Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Suspense Novels that Teach by Rolynn Anderson

My sister once said that she loved reading novels that teach her something new, which nails the vision for my stories.  Since I’ve researched the heck out of the subject of my newest novel, I’m hoping I’ve saved a little time and effort for my reader.  I am an instructor at my core, so the idea of teaching never leaves me.  But the stories that I write are often new territory for me, so by the time I’ve written the novel, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge I can’t wait to pass on.  With my filter systems on open throttle, even as I write my new story, I’m being bombarded with articles with information I crave…and use in my book.

Example: FEAR LAND.  I’d developed an hypothesis about ways to keep certain Army recruits from combat assignments if their psychological profiles indicated they’d be traumatized by battle.  I learned that not only was my theory oversimplified, but years of analysis by experts in the field had left the Armed Services stymied about how to sort the combat-ready from the combat-distressed.  Since the Civil War, this question has been at the forefront: Can we figure out ahead of time which soldiers (male and female) will be able to handle combat?

Recently we’ve seen research showing that some children are born with high anxiety.  In psychological parlance, they are called high reactives.  Should these children, grown up, be barred from combat?

These and other questions come up as my characters deal with the many shades of anxiety in FEAR LAND.  My readers tell me the novel stretched their learning about trauma and they’re recommending my book to friends who have suffered high-stress events in their lives. 

That makes me smile.  An engaging suspense story with a touch of paranormal to let your imagination run free, a high concept, and a chance to learn something new…that’s what reading is all about!

This is FEAR LAND:
Tally hates to hear rants from people’s brains.  What does she do when those mind-screams threaten
the man she loves?
Tally Rosella, an acclaimed psychiatrist who helps children fraught with anxiety, avoids adults because their brains rant at her.  But the chance to start a second child study and connect her findings to PTSD, sets her squarely among devious colleagues at a big California university.

Army Major Cole Messer, Tally’s new neighbor, won’t admit that trauma from combat tours in Afghanistan, destroyed his marriage and hampered his ability to lead.  As a teacher of college ROTC and single parent, he’s focused on enrolling his highly anxious son in Tally’s study and getting back to active duty.

Someone is dead set against Tally’s presence at the university, and blowback from her battles with co-workers put Cole and his son in jeopardy.  Watch what happens when people struggling with shades of anxiety collide with corrupt, revengeful foes.

FEAR LAND on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012JE75ES
My website: http://www.rolynnanderson.com


Leah St. James said...

I also love learning about things in fiction, Rolynn. This topic must have been fascinating to research. But to know that people who really do have suffered from high stress are finding it helpful--how cool is that.

Brenda Whiteside said...

A well written novel has to have the research behind it. You did a good job, Rolynn. I enjoyed Fear Land.

Jannine Gallant said...

The research is key--because if we get it wrong, you know someone will call us out on it! Always a good thing to be able to impart new knowledge to our readers. Best of luck with sales, Rolynn!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks for your comments, Leah, Brenda and Jannine. And I'm so glad you enjoyed Fear Land, Brenda! I got so involved in the mysteries of neuroscience for this book, that I decided to give a $1 to research for every print book I sell. I had to research that, too (Geesh!) ...to find the best Foundation to give my paltry amount of money to. FYI, it's the Brain Research Foundation TheBRF.org. Dementia, depression, PTSD, anxiety...we need to understand how they all affect the brain.

Diane Burton said...

I did learn a lot from Fear Land, Rolynn. I imagine those with PTSD and/or are high-reactive will find your book very informative, as well as entertaining. Best wishes on your sales.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Best wishes, Rolynn, on sales and such. Sometimes the researching is as enjoyable as the writing. Sometimes! Have Fear Land already. Next one up on my TBR pile!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks Diane. Your compliments mean the world to me. And I'm so glad Fear Land is at the top of your TBR pile, Margo. Gives me new energy to get back to my edits on the next book!