Psychoanalysis of Cain

I don’t know how much most authors get into their characters, but I become them as I write. I cry when they do, I get angry when they’re angry, and giddy when they’re happy. I feel more like my stories and characters come from outside of myself and I just put it down onto paper. I don’t know what that says about me. Perhaps it means I’m crazy.

I do that with every character, but there’s one in particular that I’ve been really surprised I can write. That’s Cain. He’s angry, selfish, crazy, and lashes out in really mean ways. He does things that I honestly had never even thought of before I wrote them. They kind of just came out of my fingers, shocking even me with their cruelty. You see, I’m not a cruel person. I just don’t think that way. I prefer to be the positive, nice person who tries not to engage with bullies, even when they’re attacking me in front of everyone. I just don’t think they’re worth it. So to have someone like Cain and his darkness come out of my mind in a totally subconscious way, it kind of makes me wonder what I have deep down in my depths. Like the way he murders a very famous queen in the second book. It’s totally psychotic. It’s amazing that it came out of such a sweet little Mormon girl.

I always wondered what Cain would be diagnosed with. Is he a sociopath? What would be his diagnosis? I didn’t go to school for that kind of thing so when a fan who is in the midst of that very thing did a psychoanalysis of Cain from my series, The Cain Chronicles, I seriously thought it was the coolest thing ever. It feels right on the money. Check it out!

“As for Cain, he’s a tough nut to crack. The best diagnosis for him is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That would be what I thought of as the prevailing issue. I say this because of the experience he had when he jumped off of the cliff and was pinned under the water for an unknown amount of time and kept drowning over and over and how that stripped away so much of his humanity. He also has abandonment issues due to his perceived rejection by God. This aggravated the resentment he already felt towards his parents and brother Abel because of how he felt so dismissed and overburdened by their constant reliance and simultaneous complete disregard of him. It’s interesting, because he had a natural sense of responsibility, a need to take care of things and keep order. He felt this even before Hara, and did well to keep a balance through the Mokolios.

Even when he was ‘evil’ he still had a strong sense of right and wrong. He did everything to get God’s attention, but not really to best Him, to get Him to finally speak to him again. He really wanted to finally get somebody’s approval and unconditional love. Once he got it, though, he didn’t know what to do with it, he couldn’t trust it because he had never had a time where he’d felt he had it before, so he had no frame of reference on how to allow it to do what it was supposed to do: heal him.”

So what do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Have anything to add? I’d love to hear your opinions! If you haven’t read it yet (or know someone who would like it), it will be on sale tomorrow (November 12, 2013 starting at midnight PST) through midnight November 19, 2013 in the U.S. The first two books are out and the third comes out this winter so it’s the perfect time to start reading it. And no, though it’s about Cain (as in Cain and Abel, the son of Adam and Eve), it’s not meant to be a religious or Christian series. People get that out of it if they’re looking for that, but those who aren’t looking for that usually don’t see it as such.

United States: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Cain-Chronicles-Book-One-ebook/dp/B009KAM0FO

 

It’s also for sale in all other countries where Amazon has a site. Here are a couple of links for those.

Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Mark-Cain-Chronicles-Book-One-ebook/dp/B009KAM0FO

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Mark-Cain-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B009KAM0FO

Why Cain’s Not Just Another Villian

I love villians. They’re fun to watch and they’re fun to write. Instead of being stuck within the constraints of what a sane person would do and say, you can really go outside the box. But there was one thing that I noticed about most of them. Most of them either had absolutely no moral code, and/or they were just totally insane. I hadn’t ever written a villian of my own until I started writing The Cain Chronicles. Honestly, I’ve always been a sucker for the misunderstood. Take Pitch Black, for instance. The first moment I saw the anti-hero, Riddick, I was hooked. Then when I found out they were doing a second movie that went more into his mind and why he’s the way he is, I practically jumped off my chair. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure I saw The Chronicles of Riddick opening weekend. Likewise, growing up I always wondered about Cain. What were his motives? Why did he kill his brother? I always wondered, just a little bit, if he’d been misunderstood in some way. Of course, this thought came from the same mind that had me praying, at eleven years old, to God, asking Him if he would tell Satan that, even though he was bad, I still loved him because he was my brother. Yeah, I was in a lot of trouble for that prayer. I think my mom thought I would grow up to be a devil worshiper.

I went into The Mark of Cain hoping to show the story from Cain’s perspective. I wanted people to wonder if they really knew the truth of the oldest story of all. I wanted people to feel for him. So I made my own anti-hero in him. I thought it would be really hard, but it wasn’t. He came through my fingers as though he really existed. He came out, in my opinion, pretty well-rounded. Though I got to play with him at his most evil in a flashback of him as Vlad the Impaler (the Romanian prince who was the basis of the story for Dracula), I also got to play with him in his most vulnerable moments. In the moments that made him the way he was. Yes, he might be completely evil at times, but even at his worst he still had his own moral code. And that was the funnest thing of all. Most villians have none. They kill and they don’t care. But Cain DOES. He DID. And that was more interesting to me than a good old-fashioned villian who doesn’t have any moral compass.

I hope people like him as much as I do because he’s definitely the most interesting character I’ve ever written. And, though these other books aren’t published (yet), I have written two other series. Of course, they’re full of “good” people. And yes, I even have a stereotypical villian. But she’s not as fun. Now for the other two series I’m writing right now, they both go back to the anti-hero I oh so love.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mark-Cain-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B009KAM0FO

The After Effects of Writing

I remember back in the day, reading books where horrible things happened to the characters, and I would think, “Is a writer affected by their own work? Do they cry when something bad happens to their character and laugh when something good does?”

 Now, I don’t presume to speak for all writers, but as I was writing a scene for a new book recently, a scene where something horrible happens to one of my characters, and I started crying while writing it, I thought back on this unanswered question from long ago, and I finally had my answer. Yes, they do. Or at least I do. Even though I was the one writing the pain in my character’s journey, there I was sniffling and wiping away tears. You see, I connect so fully with my characters that I feel as they do. When something really funny happens to my character, I find myself skipping about my house, or the grocery store, or wherever else I may be. If I’m writing a scene in my head while in public, I’ll have a secret smile or scowl to go with it. One only I understand.

People have asked me at times why I’m so sad; if I’m having a bad day. And I’ve blurted, “No! But my poor character! Her boyfriend just cheated on her!” Or they’ll ask what’s so funny, and I’ll say, “Oh, my character is just so silly. You won’t BELIEVE what they did.” As though they’re human. And real. I empathize with them. Does that make me crazy? Probably. But really, I think it’s a mark of a good character. If I can cry, let a scene ruin my day, or make it put a smile on my face for hours, then hopefully it has that same effect on my readers. Because what is worse than having a reader not connect with my characters? I want them to cry with them, to laugh with them, to be angry or frustrated with them. I want my readers to be able to really feel that my character is a real person they can empathize and sympathize with. I don’t know if I accomplish that, but I know I do for me. And really, as I write these books basically for me, then I realize I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, and to me, that’s the most important thing of all.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mark-Cain-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B009KAM0FO

Was Cain Really All Bad?

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I don’t know where most writers come up with their material, but I’ve always been extremely interested in history, as well as in the “bad guys” in stories I grew up with. I always wondered what it was really like for them. Have the stories changed so much over the years that they were misrepresented? Why did Cain really murder his brother? And did he even understand what he was doing? The Bible and other stories only show it from an anti-Cain point of view, but what was Cain’s perspective in all of this?

Another person I have always been fascinated with is Vlad the Impaler. For those who don’t know, Vlad Tepes was a Wallachian prince in the 1400s who pretty much impaled alive anyone who committed any sort of crime, as well as those who went against him. He was ruthless. Yet, despite the thousands of deaths at his hands, his people believed he was the Savior come again.

I’ve been pretty interested in Vlad since I was fourteen, so it wasn’t really that surprising when one of my uber-realistic dreams starred him. I saw him standing in the middle of a field, water pouring down upon it. All was dark and violent, rivulets of water running down his black armor. His hair was long, drenched to the point where he had loose curls kissing the shoulders of his armor. Then he turned to look at me. And in that moment I knew that he wasn’t Vlad. He was really Cain. Cain had only taken on a different name. In that moment I realized that he had done this thousands of times over the span of history.

That’s when I woke up and The Mark of Cain was born. It’s been a long journey. One that I’ve felt numerous times as I’ve edited it, yet I never lose my love for the story. And it still makes me cry no matter how many times I read it. It’s funny because I never set out to make Cain a sympathetic figure, and yet now I find myself wondering, was Cain really such a bad guy after all? Or is he only the most misunderstood figure in history?

To get my take on it, check out my bestselling novel on Amazon. It’s available in all countries, but here’s the link to it in the United States. http://www.amazon.com/The-Mark-Cain-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B009KAM0FO