Crime novelist Thomas Perry has come a long way since he published his first thriller novel 'Butcher's Boy,' which won him the Edgar award. However, the author claims that writing the enthralling novel along with the other 26 books was not easy.

In creating suspenseful and violent characters, Perry had to go through intriguing brainstorming sessions, which sometimes led him to depression.

Violence in His Novels Make Him Depressed

When you write thriller and mystery novels to make a living, you have to play the scenes of murder, betrayal, and violence in your head.

During an interview with Identity Theory magazine on February 1, 2003, the author was asked if the demand for violence in his books affected him. In reply, Perry admitted that he was depressed whenever he penned down something violent, as he tried to make his writing as real as possible.

I want the five quarts of blood to go out on the ground so that people know that this is real, a big deal to kill somebody. When I write something violent, afterwards, I am depressed. It depresses me. What I am trying to do is have other people affected by it in the same way I am. That is, both to be afraid and then to be sad about it.

The English literature Ph.D. holder further explained why he took his writing to such a painful extent. He said that he wanted readers to feel the reality and empathize with the character.

Perry on where He Gets Idea for Novels

During a book tour of his mystery novel 'The Burglar,' Perry took a brief moment to talk about his books and career. The suspense novelist revealed his secret to unique stories and the niches for his novels.

He shared that the ideas for his novels were enigmatic to him, and he possessed no specific talent for bringing out the plans.

Thomas Perry with his 27th mystery novel

Thomas Perry in the book tour of his 26th mystery novel 'The Burglar.' (Source: Rochester)

He further explained that his imagination directed him to write a story rather than a pre-planned idea.

Ideas for novels are still mysterious to me. They come from looking, listening, and remembering. There’s a blank page, and then the next minute there’s an image in your mind, and you begin to write about that image and tell its story. 

The author also revealed that the experience he had gained during his plethora of jobs like factory laborer and park maintenance inspired some plots and characters in his books.