Published February 26th 2022 by Tangled Tree Publishing What happens in Vegas just might kill you. When divorcee Justin Gray wakes up next t...

Guest Post || Mental Illness in Fiction by Rachel Tamayo

Published February 26th 2022 by Tangled Tree Publishing

What happens in Vegas just might kill you.

When divorcee Justin Gray wakes up next to a beautiful stranger in Vegas on his birthday weekend, he assumes it’s just a drunken mistake. When he discovers that he’s married to said stranger in her early twenties, he insists on an annulment and assumes his life will return to normal once he gets back home.

He assumes wrong.

As the shapely blonde refuses to give him an annulment and insists the marriage continue, what was a wild weekend turns into a deadly mistake.

Murder is only the beginning.

Get ready for a tale of greed so twisted you won’t know what’s on the next page or who anyone really is until the…


Mental illness in fiction

by rachel tamayo

We love our crazy, don’t we? Books like the You series by Caroline Kepnes, The Shining by Stephen King, and the umpteen other psychological thrillers that line shelves as far as the eye can see in bookstores both digital and physical. 

We love these characters. They grip us. Like in The Shining, Jack Torrence and his slow maddening decent into a paranormal induced psychotic break. Or Joe, who becomes rapidly obsessed with one woman after the next, every female is “the one.”  Or how about this classic, the little talked about The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G Wells in which the mad scientist Dr. Moreau moves to an island and performs extreme and horrifying experiments creating a mass of animal-human hybrid creatures? 

These characters have all got one thing in common. Insanity of one form or another. History proves that little to nothing was known about the general craziness perceived in the population, and anything that was perceived as out of the norm led to people being locked away for the rest of their natural lives in deplorable conditions. Now we are left with reminders of these actions in abandoned asylums and story after story of once horrendous hospitals haunted by the long dead spirits of the abused and mishandled. This brings to mind characters like the wife in the attic in the classic romance, Jane Eyre. 

But now, in the year of our lord 2022, things are a bit different, or so we like to think, anyway. Now we have the Movement for Mental Health, we have the National Alliance on Mental illness, numerous hashtags, and so many more.  There is an attempt to understand, treat, and accept mental health disorders for what they are, diseases of the mind. 

So this bids the question, has this changed how we perceive and create our crazed characters? In the past these sorts of characters were easy additions to tales meant to shock and frighten readers. There was no reason to explain, or even humanize these characters. They were all just “crazy” bad guys. 

Now, authors like myself, tend to do things differently. Researching legitimate mental problems, reaching out for history, truth, facts about treatment and the effects such things have on others around them. All these things create reality, truth-based fiction around real illnesses that need attention. Things these people have to deal with, the uphill battle their disease creates while they and their loved ones try to seek help.  It generates an entirely new form of psychological fiction. The harsh reality being that there generally is little to no treatment, very little help, and sometimes things go very wrong, and get very bad. As someone that has years of experience dealing with the law enforcement side if this issue, and has training to do so, I see both sides of this coin. Terrifying things happen due to mental disease. 

Books like Jane Eyre were written 175 years ago. In the nineteenth century, they were painted as dangerous lunatics and the only solution to their dangerous lunacy was imprisonment. In the Twenty-first century, we like to think we paint them in a different light. 
But have we?

Rachael Tamayo is the bestselling author of the award-winning Deadly Sins series, and the bestselling award winner (soon to be re-released) Crazy Love. Before she started her writing career, she was a highly awarded 911 emergency services dispatcher with twelve years of experience and many commendations under her belt. Upon exiting law enforcement, she’s focused her writing on the dark, suspenseful, and psychological. Now Rachael uses her dark thriller as a sort of self-therapy after all those years answering 911, and works what she knows into frighteningly realistic and layers characters her readers love her for. Rachael lives on the Texas Gulf Coast near Houston with her husband of eighteen years and their two children.

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