Good morning Gina. Thanks for stopping by. Would you tell us a little about your story SUMMER STALK, in VILLAINOUS VACATIONS, A Collection of Crime Stories, and why you wrote it.
Thanks for having me today Karen.
What if the person watching you 24/7 sees something they shouldn’t?
My story for “VILLAINOUS VACATIONS,” SUMMER STALK, is told from the point of view of a stalker. The mind of a stalker is a creepy, entitled place—they feel they have every right to be stalking the object of their desire, no matter what.
But Gina, how would you know what goes on inside the mind of a stalker?
Two ways. First. I was stalked. In fact, I was stalked by the best stalker ever and by that I mean I had no idea I was being stalked until years later when I ran into this man and he confessed.
I was young, living in my first apartment after university. I had just broken up with a volatile and immature young man after about a year. But apparently he didn’t take “Get lost!” for an answer. He later told me he had stalked me for months.
At the time, I owned a hot black Camaro. He was a starving student without a car, so he stalked me… on his bicycle!
It finally came to an end when the guy found himself hiding for hours in the tiny, stinky garbage-chute room of my apartment building. He never planned to confront me; he never had any plan at all.
The second way I have insight into the mind of a stalker is that I once listened to two convicted stalkers comparing notes. Years ago, I had a short-lived job working as receptionist for a psychiatrist who did group therapy.
One evening, two guys, strangers to each other, plunked down in the reception area and began to chat. I’m not sure if I’d been deemed unimportant or if their conversation was supposed to impress me, but either way, I was appalled by what I heard. Both were seeing the shrink on court orders, and yet they didn’t feel any guilt or remorse at all. They played one-upmanship games, each trying to out-stalk the other.
“I stalked her at work. She couldn’t make a scene there.”
“You call that stalking? I got my ex fired from her job.”
“I stalked her on a date.”
“I made a scene in front of her date.”
And so on. They laughed and shared tactics. They saw nothing wrong with their illegal, invasive, and frightening practice. I hate to think what this pair would do with the internet at their command.
Research tells us stalkers are usually men, though women also embrace the stalker skillset. In SUMMER STALK, my stalker is a woman. But is she the hero or the villain of the story? Read the deliciously unsettling “VILLAINOUS VACATIONS” anthology to find out.
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