Thanks to Natalie and everyone here at Murder She Writes for inviting me!
Have you ever come face to face with evil? I have.
I practiced pediatric emergency medicine and community pediatrics for seventeen years. During that time, I faced rapists, child abusers, gang-bangers who would kill over a pair of shoes, sociopaths, psychotics, narcissists, and even one killer who our prosecutor classified as a serial killer.
You know the scary thing about evil? It looks just like you and me.
When I left medicine to fulfill my life-long dream of becoming an author, I knew that I wanted to explore the various faces of evil. Because I’ve faced it in real-life, I knew how different it was from most of the “bad-guys” portrayed in fiction.
Evil doesn’t spend its days plotting dastardly deeds of cunning or intricate, diabolical plots involving red herrings and webs of intrigue.
Rather, the evil I’ve seen is driven by one simple desire: they know what they want, they want it now, and they don’t care what they have to do to get it.
The boy-friend baby-sitting while mom’s at work who brutally beat and raped a three year old because she wouldn’t go to bed when he told her the first time. He’s currently on death row.
The woman who shook her baby so hard the baby hemorrhaged into his brain….because the baby wouldn’t stop crying during her favorite TV show.
The gangbanger who shot a kid because he said “hi” to the wrong girl on the wrong street corner while wearing the wrong color of hat.
These are just a few of the faces of evil I’ve seen.
Is it any wonder that in my debut medical suspense novel, LIFELINES, I chose to focus on what makes evil so compelling to so many readers: the fact that it hides among us, so very hard to see, hiding in plain sight.
I also explored what we all have in common with evil. No matter who we are, we are all driven by the same universal needs and wants: love, security, recognition.
In real life, there was frustratingly little I could do when faced with evil. I could care for the victims, help the police and prosecutors to the best of my ability, but it always felt as if there should be a way to stop the senseless deaths and violence.
As rewarding as my medical career has been, I’m finding that my new career as an author has its own rewards. Especially when it gives me the chance to not only put a face to evil but to give its victims the justice they deserve.
The best way to fight evil is to bring it into the light where everyone can see it for what it truly is.
So you tell me—what war stories do you have to share? Have you come face to face with evil? I’ll bet you have.
The boyfriend who came close to stalking you, the sociopath next door who lies about everything—for no reason than the sheer joy of getting away with it, the school kid setting fires and torturing animals…..they’re all out there, closer than you think.
Thanks for reading!
Award-winning medical suspense author CJ Lyons is a physician trained in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. She has assisted police and prosecutors with cases involving child abuse, rape, homicide and Munchausen by Proxy and has worked in numerous trauma centers, as a crisis counselor, victim advocate, as well as a flight physician for Life Flight. Publisher’s Weekly proclaimed her debut medical suspense novel, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), “a spot-on debut….a breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller” and RT made it a Top Pick. Contact her at http://www.cjlyons.net