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Those having to do with sales and advertising of “Keeping Her in the Light”. Information on publisher also included.

“What You Reading Now?” Review

I am not a huge fan of psycho-thriller because to be honest with ya, I let my mind run away from me way to often and I know that it is important for me to keep my mind on good things, like the things that are lovely, pure, of good report, etc (like Gal 5 says).

I was given the opportunity to read Nicole’s novella and I was blown away. I was captivated and read the book in one sitting! I could not put it down. I was intrigued by the developing relationship between the killer and Allie (the main character). Nicole successfully revealed the many sides of the killer, including his sick and twisted mind.

This violently graphic novella is more than just a thriller, Nicole intertwines many conversations of Allie and her killer that not only show both of their personalities and beliefs, but also teaches the reader a little something about life, family and self.

Keeping Her in the Light is a  riveting thriller and is exceptionally well written and is captivating novella that is clean, fresh and deep. I recommend this to psycho-thriller lovers everywhere.

Nicole has a deep mind, a clean and captivating writing style and I see her going far with her talents.

Verlina

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Short Review by The Social Frog

This story is a twisted tale of a man, a serial killer who keeps a young woman hostage in his mansion to prove to himself that Stockholm syndrome is real.This is a short but very good read, especially for such a young writer. It is a psychological thriller that deals with a lot of mind games and mans desire to test a theory or two about human nature.

Some parts of the book were overly descriptive but did not take away from the story nor did it add to it. I felt the ending of the book was a little flat but at the same time it left me wanting to read more, to know more about this odd man, the killer. It leaves much to the imagination at the end.

I highly recommend this book, the positives outweigh any negatives and for being 16 years old at the time she wrote this, I do believe she has a great future ahead of her in writing books!

The Social Frog

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Alternative-Read Review on Keeping Her in the Light

Allie awakes in darkness, but when the lights come on she wishes they hadn’t. You see, Allie is laying in a room full of corpses. When she is able to overcome the paralysis of shock, she makes her way to the only door in the room: a slim, steel door she fully expects to be locked. It’s not, and when Allie opens it, her voyage into terror really begins.

Her captor is sitting at a table laden with food from which he is partaking. He encourages her to explore his home, warning her it is impossible to escape. Believing him, Allie chooses to sit down at his table. She even dares to ask a few questions: “When are you going to kill me?” and “How are you going to kill me.”

The conversation captures the killer’s imagination and as he thinks of answers to these questions, the nameless and very strange man decides he will use this woman to prove or disprove the existence of The Stockholm Syndrome (then he’ll kill her). Allie has no idea what this syndrome is, so she doesn’t realize her overt behaviour has won her a reprieve from death.

The rest of Nicole Fuentes’ Novella, Keeping Her In The Light, explores the developing relationship between the killer and the captive, who is terrorized, taught and befriended by at least four identifiable personalities. Allie doesn’t know the names of any of these personalities, so she comes up with descriptions: there’s The Clown who loves to horrify; the Stoic (Hector) who only asks questions (designed to teach), The Blank (Miggs) who is the killer and The Gentle One (Vernicus) who is Allie’s friend,

But the real significance of the relationship(s) between captive and captor is based on a metaphor plainly illustrated by the title and which is explained indirectly as the novella progresses. Keeping Her In The Light is a clever little story from first timer Nicole Fuentes. She caught me at the beginning and didn’t let go until the end. Kudos are in order.

Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye 2010

*See the original here.

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Interview with BookWenches

Nicole, thanks so much for joining us to talk about you and your novella Keeping Her in the Light!

How long have you been writing, whether for personal pleasure or actual publication? What was the first story you wrote (that you can remember)?

I’ve been writing for at least 5 years, and that’s pretty good, considering my current age. Living for only nearly two decades, writing for the past five years, having a book published recently… The first story I wrote took place in the Victorian Era, wherein a woman about to be punished for a crime she had committed escapes with the help of a man who later asks her to steal something with him in return for what he had done to save her. I never finished it, though I knew how it would end. I think when I know how a story ends, I don’t finish it. Keeping Her in the Light was the first story I ever completed; I never knew how it would end until I actually ended it.


What caused you to pursue professional publication? Have you found that being published has changed your life at all? If so, how?

When I finished writing Keeping Her in the Light, I just decided to try having it published. Having a book published hasn’t change my life at all, though. I’m still the same person, and everyone around me treats me as they had treated me before being published. Though sometimes I can’t help but feel there are more expectations laid out for me, and I just add up to that expectation because I end up expecting a lot from myself.


Tell me a little bit about the background of your psychological thriller Keeping Her in the Light. Did anything in particular inspire this story? What impressions were you hoping for your readers to walk away with?

The syndrome that dominates the story, Stockholm syndrome, acted as an inspiration. I was quite interested with it when I had first heard of it. So interested to the point that I just had to write a story revolving around it. I wanted the story to leave readers with a certain thrill, the idea of a captor-captive situation haunting their minds and, somehow, moving their hearts.

This story revolves around two unique psychological conditions: Stockholm syndrome and Lima syndrome. What inspired you to write about this? What kind of research did you have to do before you could pen this story?

I found out about Stockholm syndrome from an article in a site I frequent, and the knowledge of Lima syndrome followed, since the two syndromes are mere “opposites” of each other. Naturally, Stockholm syndrome inspired me to write a story about it. It was just too interesting to take away from my mind. When I wrote this story, not much research had to be done, because I was already familiar with both syndromes.


Tell me a little bit about your development of the killer, Vernicus, and his various personalities. How did you want your audience to react to him?

I want them to feel what Allie felt: confusion. As for the development of Vernicus and his personalities (by the way, one can’t be too sure that Vernicus is the original personality), I was supposed to make him have only one personality: Hector’s. I started off with a stoic man. Something must have happened to me while writing, because right before my eyes I could see Hector changing, becoming insane, crazed. I scolded myself for being so inconsistent with my characters. Then the idea of a killer with a Dissociative Identity Disorder hit me. They came in order of appearance, Hector and The Clown alternating regularly. Vernicus appeared to me one day, and like Allie, I was shocked, surprised. All his personalities were different, yet somehow, they clicked together. So many different personalities coexisting in one body.


Why do you write horror/psychological thrillers as opposed to other forms of fiction?

Seems like it’s the only genre wherein I don’t know what will happen next. Writing thrillers gives off the same feeling as reading them. It makes me think, it makes others think. I used to be scared of writing thrillers, especially since the story itself would be proof of how dark the abyss of my mind could be. I’ve learned to embrace the fact, though.


When you create your characters, how attached do you get to them? Do you have a hard time letting go after writing “the end”? Also, with your antagonists, are you content making them simply “bad,” or do you feel as if they have to have any redeeming characteristics?

When I create a character, it’s hard for me to let go of them, not when the story ends, but when their lives end. I recently killed off a certain character in a new story I’m making, and I nearly cried. I write what I see. I didn’t make him die. He died, so I had to write that he did. I had to write what I saw. With the antagonists, I make sure they have some redeeming characteristics. Making them have some redeeming qualities is similar to how everyone has a bit of good in them. A person can’t be pure evil, and I make sure my antagonists aren’t 100% hate-worthy.


How much planning goes into your writing? Do you systematically plot everything ahead of time, or do you let the words flow and see where they take you?

Maybe about 5% planning goes into writing. I don’t think much when I write. It’s like I go into trance and an outpour of words just happen. If I plan everything ahead of time and know what’s going to happen, the story begins to bore me and I don’t finish it. I start with a word or a phrase and I take the risk of letting the words take me anywhere.


What is your current work-in-progress? What can your readers expect from you after Keeping Her in the Light? Is it going it to creep us out or scare us silly?

I’m balancing my education with my writing as of now, but I’m planning on going back to a story I abandoned a couple of years ago.  It’s still a thriller, but this time based on a dream I had two years ago. It won’t be as horrifying as Keeping Her in the Light because it’ll have more elements of gentleness in them: the gentleness of a distorted, misunderstood killer to a beautiful, innocent, yet blind little girl.


Tell me a little bit about Nicole Fuentes the person. Will you share a little about your home, your family, your interests with us? What are your hobbies that take you away from the computer? Do you have a full-time job besides writing?

I come from a family of 8, and though I may have the weirdest family ever, I’m proud I have such a unique, strong family. As of now, I’m really interested in the books “Hannibal”, “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Dead Man Walking”, and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. I thankfully have something that takes me away from all the thinking: karate. I’m a purple-belter, though I had to put it on hold for my studies.


So, what are you reading right now? What books would I find on your bookshelves? Do you tend to read any particular genre over another? Anything that we would notice as conspicuously absent from your library shelves?

I’m reading “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo. It’s quite interesting—the contrasts between Frollo and Quasimodo who love Notre Dame for two very different reasons. Aside from this book, you can find the following books on my bookshelf (the others are on my wish list): “The Hannibal Lecter series”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Dead Man Walking”, and a couple of Dean Koontz’s books.  I don’t think it’s a matter of genre; I think it has a lot to do with the content. Notice that there’s always someone misunderstood or cast away in each book I’m interested in. I guess I just want to understand the misunderstood.


Please let us know how we can find out more about you and your writing – websites, blogspots, etc. How can we go about purchasing your work?

You can find me at https://keepingherinthelight.wordpress.com/. As for purchases, I can be found at the Eternal Press website, and on Amazon .

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Nicole, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We at BookWenches wish you the very best for the future in life and your writing career!

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Review by Dr. Paul Dumol, Professor, University of Asia and The Pacific

Keeping Her in the Light (Eternal Press at Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) is Nicole Fuentes’s first novella. It is pulp fiction without the sex, and at the same time a little more than. It should be judged on its own merits, but I will not do that and call attention instead to the writer’s age—sixteen. She is in fact a high school senior and resides in Metro Manila. Miss Fuentes has a precocious sense of storytelling. She demonstrates early mastery of the intricate skills of writing thrillers: her first work is a page-turner. There is violence in spades. But her main character is sensitive and intelligent and is thankfully not propelled by pop psychology. There are parts that are almost philosophical. We await Miss Fuentes’s blossoming.

pauldumol@gmail.com

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What is Stockholm Syndrome Anyway?

Stockholm Syndrome. A baffling thing it is. As this was what had led me to write “Keeping Her in the Light”, I owe a lot to such a concept. This syndrome can clearly be seen in kidnapping situations, when the captive develops a certain sympathy towards his/her captor. This can also be seen in abusive relationships, when the one being abused won’t leave the abuser. Strangely, Stockholm Syndrome acts as a defense mechanism. The captive thinks that if she forms a relationship with her captor, he won’t hurt her. This article I encountered a year ago explained Stockholm Syndrome quite clearly.

I learned two things today that I think might be able to explain how such a syndrome begins. Some criminals (serial killers, kidnappers, rapists, molesters) threaten their victims by threatening to kill their loved ones. It’s amazing how that shuts them up in an instant. It’s amazing how people are willing to sacrifice themselves for others. Victims, on the other hand, tend to have a “fight or flight” reaction. But both reactions reside in the mind. They take place in the mind. One victim may THINK of stabbing, killing, hitting, or hurting the criminal, while another may think of something else, like the victim isn’t IN the scenario (withdrawal). In my opinion, both reactions are flight reactions, because you retreat from what the criminal is doing to you as you lose contact with your physical self to get in touch with your mental one. You retreat…you flee (flight) inside your head, even if you’re thinking of FIGHTING back. Also, it’s when you’re in a state of turmoil, emergency, or danger that you sort of long for human contact, gentleness, or kindness in such a way that even the littlest of things seem big. So if your captor gives you a glass of water, you wrongly label him as kind, almost forgetting all he has done to you. You long and crave for such kindness that you misinterpret the little things as such. That’s possibly how Stockholm Syndrome develops. You long, you hope, you crave, you give in.

Okay, maybe that’s more than two lessons…

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CTR Review on Keeping Her in the Light

Reviewed by: Lototy

When Allie flips on the light, she is struck with the sudden realization that there is infinite comfort in darkness… in not knowing… not seeing.

He can accomplish only so much with his limited time, until the others force their consciousness upon him.

The screaming is now only in Allie’s head, the others no longer make a sound. She awakens to a nightmare, and the man responsible for creating such terror is now her captor. Allie knows her escape is untenable, and her only recourse is to try to understand and placate the man with so many faces. He can and will take her life whenever and however he chooses, but for the moment she is an enigma he finds hard to resist.

Every psychological thriller has two basic elements: the predator and its prey. But what happens when the prey chooses not to run or fight, but accepts its role and feels guilt for those that come later? Allie’s will is unbelievably strong, but at the same time so tragically fragile that she can bring you to tears. Nicole Fuentes’s book is intense, insane, and incredibly ingenious.

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