People have often asked what possessed me to write "Checkmate", especially since it was so different than anything else I had ever written. Well...here's my answer. I became fascinated with stalkers a few years ago when a local weather man found himself the victim of a crazed man who was sure the weather guy was taunting him every evening during the newscast. The phone calls and letters, all of which threatened his family too, were enough to make this seasoned weathercaster quit his job and, basically, go into hiding. I wanted to know why. I wanted to learn what made the average stalker tick.
It took hours of research to even begin to understand the stalker mentality. Frankly, I don't think I'll ever totally understand it. I don't think anyone can, even the stalkers themselves. In a nutshell, though, the average stalker is an isolated, lonely person who has suffered some kind of traumatic loss in their lives. For the rejected stalker (like Dan Hamilton in Checkmate) that loss usually involves divorce or dissolution of a relationship. The rejected stalker struggles with a complex desire for both reconcilliation and revenge. In Dan's case, of course, I had to take him over the top, so he's just mean. He really has no desire to reconcile with Caryn. He just wants to torment her--and make sure she never marries anyone else. WIth the average stalker, though, as the obession grows, so does the level of danger. This is why it is so important to nip it in the bud. Let the stalker know immediately, and only one time, that their attention is unwanted--but don't do it yourself if at all possible. After that, sever all contact. If you're lucky, they'll get the message, and nine out of ten do. It's that tenth one we all have to worry about, though. He's the only who will make the news.
My research revealed that there are many different types of stalkers, hence the catalyst behind The Brian Koski Stalker Series. Future books will cover them all: the rejected stalker, the resentful stalker, the predatory stalker, the intimacy seeker, the incompetent suitor and the cyberstalker. My ultimate goal is not only to provide a good read, but to educate. We are all potential victims, and learning how to deal with a stalker can mean the difference between life and death.