About Erin Banks:
Erin Banks is an autistic Northern German-born author with Scandinavian and American roots. She wrote the female serial killer Horror Thriller "ABOUT RAGE," "Ted Bundy: Examining The Unconfirmed Survivors" and has contributed to several other authors’ works, among them Kevin M. Sullivan’s "The Enigma Of Ted Bundy," Anne Cossé’s "Could YOU Be Autistic?" and Jay Long’s "A Touch Of Temptation" anthology. She will be featured in several more authors’ books in the near future and still helps maintain the CrimePiper blog which focuses on True Crime and Psychology.
Together with Peter Douglas, she wrote and composed a soundtrack for her first novel, ABOUT RAGE, which can be accessed via Spotify, YouTube and most other platforms. On the side, she writes some of the lyrics and reads the intros and outros for the band DEAD POSSUM's "Murderous" franchise.
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration to write has somewhat changed, and been added onto, over the years. It was my dad, an avid poet and short story writer, who very early on in life motivated me to also jot down my thoughts and the stories I made up and told him as a child.
As a teenager, I often had curious dreams and nightmares that served as inspiration for some of my (unpublished) short stories and poems.
Being autistic, I live for my special interests, and so I began blogging in my early twenties with a focus on different religions and religious philosophy, which then led to an interest in psychology and ultimately True Crime. About two years ago, I was burned out from True Crime blogging and the community, and decided to take a break to delve back into fiction. There had been this story idea that I had stuck in my head and for which I had written a few disjointed chapters since 2018, and I knew I had to finally pursue it. My inspiration with this story, ABOUT RAGE, was mainly the lack of female villains – serial killers – in fiction, as well as the fact that the majority of thrillers still do not explore the antagonists' motivations and inner workings. I was curious whether I could give the world a female killer who was yet on some level relatable and who slowly drew the reader into her twisted and harsh way of justifying her crimes and way of thinking.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Well, in terms of fiction, my favorite author is Josephine Angelini. I love everything she does and hunger for more whenever I finished a new book of hers. Otherwise, I usually mostly enjoy individual books or series of an author, such as Chelsea Cain's "Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell" series or Bradley Denton's "Blackburn."
I've recently started delving into newer horror fiction, such as Daniel Volpe, Aaron Beauregard, Johnny Athan, Matt Martinek and Mike Duke as well, and I like what they're doing. And of course I'm a big fan of Stephen King.
As it pertains to nonfiction my favorite author will always be my mentor, Ted Bundy author Kevin M. Sullivan.
Tell us about your writing process.
I've never been particularly good at outlining much of anything in terms of writing because whenever I made an attempt at it, the story and characters took me somewhere else. I don't feel that I am "in command," the story writes itself, and more than once did I have to concede that what I had planned out simply didn't work for the story. My writing "process" seems near magical to me. I will suddenly see a scene play out in my head and know that I'll have to start writing to see how it will end. Other times, I will have a complete beginning and end pop up in my mind, knowing I have to fill in the blanks.
I do actually create floor plans, layouts and save photos of landscapes, homes, furniture, and so forth, for my novel(s) because I'm a very visual person, and sometimes when I get stuck writing, these visual aids help me get back on track.
As for character sketches, I have done three for ABOUT RAGE but only shared one on my author blog so far; mainly because I am not a particularly good artist but just enjoy the meditative state that drawing and painting puts me in. As I write, I do create Excel lists about what the characters look like and all their lives' relevant data and life's events.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don't talk to my characters, thus far. It depends on the story I write, but mostly they simply live their lives and I observe what they do as I type out what it is they do, experience, feel and say.
In case of ABOUT RAGE, I often slipped into my character, I felt I was her at times, and so I heard the Rider's voice whisper to me and laugh into my ear, which made the whole experience both incomparably eerie but all the more real and special to me, too.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don't listen to anyone else's advice. You'll find plenty of authors who will tell you that in order to be a "real" writer or serious author, you must write every single day, even if you're not inspired. I would always give to consider that there are writers with disabilities, such as myself. When my autism-related ADHD has my thoughts zigzagging in a million directions or I am overwhelmed and close to a meltdown or shutdown, there is simply no pushing it and aggravating my symptoms. Most artists, be they writers, musicians, painters or whatever else, are…"tender souls," to put it that way. They – we – are all a bit complicated and often have an abundance of mental processes or emotions that isn't always so easily explained or understood. With that can come a degree of self-centeredness by means of thinking what works for you or what you need is what works for everyone else. But it's not like that. Find your own routine and rhythm, whatever it is. As long as you are content with your procedure and what you put out, that is all that matters, in my personal view.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Well, the first time around, when I decided to write "Ted Bundy: Examining The Unconfirmed Survivors," it was a combination of factors. My therapist had kept pushing for me to at least try and self-publish because he saw that I was always writing something anyway, and back then I was still almost exclusively blogging on CrimePiper or sharing my writings in The Ted Bundy Research Group. I had always had a special interest in the cases of the unconfirmed survivors and realized I had published more than a handful of analyses of their accounts on my blog. As well, more stories reached me regularly, and I decided that this would make for an interesting topic because it had never before been explored by any Bundy author or writer.
One of the reasons I decided to keep self-publishing and went the same route with ABOUT RAGE is that I had originally submitted the manuscript to a publisher. Time passed, and two months after I had submitted, there was suddenly a new hit TV show with a storyline that was surprisingly and eerily like one of the subplots of my novel – also something that had never before been done in fiction, to my knowledge anyway. I'm certain this was a coincidence, I have no conspiracy theories about this, but I did have one beta reader in early 2022 with connections to the film industry. So when friends brought to my attention this TV show, I naturally felt a tad deflated. I decided that I didn't want to wait any longer and that self-publishing would be the way to go for me for now.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Does anyone know? Who would have thought we could all read books on our phone just thirty years ago, and that self-publishing would be made accessible to anyone and everyone? I recently had a wild dream about a device you could attach to your temple and it would let you see or watch the book as though it were a movie and you could choose which character you wanted to be. That's obviously really out there Sci-Fi, but when it comes to books and the written word, I'm sure there's more we'll see happening we never even imagined.
What genres do you write?: Horror, Thriller, Psychologial Horror Thriller, True Crime
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
Erin Banks Home Page Link
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.
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