Guest Post: Plain or Just Plain Crazy

Plain or Just Plain Crazy

Rachael Tamayo


Recently I was asked a question in a podcast interview for Quill and Ink. The question was this. What is the difference between a regular thriller and a psychological thriller?  My answer was simple, the difference is the twist that authors like myself love to add to their stories. The crazy and chaotic that ups the creep factor tenfold.  The long walk down a dark hall that leaves the reader flipping pages back to see if that is indeed what they just read.

But let us take a step back for a moment. The actual definition of psychological thriller is this: A novel in the thriller genre which focuses on the psychology of its characters, or which psychologically manipulates its audience or readership.  The thriller and all its subgenre’s elicit heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, and anxiety in readers. This is what draws us back again and again. Add a sprinkle of insanity to the mix and bam- there you have the psychological thriller. 

And there is where you find those of us that live in the darkness that is writing these books. We look like your normal, everyday happy go lucky person. But in secret we lie feeding on the readers anxiety and sleepless nights as they struggle to get to the end of the story the same way Dracula fed on poor Lucy.  If we don’t mess with the characters, we will reach out from between the pages of the book and get you, the reader, and mess with your head. And quite honestly, we love it. It’s what we live for.

That brings me to the actual writing of it. The ins and outs of creating the mentally disturbed, or the hints of it, in the characters. And quite honestly, in all my years of law enforcement and the training, in the 911 calls and the actually disturbed people that I talked with, I realize one thing. There is no wrong way. You can’t put crazy in a box. It isn’t limited to rules, as is a normal disorder of the heart, for example. The mind is boundless, we have not yet begun to fathom what it is capable of. So why then would anyone dare to think that they understand what is right and wrong with writing about the disorders of the mind? I think that in our wildest dreams we can’t begin to understand it, and therefor it’s limited only by what modern medicine tells us is fact and the limits of the imagination. And imagine we will. 

Speaking for myself, when I dive into writing a book that I know will have a mental twist, I have been known to do the research. Find the illness, define it, research it, and create a world around it.  Of course, there is also the darkness, likened to the Nothing in my favorite childhood movie, The NeverEnding Story, that will reach out and envelope my reader as they turn page after page.  In these type of stories I don’t label the twist, I just go with it. I used to suppress it, but I am long past that now. People that actually know me and have taken the time to read one of my dark thrillers look at me with new eyes.  Do I need to be a little bit insane to write a psychological thriller? Who knows. If I do, I think I’m okay with it.




By International Best-selling Author, Rachael Tamayo


Set for release this July and published by Tangled Tree Publishing!

The book will be available worldwide, in digital and print, across all platforms!


 A serial killer on the loose, driven by darkness and obsession. A woman determined to not go down without a fight and refuses to be a victim. International bestselling author Rachael Tamayo is back with a highly anticipated Deadly Sins novel. With twists and turns to keep readers gripped, fans of Teresa Driscoll and Rachel Caine will be hooked in this unforgettable thriller.


“A well-written thriller that keeps the reader guessing until the end!”InD’Tale Magazine

“Intense, original, and detailed thriller.”Power of Three Readers

Rachael Tamayo

Rachael Tamayo


Award-winning best-selling author Rachael Tamayo spent twelve years in law enforcement as a 911 operator and police dispatcher. The Multi-genre author has abandoned romance for the darkness that is the psychological thriller, creating twists, turns, and fast paced fiction in her wake. In her spare tim,e she is an editor of fiction, and enjoys reading and spending time at her home in Houston, Texas with her husband of sixteen years and their two children. You can contact her or find out more about her work at 

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