It’s scientifically proven that if you stare at a person for eight seconds, they’ll turn their head and look back at you. Creepy, right? We all get that eerie tingle climbing up our spines telling ourselves nothing is wrong, yet the racing of our hearts only proves we’re lying to ourselves. It normally happens when we’re alone. Either in the car driving, wondering who the person is behind the wheel and if they had been on our tail since we left our home. Do they know where we live? Where we work? Should we take a different route home to lose them? We sense someone might be watching us when the sun sets and we’re sitting on couch, twiddling our thumbs and wondering what to do to get our minds off of the fact that we’re alone. The TV ends up on one of those crime channels covering a story about a murderer breaking into an innocent victims house. Our fingers won’t change the channel, we’re drawn to the mystery, intrigued with how messed up a person’s mind can get. The thrill that someone is crazier than yourself baffles us but helps to point out our lives aren’t nearly as terrible as the drug addict psychopath on the television screen.
We don’t sleep, we don’t even close our eyes until exhaustion wins its battle in our bodies.
My husband works a lot of nights and is out of town for his job from time to time. I get this paranoia way too often when he’s gone. I should be perfectly safe in our well-kept neighborhood filled with families, dog walkers, and the nosey older couples who have an eye on everything that goes on just past their porch steps. We have multiple locks and deadbolts. I have no reason to be afraid.
But our minds play tricks on us, putting us in danger and creating the most obscene stories in our heads about what might happen when we give in and throw the covers over our bodies and close our eyes.
This is how my book Obsession was born. It stems from Drawn to You, my very first novel. Jamie was originally created in this first book as the best friend to the main character. She was the fun loving one, the girl everyone wanted as a friend, who would give them bravery when they needed it most. That was Jamie’s character, the girl who wasn’t afraid of anything.
Then I thought, that’s not true. Everyone is afraid of something. We all have fears, just some of us are better at hiding them than others. Jamie was too good of a secret keeper, too mellow and down-to-earth for her own good.
Jamie’s story jumped to me on one of those lonely nights when I was by myself; when I checked the windows every fifteen minutes because I was positive someone was watching.
Plotting for the best moment to break in and come get me.
Jamie was going to be like me in that moment. I’d tell my husband I was fine over the phone, when really, I was terrified. She’d put on a front for her best friend in Drawn to You, tricking everyone into believing that she was fine, but in my head, that wasn’t the case.
In my mind, she had a dark past that involved an insane ex-boyfriend. One who would stalk and creep, making her live her life on her tip-toes, needing to be on high alert at all times, yet hide her fears from the ones she loved. She’d never let on if she was scared when the moon came out and she’d be all by herself.
Jamie is good at staying calm in high-risk situations. She’s even better at keeping secrets.
Until Mitch came along, crashing down the wall that protected her from getting close to people. He was her kryptonite in the sexiest way.
This doesn’t work out for Jamie, not in the slightest.
In fact, it blows up in her face.
She loses so much, and ponders if she’s willing to keep hiding from the monster, or face him head on, risking her own safety and everyone else’s who’s important to her. People play tricks on her and Mitch, and are never who they seem to be.
So there I’d be, writing this twisted story late at night, my heart pounding with fear (or maybe it was the caffeine from too much coffee) of what might be lurking outside, fueling my words to come tumbling out of my fingertips. The adrenaline helped me build intensity in Obsession, making the story thrilling and nail-biting. I was creating a power character, one that gave me strength to control the crazy predictions I was imagining in my head while being alone at night.
Maybe I’m a wuss, or maybe I made my imagination run wild because of Jamie’s story, but it helped me to gain control of those nights where I couldn’t sleep. I’d distracted myself with my laptop, flowing words freely and coping with being home by myself in the best way I could. I’d dealt with my fears and paranoia of someone watching me, I just needed to use Jamie and help her fight off her demon.
Being a writer sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
When I typed The End of Jamie’s book, I felt a sense of power. I could be as strong as the character was in my mind. Nothing said I wouldn’t be able to fight off an intruder in the same fashion as Jamie would fight off a stalker.
This is when I thought, a reader could use Jamie and her story for strength. To know that they can’t be controlled by a man who isn’t happy with not getting his way.
Jamie is a badass. Someone we all should strive to be.
Yet she melts for her hero, and they work together on their incredible journey of strength and deliverance. She fights for what she wants in an inspiring way.
Obsession is my favorite book that I’ve written. It was created on adrenaline, and I can’t wait for readers to experience the surge of each page. To envelope themselves in Jamie’s strength, yet share her empathy and encourage her along her journey.
And fall in love with Mitch, too.
<3 Brooke Page