Thursday 31 March 2016

The Reborn - Reformed? Or playing the system?

All of my novels arise from an idea that either scares or intrigues me, or both. The Reborn is from one that scared me. It features dolls fashioned to look like real babies, sometimes created to replace a baby that has died. When I first read about these dolls I was intrigued and a little horrified. They were so real that it was easy to mistake them for live babies. I checked out a website that offered the materials and the knowledge to create a Reborn. I sent for the DVD on how to do this, but couldn’t bring myself to try to make one myself … why? Because it would have been there with me in the house.

I considered keeping my attempt at a Reborn in the boot of my car, but that felt even worse. It seemed I was happy to look at dolls that didn’t resemble real babies. I was happy to look at photographs of babies, even those who had died, but not at a realistic physical replica.

I then came up with the idea of a man who had killed his own baby, and had then tried to redeem himself by becoming an expert in producing replica Reborns for others who had lost a child. In doing so, he had become reborn himself. But what if we weren’t sure whether he was a psychopath who was now playing the system, or someone who had been psychotic at the time of the murder and was now well again due to getting effective medication?

This led me to a study of psychopathic behaviour which was both  fascinating and horrifying. The first time I had met such behaviour in a book was in Steinbeck’s East of Eden, which I read as a teenager. With The Reborn I was back in that territory. In my story forensic science and psychology collide.

A pregnant teenage girl visits a funfair with her classmates. She is no dropout, but a maths genius and from a wealthy family.  Seeing a clown, which is one of the few things that does frighten her, she goes into the nearest attraction only to discover it’s a hall of mirrors. Distorting mirrors make her laugh, because she understands that it is the use of mathematical formulae that creates the distortions. Then the clown appears and, terrified by that distorted face, she runs. But not fast enough. When they find her body, the child has been removed from her womb.

The stuff of nightmares. Just like clowns, and lifelike recreations of dead babies.

The Reborn eBook can be read or purchased from Amazon.

Lin Anderson Amazon Author Page