Q: You have a lot of action scenes in your book. What is your feeling about graphic violence in such scenes?

A: It really depends. I don’t like gratuitous violence, like what you see in many books and movies. On the other hand, graphic violence sometimes is necessary to get a point across. For example, my book begins with a Roman battle. Now, it’s pretty hard to convey the horrors of hand-to-hand combat in Roman times, with the primitive weaponry they employed, without getting graphic. Later in my book, I need to impress upon the reader just how sick a certain psychopathic killer is. What is needed in that circumstance is not necessarily graphic violence, but rather to show the killer’s warped psychology. A clean killer with a sick mind is much more chilling than bloody but justifiable violence, such as when the hero kills the criminal who raped his daughter and killed his wife. The setting, and the psychology behind it, determines how the audience receives graphic violence. With disgust, such as when graphic violence is purely gratuitous; with acceptance, such as in understandable settings (like war); or with righteous satisfaction, like when the sick psychopath gets his deserved punishment.

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