of the situation was to say “sorry, I got a fright seeing you because I just saw your film”. He laughed, and you could tell he was quite chuffed to have elicited such a strong reaction.

Apart from being an amusing coincidence, to run into an actor who had had such a recent and strong effect on me, it reminded me that artists are always hoping for a reaction as this is why we put our work out there. Henshell appreciated having scared me, because that was what his part required he do. I’m hoping my beta reader is thrilled by Conspire, as if he’s not, it’s back to the drawing board!

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