Friday, June 28, 2013

Are Serial Killers Sexy?

The end of Dexter  is near, and I must say, I will miss those cargo pants. There is something about when his mask comes down and you see the real him...yes, my name is Tina and I find fictional serial killers sexy.

Well, let me put this all in context. During my last meeting with Virginia Romance Writers, I presented ideas about my series, the /eks/ series, and my thoughts on morphing the series. My initial idea was to change the serial killer in book one to be the hero in book two. When I presented this idea, I was met with blatant honesty. What you are writing isn’t romance, I was told.

This made me think and try to re-access.

Yes, I am a fan of the serial killer fiction, when done right, when the character is filled with dimension, character and pizzazz- that certain something that makes them come to life on the page. Of course, when I speak of serial killers, I think of Dexter, as created by Jeff Lindsay, and Hannibal, as created by Thomas Harris. But, there are more of them that we as readers are drawn to, it doesn’t matter if we dress them up in black leather and put fangs in their mouths, a killer is just that, a cutting edge ready to take out the necessary threat, or what they see as prey, for the fulfillment of their own psychosis.

If I lived in Bon Temp, I'm sure I'd be at Fangtasia, and offering myself up for Eric to devour.

Just like Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse series, created by Charlaine Harris, leaves me longing for more, and is surely tops my list, the wit and personality of the depraved and deranged killers make me wonder, what’s next. It’s a cycle that leaves me wanting more and more and more until I can either solve the crime, gripped in literary suspense and thinking somehow that the killer on the other side has a sexy side.

There’s always been something about me and darkness. I like to play with it; dancing in and out of the light in hopes of touching, caressing and bathing in its depths. The inkier the better, and maybe that is the appeal for the serial killer character, who is only going about his day’s work, packing up the body parts in a plastic bag because he doesn’t need them anymore.

Sure, there is a lot more to that theory and how people are regarded. Maybe it all has to do with the desire to feel through someone else’s demise, or maybe it is just a plot point, where the all-together bad guy is found to not only have a morsel of good, but also be f*cking hot!

I’m addicted to sexy fictional serial killers, and you?


Tina Glasneck is the author of THOU SHALL NOT, a gritty suspense. Her second book NUMBERS, a continuation of the /eks/ series is scheduled for an August release.

Connect with Tina on Facebook at 


  1. Wow! I never thought of the serial killer in that way before - a vampire, a werewolf, a romanticized version of a serial killer. WEll, that just puts a whole new spin on things.

    Yes, I can see the appeal of Hannibal Lechter. He's dangerous... and sexy... in a "I love you - with fava beans and wine" kind of way.

    Sounds like a fun and ROMANTIC hero.

    1. Thanks Sofie!

      I believe that be it the serial killer, vampire or werewolf, they each kill according to their fancy.Their kills are to fulfill some "need" or "thirst"; they each stalk, seek an opportunity to victimize, and the end result for their successful hunt is death.

  2. Laura Kinsale did a romance about a boy who had been an assassin in a prior book but was grown and a hero in the new book. No one ever said her romance wasn't a romance. It all depends on the why, and who the victims are. I do believe her book wound up on the top ten of the best romances of all time. Rules are made to be broken.

    1. Thanks Nara! Your comment made me smile.

      I am not sure where my series will go, and if my anti-hero will truly become a hero, but I love the idea of not having limits on what the character can become. :)

  3. First, thank you for the clip of Eric Northman. :-) He's one of the reasons I watch True Blood. I think one of the challenges of writing believable characters is to find and convey what drives each -- including your bad guys. If you're writing a serial killer, how do you find that (possibly) one remaining nugget of humanity, and then build on it to flip his/her role? Interesting!

    1. When I create a bad guy, I don't initially see him or her as being bad, for he/she doesn't either. It all depends on the leanings a person has, in their actions - be it good or bad. It is about layering those things in that add humanity to them. In my opinion, there is no absolute good or evil; we as mankind continue to create and define paths, and how things are interpreted by one versus self makes up all the difference.

  4. I think you have to define what you mean by "serial killer"? The way we think of the term in our society, it's someone who kills multiple people for his own crazy reasons. These people are usually pychopaths or sociopaths. A person may find them sexy, romantic, loving, but those feelings wouldn't be returned because the serial killer would be unable to do so. (Sociopath, unable to; psychopath, warps the emotion) I wouldn't find that type of person sexy or romantic- not a fan of Dexter.
    The other definition could be it's literal definition, someone who kills a number of people. A lot of people would fit into that category, including doctors, police officers, assasins, vampires and werewolves, etc. The REASONS they do so would impact whether someone thought they were sexy, romantic, lovable, etc.
    I think you have to be careful when you use the word serial killer and romantic hero in the same sentence. This is a great discussion to have, but I'm not sure the average reader will read that blurb and pick up the book. But if you're not looking for the average reader...
    Wow, I didn't think I'd have a lot to say about this until I started writing. LOL

    1. Thanks for commenting, Tracey.

      The definition of a serial killer is one that kills 3 or more people with a cooling off period in-between kills, and the understanding of crazy has little to do with it. Historically seen, some serial killers have no mental illness; others of course suffer from different afflictions.

      In my mind, there is no difference between Dexter and Eric. In the fiction world, they are both killers, with their own motivations. I think it would be easier to be afraid of Eric than so of Dexter.

      The intent of the killer is to kill, be it a vampire, who is hungry or a serial killer who has heroic, vigilante reasons for killing someone. In fiction, of course, we are dealing with the anti-hero, who has somehow or another become his own hero. I like to think that no matter what our character's inclination is, according to them, it is their story, and their paths.

  5. Interesting post and viewpoint. I have to beg to differ. My perception is very different from yours. I don't find someone who purposely kills sexy unless there is something redemptive in their nature/path (a hard sell). While I might appreciate the physical package, discovering that someone was a serial killer would be a deal-breaker for me, and the same holds true for my fictional heroes. Nothing about a serial killer says heroic, though I agree that even the most evil person believes they are justified in their actions or they couldn't do them. That doesn't make them attractive to me. Your fascination with this personality type is part of your special touch and I applaud your embracing and working with it in your writing. The fact that I can't follow you down that path isn't meant to negate it, just that our paths will diverge on that topic.

  6. Thanks Denise for commenting.

    If you look at the historical lore of the vampire versus that of the story of Count Dracula, who is known for the more modern-day romanticized version of the vampire, it is a great example of this morphing, where the villain has become more of an anti-hero, suave, charming and still with a vicious bite.

    A serial killer is one that kills 3 or more with a cooling off period in between, and although he can have heroic motives, it doesn't matter in the definition. Murder is murder be it done by a gorgeous Scandinavian vampire or a Floridan man in cargo pants.

  7. Love this post! Blowing you a kiss -- mmmmm-wa!