It’s February – the month in which love abounds, obsession comes to the fore, and… murder? Well, as you would expect from me, love, obsession, murder – they all combine in my books!
Okay, so this is a bit off-topic for Valentine’s month (you’d think!), but I have a question for you. Do you love prologues in your dark fiction, be it crime, mystery, psychological thrillers or suspense? They have a bit of a love-hate relationship with readers, and over time I’ve seen some quite passionate discussions on social media about them!
Personally, I love them – with the caveat that they do need to have a purpose, a genuine reason for being there, as far as the story is concerned, and also provide the reader with that all-important ‘extra’ which makes elements of the book clearer on a whole different level. Because of their purpose, they can have a variety of functions. For instance, they can set a scene for something that comes later (sometimes called foreshadowing), or provide the reader with a snapshot of the past which influences the book as a whole. They can hide a clue to whodunnit by providing just enough information for the reader (even when the reader doesn’t know it yet!), or ultimately deepen the reader experience by providing that ‘aha’ moment about a character or incident later on, which wouldn’t have been there without the prologue. They could even be dreams or memories of a character who is very much rooted in the ‘now’ of the book, and these may impact the story in all sorts of ways.
I thought it would be fun to give you a taster of some prologues in my novels, seeing that I’ve told you I love them so much. So welcome to a four-part mini-series of extracts from my books, where you can read the prologues I’ve used to begin some dark, obsessive stories – and each and every one with murder at its heart. Maybe you can guess why I’ve used a particular type of prologue, and what purpose it serves in the overall story.
We begin with a twisted, dark version of love: The Secrets that Haunt Us, my dark women’s fiction novel, full of love, obsession, revenge and, ultimately, murder. If ever there was a story of many loves gone wrong, it’s this one! This prologue takes the form of a series of letters, which appear to have been written shortly before the ‘present day’ of the story itself.
Please note that, as my extracts are crime-related books or dark fiction of some kind, they are suitable for an adult readership. Please read responsibly.
Claire[Read more…] about The Secrets That Haunt Us: Read an Extract (Do You Love Prologues?, Part 1)