Book: Help by Cynthia Fridsmacategories: Book, Action, Suspense, Terrorism, Vampires, Zombies, Ghosts, Paranormal, Supernatural, Boston, Horror Thriller
Cynthia Fridsmaabout this book: Help is a thriller/horror about Dr. Josef Mengele, who escaped from hell and wants to create a new world order. The only one who can stop him is Sybil Crewes, a vampire who's hooked on liquid silver and extracts her own fangs in favor of being human. She has to give up being mortal and embrace her savage nature to stop the deadly doctor.
• What has your book to offer to its readers?
Entertainment! Help is a character-driven novel with many twists and it's packed with action. It's a spine-tingling page-turner with lots of spookiness.
• What inspired you to write this book?
Back in the 1970s there was this TV show, Holocaust, starring Meryl Streep and James Woods. It was the first time I'd heard about the Nazi death camps in WWII. Horrible things happened in the 1930s and 1940s to the Jews. That, and the fact that the maniacal Nazi doctor escaped justice, are the main reasons for writing Help.
I hope such things will never happen again but we live in dangerous times. Think about ISIS, the KKK, Islamophobia, terrorism, hatred of LGBT, people of color, etc. It's too much! And even nowadays, Holocaust deniers are out there. I hope Help will assist in ending the intolerance spread by extreme right-wing media and terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda. Writing Help is like holding up a mirror of today's society.
• How long did it take to write Help?
I have been working with my two brilliant American editors, Virginia and Lee Ann, on a chapter-by-chapter basis starting from April 25, 2016, until March 26, 2017. During that time, I did a lot of research, and enjoyed the intensive contact with my two editors.
• Why does your book takes place for the most part in Boston and not in New York or LA?
Well, Boston is a city with a rich culture and history. It's one of the oldest cities in the USA. If you walk the Freedom Trail, it's like you walk back in time. I have never been to Boston, but I hope to pay a visit someday and see all the sites I wrote about ever since my first novel came out in 2015. It helps that my current editor is from Boston—yay, Red Sox!
I live in Amsterdam—which is also a city with a rich history. In many ways, my hometown is like Boston. So, writing about Boston is almost like I'm writing about Amsterdam, but Boston is more exotic and hey, the USA is one of my favorite countries to spend my holidays.
• How did you come up with the title?
When facing evil, you need help. You pull out your cell phone to dial 9-1-1 and call for help. The main characters all face evil, from terrorism to the supernatural. And they need each other's help to fight evil and survive.
• What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing the book were the scenes about the Nazi death camps. The gas chambers, its victims, and the illegal medical experiments on children by Dr. Josef Mengele forced me to stop and take breaks to collect myself. But I know that bringing these atrocities out in the open is the best way to ensure they never happen again.
• Did you do research for your book?
Just like my previous book, The Black Widow—about the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013—I did background research about the San Bernardino shootings on December 3, 2015 for Help. But I also did research about the Holocaust, and more specifically about Dr. Josef Mengele. Pictures of his victims, mostly young children, made me sick.
• What do you want to say to your readers?
I want to thank my readers because you are my inspiration to keep writing. I also want to let you know that I read every review about my books because writing is a never-ending learning curve and I glean a lot from your reviews. Share your thoughts with me, for it will help me to improve my stories.
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