Feature Book By Cynthia Eden

Before the Dawn

Before the Dawn

Before The Dawn by Cynthia Eden is the second book of the “Killer Instinct” series; a psychological thriller intermingled with some romance. The premise of these novels is very unique in that they involve someone in law enforcement knowing a serial killer. An experimental FBI unit recruits Agents who have a personal connection to serial killers, knowing the murderers because they were friends, lovers, family, and their tormenters. The intensity begins from page one, as the serial killer maims his victim, waiting to kill her until his brother, her lover, arrives. As the investigation unfolds there are many people of interest wondering if they have a copycat or if Jason, the serial killer, has returned.

About the Author Cynthia Eden

Cynthia Eden is an American author who writes tales of paranormal suspense and sensual romance. Eden graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Alabama where she studied Sociology and Communciation. She worked as a journalist on her university's paper. Later, she was employed as a college counselor, a teacher, and an editor. She has written many series including: The Midnight Trilogy; Night Watch; Fallen; Deadly; Bound; and Phoenix Fire. She is a two-time finalist for the RITA award.





An Interview with Cynthia Eden (Interviewer Elise Cooper)

Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the premise of this series?

Cynthia Eden: Research is my favorite part of writing.  Over the years I have talked with FBI agents and psychologists.  My go to book is The MindHunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas. Netflix is doing a TV series on it, airing on October 13th.  I am curious if it will it be loosely connected to the book or follows it exactly. This is by the guy who started the behavioral analysis unit.  Each chapter talks about the mindset of a different killer the FBI went after.  It details the body language and the psychology of these infamous killers, the many faces.  I have the book on my desk constantly.  This is why I had the FBI Agents try to think like a killer, to get into their mind.

EC: Define Samantha Dark, the main heroine in the first book?

CE: Samantha is smart; yet, has trust issues and because of that keeps secrets.  She is a conflicted heroine because justice matters most to her and she does not always see the world as black and white.  I explored with her how it is truly hard to know someone, especially those who do not fully open up.  We only know what people show us, basically what is on the surface.

EC: Define Dawn Alexander, the heroine in this book?

CE: Although Dawn starts out as the victim she had developed an inner strength, making sure her life got back on track.  Part of the reason she became a PI is to be seen as the protector, not a weak and scared person, but someone who uncovers secrets and lies to find the truth about people.  Now having a sense of normalcy she is determined not to let this antagonist take it away from her.  A quote from the book hammers the point when she told Tucker, “He didn’t break me... I am stronger than he was.  I’m stronger than you give me credit for being… I’ve changed and could let the fear go.  That the past wasn’t going to control my life.”

EC: You seem to choose settings you are familiar with?

CE: In the first book of the series, After The Dark, the setting was in Fairhope, Alabama, the place where I grew up.  My editor tried to get me to revise some of what I wrote about this place, thinking it was unrealistic.  But everything I wrote is real.  I love the water and do own a boat.  It is a ‘boatcentric’ area.  I wrote in the book about airboat rides because it is one of my favorite things to do. In this book the setting came to me first.  I love Louisiana and have been there several times since it is close to where I live.  New Orleans fits into the mystery because it is a town of suspicions.  It is a trigger city either viewed with romantic eyes or as one of the murder capitals of the US.  There are so many positive and negative connotations that evoke a lot of emotions.  I think this city lends itself to the story and allowed me to incorporate many of the real elements since it is so easy to travel within.

EC: It is not just coincidence that you name the first two books after the heroine.  After the Dark is named after Samantha Dark and Before The Dawn is named after Dawn Alexander?

CE: I also do it in the next book, Into The Night, featuring Macey Night, which comes out right before Christmas.  Since the heroines undergo so many changes in their respective stories linking the books to their names was a way for me to let the heroines ‘own’ the books a bit more as they develop.

EC: How would you describe Tucker, the male lead and Jason, the serial killer?

CE: Tucker loved his brother Jason, the serial killer, but never wants to be like him. Jason was the evil brother and Tucker was the good one. He became a SEAL and then an FBI profiler.  I like to explore nature versus nurture.  Jason thinks nature, family first, must be most dominant.  But Tucker does not follow in his footsteps, shooting him to save his lover, Dawn.  He blames himself for missing all the signs regarding Jason.  He was more influenced by nurture with those around him.  I always think, does biology alone determine who we are or are there other factors involved?

EC: You also incorporate in your books hints on how to defend yourself?

CE: I took some self-defense classes.  They always spend an hour on how to be more vigilant in your life.  I try to slip in what I learned into my books.  I want to educate the readers, but hopefully not hit them over the head.  In this book I told of knowing your surroundings and changing up your patterns.

EC: When you write how do you know how much romance to put into a book?

CE: I always write the murder scenes and suspense first.  The romance scenes are more challenging.  After the first draft I add layers that have more emotion.  I think it is similar to how songs are put into musical movies.  The story still has to flow. The tension in this book came as Dawn realized she still loved Tucker but she must overcome the fact that he looked so much like Jason. She must love him enough to get over the resemblance factor.

EC: You write in the dedication, “I fell in love with romance novels when I was thirteen years old. I’ve been addicted ever since.” Please explain.

CE: I do read all the other genres, but my favorite read is a romance novel.  When I pick up one I know at the end there will be a happy ending.  As bad things happen in the world it is nice to be able to turn to a romance book for that emotional high.  It is that security of knowing everything will be OK.

EC: Can you give a heads up about your next book?

CE: It will feature Macey Night and Bowen Murphy, the last book of the “Killer Instinct” series. As FBI Agents they will be working on a case together and then form a relationship.  All of the characters will be back because this is the tie up book for the trilogy.  In the future I would like to do a series that focuses on one character, the lead in every book of the series, where we can see how they would handle different cases presented and grow. 




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