Title: Bad Things
Author Name: Varian Krylov
Publication Date & Length: September 15, 2014 – 410 pgs
Xavier makes a lot of people nervous. The rest, he flat-out scares. More than his hulking, tattooed body, it’s his predator’s gaze that makes people feel vulnerable, as if he had the power to read their thoughts and see their soul. For his lovers, it’s Xavier’s ravenous appetite for all things carnal—for the taste of flesh under his tongue and the feel of a trembling body under his control, for whispered pleas and muffled cries—that makes him dangerous.
But recently, driven by a festering rage against the men who attacked his sister a decade ago, Xavier has developed a taste for a different kind of hunt and conquest: stalking men who do truly bad things and punishing the predators he sniffs out. The problem with vigilante justice, though, is sometimes the man in your trap is innocent.
Carson suspects he’s playing a risky game with dangerous men. But the lies are convincing, especially when they’re slipped to him among hundred dollar bills. He never guessed how big and dark the secret hidden under all the lies and money could be. And he has no idea he’s not the predator, but the prey, until it’s too late.
And you can’t beg for mercy when there’s a gag in your mouth.
But when Carson escapes from Xavier’s trap, he’s forced to accept that Xavier is far from his most dangerous enemy. Xavier may even hold the key to overcoming the painful past that has kept Carson prisoner for almost two decades.
First off, I’d like to say Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions so me and my readers can get to know a little bit more about you!
Thank you for inviting me!
Now for the hard part:
- What motivated you to start writing?
I’ve been playing with words since my earliest memories—scribbling adventure stories that my mom would type up for me when I was five or six, filling dozens of notebooks with angsty poetry through my adolescence and early twenties.
Even so, I was shocked when I wrote my first novel, Abduction, and this massive story emerged from my imagination, because I’d never written anything longer than a few pages, and had always thought I was too fickle to stick with one narrative long enough to write a four hundred page novel. But the nucleus of Abduction was a fantasy I’d had for years, so it was already elaborately developed, and once I started putting it on the page, it just flowed out of me. And it was incredibly satisfying, making those characters and their encounters concrete with written words—it almost felt like enchanted alchemy, making the phantoms in my head ‘real.’
- Who or what is your biggest inspiration for writing?
This is an agonizing issue. When I was in my early twenties, I actually stopped writing poetry because I thought my writing was terrible compared to the poets I admired. These days, I work pretty hard to be inspired by beautiful writing, without eroding my confidence by comparing myself too much to my favorite authors. That said, I was directly influenced by Roberto Bolaño’s novel The Savage Detectives, which is narrated by a series of first-person accounts, which inspired me to try writing something in first person. The result was Dangerously Happy. Dostoyevksy, Gogol and Bulkakov are all longstanding favorites, but these days I’m diving into a lot of Latin American literature. In addition to Bolaño, I love Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa and Ricardo Piglia. I love novels that address serious societal issues via a fascinating story, rather than clubbing you over the head with a message. I’d love to get my writing to the point where I could manage to create a less literal story. Something a bit surreal.
- What is your writing environment? (Where do you write, what do you do to prepare right before you start writing)
Where I write depends on my mood. Sometimes I thrive on a little bit of chaos, so I’ll take my laptop to a cafe so I can be out and around people. Other times, though, I need quiet to focus, so I’ll work at home. I don’t have a designated space for writing—sometimes I’ll work at the dining table, sometimes I curl up on the couch. I need a little variety—if I set up an office, I’d be sick of it after a week.
I don’t do much outlining or other formal preparation. Usually I sit or lie around with my eyes closed, and daydream the scene I’m about to write, playing with lines of dialog, choregraphy, and the feelings that will come out during the scene, etc. It’s a very intuitive process—when I feel threads from other parts of the story coming together, or get the rush of fear or arousal as I pit the characters against each other in my mind, I rush back to my laptop and try to get that intensity from my imagination down in words.
- What is the hardest part of a book for you? Any particular scene(s)?
Writing the ending is always the most challenging. I struggle to get the balance between bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion, where the issues the characters have been struggling with are meaningfully resolved, and where they reach a place of safety within their lives and their relationships. But once the real conflicts in the story have been overcome, things lose steam quickly so I try not to dally forever, either, for fear of boring myself and everyone who’s reading.
- If you only could write in one genre, what would it be? And if you couldn’t write in that genre what genre would you pick next?
I’m going to be rebellious, here, and say that I don’t think much about genre. I write the stories that I feel compelled to write, and then wedge them into a category for marketing purposes.
- If you could spend a day with one author, who would it be and why?
Roberto Bolano, if we could resurrect him, because he was innovative and exciting in his approach to form and technique, but even more because his ideas about society and violence fascinate me, and because I get the feeling he was a delightfully odd and mischievous person.
- What do you like to see in book reviews? What makes a review better than other ones to you?
I prefer reviews that offer a bit of analysis, as opposed to reviews that are mostly a synopsis of the story, Usually there’s already a blurb out there and we don’t need another plot re-hash, but it’s fascinating to see how differently the same story affects different people, and the unique interpretations different readers make.
- If you could give one tip to new writers, what would it be?
Write what excites you, not what you think is going to be popular.
- How do you make hard decisions with your books? Like the title of the book or some of the characters actions?
These creative choices are all down to intuition and gut instinct. I usually start ‘auditioning’ titles from the moment I begin the first draft, until I land on one that feels apt and hopefully a little provocative. Until I have the right one, the test titles always just rub me the wrong way when I see them, so I know I have to keep searching.
Character actions usually happen organically once the story is in progress—with every dialogue, every action, every internal monologue, I get to know the characters better, and their conflicts, reconciliations, and affinities develop almost outside of my control. At least it feels that way, when the writing is going well.
- If you could only use 4 words to describe yourself, what would they be?
- Lost in my imagination.
Thank you for your time! I wish you much success as an author!!!
Thank you for welcoming me!
I was given this book for an honest review from Inked Rainbow Reads.
I felt that the blurb about this book is slightly misleading. I thought this book was about revenge and hate. This book is so much more than that. I feel that this story should come with a warning that there is some questionable consent given during some of the sex scenes.
The story begins on a path of revenge and then morphs in to a story about self discovery and love. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters that Krylov creates. Despite a few issues with the development of the characters and the fact that I was somewhat confused as to the relationship among all of them, I really liked each of the “good” characters and really hated the “bad” ones. Each character had their own quirks that added to the story. Even the danger that the bad characters portray in their personalities is very clear to the reader in how the author describes their actions and exressions. I would have liked to see more background about Aidan and Dario’s relationship to Xavier, but overall, they definitely added to the story.
I felt that Krylov really was able to pull the emotional heart strings in this story. I was able to feel all of the emotions that each character was wading through. The author was able to truly capture past pain, current pain and eventually envelope the reader and characters in hope.
This book turned in to a wonderful read, if even at the beginning, it started out like a completely different story, with a completely different feel. The transition between the two “sections” – beginning and middle/end was a little choppy in terms of what I imagine the author was trying to convey versus what I thought was being portrayed in terms of what the story was supposed to be about and the overall tone, but in the end, even with the change in type of story I was reading, I really enjoyed it.
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1m97QFR
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1qXj0w6
Since her girlhood in a sunny coastal town in California, Varian Krylov has nurtured a love of words and a curiosity about the deep, dark forces at work in human nature, especially sexuality, and how they often paradoxically twine with our tenderest impulses. Her stories tend to explore the sometimes fine line between what arouses, and what frightens, what we’re driven to, and what we’re ashamed of.
As witty and seductive as I am sarcastic and self-deprecating, I spend as much time as possible thinking and writing about sex. No, not dense, inscrutable post-feminist texts on media representations of gender and the body–that was grad school. I write stories–short stories, novels, and starting a few weeks ago, screenplays–most of which poke and prod and the dark little corners of human sexuality. In a sense, nothing’s taboo, anymore. There’s no act, no fetish that hasn’t been made utterly banal in the proliferation of porn. What intrigues and excites me is the exploration of the conflicting impulses, the twisted psychology and turbulent emotions of people who find themselves unable to resist desires that lie beyond their own moral boundaries.
Author’s Website: http://variansfiction.blogspot.com/
a Rafflecopter giveaway