Into the Spell by Norm Applegate

It has been a long time since I have read a book and when I was finished I wanted to pick it up and read it all over again. I read A LOT of books, and some of them are very good. But there is something about this one that just made me want to keep it close in case I had the chance to read it, even if it was only a few pages at a time.
Maybe it was the fact that the heroine, Kim Bennett, is a former madam who is into S and M and domination. Even though this would normally be enough to cause some readers to think down on her, she is someone I couldn't help but like and end up cheering on throughout the book. She has had a rough life, and despite this has remained strong - her only weakness is to count letters whenever she is nervous or anxious. I applaud the fact that he didn't dwell on all of the bad things in her past. Many people go through horrible situations, but sometimes it is dwelled on to the point where it doesn't seem real anymore. She is so well developed and is such a great character, I can't wait to read Into the Basement, and Mr. Applegate's upcoming novel Into the Haven.
Or, maybe it is Titus, the villian. He has the power of mind control (hypnosis) and previously used it in a night club to draw in customers and make a living. This bored him though, as he knew he possessed a power that comes around very rarely. He has moved on to bigger and better things - well, better in his mind. Even though he is constantly warned by communication with long dead Madam Blavatsky, a world renouned psychic from the turn of the 20th century, he decides to let his dark powers surface and take over his free will. He is the kind of murderer that is truly frightening - after all, when you can control someone elses mind you don't really need to get blood on your hands and can continue with wicked ways long after the supposed killer is caught. Not only does he use hypnosis for murder, no, no, no. He also has many sexual fantasies and perversions that he likes to play out, and once again the power of hypnosis allows him to delve into his dark mind to play out whatever he chooses at the moment.
You hear about stories that send a chill up your spine, and only a few authors have EVER had that effect on me. I am the queen of horror/suspense books and it really does take a lot to spook me. This book hit me on a different level. I loved how the villian was linked to a very well known serial killer and was involved in other mind control situations that make for great material for some sequels. I know that there are skeptics out there when it comes to psychic abilities, hypnosis, etc...but even if you don't believe (which I do), this book poses a very haunting set of circumstances.
Questions for the author:
What made you focus on hypnosis as the skill for the villian?
Starting back when I was 12 or 13 I purchased a Kreskin ESP kit and was drawn into the mystical world of the unexplained, that curiousity never left. Interestingly, when I was in my thirties the opportunity presented itself to train as a hypnotist and travel throughout a number of countries. I jumped at it. Creating the villian in "Spell," required someone that could control people's thoughts, and what a perfect resource but my own past and knowledge of the subject. To add layers to the villian, I had Titus Constantin Gorsky talk to the dead, H. P. Blavatsky, she's a real person with an interesting life. Then of course connecting this to the Son of Sam made sense since David Berkowitz had always claimed it was a cult that pulled him into the crime spree we have come to know as the Summer of Sam.
What books do you have in the works currently?
The third in the Kim Bennett series is called "Into the Haven," and as the title suggests it's about vampires. As Kim Bennett would say "Don't be stupid vampires aren't real," however, like spell, she is pulled into a horror/thriller of a story where she questions her own beliefs. The novel is at a half way point with a scheduled release for June or July and there are lots of twists and unexpected events for poor Kim. I enjoy punishing her...Also, I'm writing the screenplay of my first novel "Into the Basement," with Kym Wilde, another interesting individual, and we are in discussions with an Indie film director.
Who/What is your inspiration?
I have become friends with best selling author David Hagberg who writes CIA terrorist novels, his most recent "Dance with the Dragon," is an excellent read and I consider him my mentor. As for inspiration, writing fills a creative desire and that animal needs to be released.
Do you have a favorite villian from a book/movie/tv show?
Dracula, evil, erotic, powerful, and the whole blood lust thing is sexual in nature, he's the best.

To view an interview with Norm Applegate about his book "Into the Basement" click below.
Video regarding "Into the Basement".