I just started writing a new book, another thriller. But this one is going to be very different from Last Night. Less psychological thriller and more suspenseful thriller. It’s tentatively called Paper Flowers, about a successful crime novelist. Quinn Logan has built herself a successful career by fictionalizing the murder and mayhem of the world around her. But this time… it’s right outside her front door. Someone is killing men in horrible ways, leaving an intricately folded paper flower with the bodies. And the serial killer is suspected to be something of a rarity… a woman. Quinn becomes obsessed with the case, a voracious need for answers. And her obsession just may become her downfall when she becomes too close to the truth.
Let’s face it… I’m a true-crime junkie. I listen to podcasts on killers, watch documentaries and movies, read stacks of books about them. I come by it honestly, though. I’m the great-granddaughter, granddaughter, and daughter of attorneys. My dad did a lot of criminal defense work, and I became fascinated at an early age. It’s the psychology of it, of how people can bring themselves to commit the crimes they do.
And known female serial killers are a rarity. Even as late as 1998, most FBI profilers maintained the there were no female serial killers. Why? Because women are supposed to be mothers and nurturers, not cold-blooded killers. Which leads me to the inspiration behind Paper Flowers.
The inspiration came from an article I read recently. It was about female serial killers, about their motives and how different they are from those of men. But buried at the bottom of the article, more of an afterthought than a real part of the rest of it, was a section about the naming of female serial killers.
Dead is dead. When a woman kills, her victim is just as dead as a man’s victim. But while men get “badass” names, women get comparatively silly, even sexist names.
We have Jack the Ripper (among other Rippers), BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill), various The Butchers, several Cannibal Killers, etc. All male. Then we have The Giggling Granny, a variety of Roses, some of apparently noble descent (Queens, Princesses, Ladies, and Duchesses), and a slew of Beautiful killers. All female, of course.
But again… dead is dead. Some of these women did horrific things to the people they murdered. And yet they are given soft, silly, sometimes even complimentary names.
And that became the inspiration for my story!