by J.L. Meyers
Genre: Psychological Thriller
A fatal car crash. The sole survivor. And the dark hooded stranger that wants her dead.
When a terrible accident—not accident—stole my parents’ lives, my whole perfect life changed. My memories are hazy, and there are scars on my wrists. I’ve been locked away for my own protection…until I prove my sanity, until I lie. There was no hooded figure on the road that day, no one standing over me as I lay paralyzed watching my parents burn.
I am Cassidy Lockheart…20-year-old orphan.
Determined to free my caged mind, I find myself far away on an unexpected trip to help return my forgotten past. The snow was part of my life before, but now it’s like a blank slate, until an avalanche changes everything. But I’m not alone. These other ‘lucky’ trip winners may not be the strangers they pretend to be. And my hooded attacker…I see him everywhere.
Is this real? Or delusion caused by head trauma?
Either way, I’m being watched. I can sense it. I can feel it. Someone is after me; maybe they’re after us all. The avalanche was no accident. It was staged to deliver us to this abandoned place. A place where the walls whisper dark secrets of a sinister past…a past no one can escape. Trapped, this snow won’t let up…it won’t let us leave. My lost memories hold clues, but they’re buried so deep, polluted and twisted in my every waking nightmare. What is real? I don’t have the answers. But I need them. Time is ticking and if I don’t figure this all out soon it will be too late.
The past is coming for us all…and it wants blood.
Warning - This book contains some graphic scenes that are only for an adult audience.
Psychological Thriller / Horror
"Think of the tension of Silence of the Lambs combined with the horror of Carrie and you have Nerve Damage. This is a psychological thriller that won’t let you put it down, yet you are almost too scared to turn the page!”
This chilling tale from J.L. Myers is a suspenseful and twisted addition to other great psychological thrillers from the likes of Sarah A. Denzil, K.L. Slater, and Dot Hutchison.
Jessica L Myers' vivid imagination and quiet demeanor as a child led her to the imaginary worlds of books. Even at a young age, her love for the supernatural was prevalent, with her first loved books being R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. Following that she took an interest in other non-fantasy fiction, including Virginia C. Andrews series Flowers in the Attic.
In her teen years, Jessica spent many school hours writing poetry and dark short stories and took up sketching some of the terrifying things that came from the graphic night terrors she’d grown up with.
As an adult and after meeting the love of her life, Jessica got married and started a small construction business with her husband. With the birth of her son, Jessica suffered PPD and found escape in her books and their fantasy landscapes. It was at this time that her need to write flourished. In 2009 the decision was made and the first words to her New Adult Paranormal Romance novel What Lies Inside were written.
When Jessica isn’t immersed in writing about extraordinary characters with dangerous abilities and deadly obstacles to overcome, she likes to spend time with her two kids and husband, curl up with a good book, or watch anything and everything supernatural.
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What inspired you to write this book?
I got the inspiration for Nerve Damage years ago, actually soon after I started my first novel, What Lies Inside. I used to get into thriller and horror movies quite a lot(though not so much horror anymore—seems I’ve gotten squeamish with age!). Having grown up and dealing with mental illness throughout my life, the idea of writing about someone with issues that led them to do horrible things became the backbone of this story. With what I’ve seen in life, we don’t always become who we intend to be, and circumstances of upbringing shapes all of us in different ways, some good, and (for the not so lucky) others in bad and irreparable ways.
This story follow the life of three people and not all of them are lived in the present, but
What can we expect from you in the future?
Many, many more books with strong and flawed characters, amazing heroines who will fight to protect and save all they hold dear, complicated heroes who are not always or even mostly what we expect, villains you hate but who are so much more than black and white characters with pasts that drive their actions, and plots that are so twisted you won’t know up from down or dark from light…at least that’s my aim. How you all receive what I write is entirely your journey!
Who is your hero and why?
This story doesn’t have a black and white hero. The main character, Cassidy, is dealing with her own trauma and pain and once thrown into this unexpected chaos of the stalker’s plans, she is overwhelmed by her own past and the one she strives to unravel as the dangers she and everyone around her are facing. Cassidy is the perfect hero for this story, and I won’t give too much away, but without the help of another character, she would be lost to stopping the rampage of the dark hooded figure that is set on getting revenge.
What book do you think everyone should read?
Hands down, Game of Thrones. It is simply an epic masterpiece.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
Absolutley Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. She is strong willed and powerful, honest, a fighter who has survived more than any person should, and above all she rules with a strong moral compass…though I must admit, now that I am watching the new season of Thrones, I am not so sure my support for her is as iron strong as it used to be. I guess only time will tell!
Describe your writing style.
I am an absolute plotter. I must admit, with my first novel I did begin by sitting down with an idea in the back of my mind, which I then just continued to write as ideas came to me. Now I like to know who my characters are, what they want most, and how each story will end. I take time now to create the skeleton of each of my stories, starting with my rough ideas and characters which I then mold into a scene-by-scene setup with a rough layout for who appears in each scene, what actions they will take, and then what the conclusion will be to lead me on to what happens next.
What makes a good story?
Staying away from cardboard cutouts and giving your readers characters they can like, love, hate, and even loathe, and who they can related to on a human level, even if the characters themselves are far from human. Having real characters is only part of the equation. Moving each character through a story in a meaningful way that is both riveting and powerful is the next step. There must be conflict, triumph, actions, reactions, and, above all, consequences for every move along the way.
???Each and every character must have a role in the plot that helps to drive the story forward from one conflict to the next. What drives a character through each story, whether their intentions are good or bad, must have an impact on the plot and
What do you do to unwind and relax?
With a glass of moscato I like to park it on the couch and kick my feet up to read or watch anything and everything paranormal, fantasy or thriller. If I’m not catching up on The Vampire Diaries (yes, I know it’s finished. I am so behind in watching hours!), re-watching Game of Thrones, then I’m burying my nose in a good book (nowadays my smart phone with the Kindle app).
I’ll admit it’s not easy to find time to write when you are a parent. Between school runs, washing, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining a 3 year old, I do somehow manage to find time. Early morning is quieter at home, and afternoon sleeps are a good time, and if I set myself daily goals I usually find that I can achieve them.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I have always loved reading and books. In school I started writing dark short stories and poems to pass the time in classes, though my real need to write flourished when I first became a parent. Suffering postnatal depression, I rediscovered my love for reading and books, but I felt like I needed more than to read someone else’s words and live in their created landscapes. I needed a purpose and something that defined me. And many of you many not understand this, especially with a beautiful new baby that I truly loved from the moment he arrived), but I needed an escape, a way to get out of my head and the emotions that seemed to have a hold of me. Writing was my way to finding myself, to working through my own demons, past and present, and to becoming a better person and parent. Many women feel that they lose themselves when they become mothers, and for me, writing was my way to rediscovering who I was and who I wanted to be. All that said, yes, becoming an author was the right decision for me, and I hope you will all agree when you get to know me and my characters!
A day in the life of the author?
I know you all probably expect the life of an author to be some glamorous lifestyle of sitting in a picturesque setting while whittling away the hours with endless magic flowing from your fingertips to your keyboard. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, yes writing and being an author is wonderful, but if you are like me and live in the real world, unfortunately family and normal life play a huge part in your day too. So, without further rambling, here is a day in my life in a nutshell J
Wake up. Check emails. Get eldest child ready for school and do school run. Feed youngest and dress. Do washing and tidy up. Thank God for cartoon and get some writing done (either on sofa or bed). Break for playtime with 3 year old. Hang out washing. Answer a few emails or check social media for actions needed. Have lunch. Grab a short writing break. Break for outside playtime. Get ready for 3 year old’s sleep (this seriously takes longer than you might think!), write like the wind for the next 2 hours, have break when eldest child comes home and assist where needed, do any research, marketing, correspondence, check to do list and make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Advice you would give new authors?
Keep at it and you will succeed. Writing is only half the journey, finding your audience is at least half the battle. Make sure you spend time creating your stories but don't forget to put yourself out there and interact with your current and potential readers. If you don't go looking, they might not find you!
What are you currently reading?
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Fated, the second book in the Marked Series by T.L. McDonald, a fellow indie author who is worth a look at if you haven’t heard of her.
How long have you been writing?
Officially, I have been writing for 9 years, though my first book wasn’t published until 2013.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
My writing process starts with my ideas for the plot and characters. Then I do an outline, detailing a single sentence for what happens in each scene from start to finish. This is not a definitive setup, and more often than not new ideas and twist and turns take shape as I write. I will even have whole new scenes come to light that are crucial to the telling of my story. I try not to get too perfectionistic (but hard as I’m a perfectionist!) with my first draft, as after that I have a step-by-step process for revision of the full book. My revision usually takes me as long as the first draft did, and sometimes even twice as long or more. First draft is for me to have fun and get my ideas out, the revision process is for all of you, so that I am making sure that what I have written and what I later publish is worthy of your reading eyes and delivers a compelling and interesting story that, at the least, entertains you, but that hopefully leaves you with something so much more.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Nerve Damage?
Nerve Damage, despite my intentions to write a simpler book after my 4-book Blood Bound series, was quite complex. It is a psychological thriller that delves into the dark recesses of the mind in that of human action and intention.
Cassidy, the main character from which much of the story is told, is a newly created young adult orphan. After losing her parents in a terrible car wreck, her mind is not her friend. Her memories of the day of the accident paint an entirely different picture that day, leaving her believing that the ‘accident’ was not quite so accidental. After surviving and after what she thinks she saw, Cassidy isn’t sure what is real or not, but she can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched…and hunted.
The rest of the characters have their own pasts and their own problems, and with the events that have them trapped together, they will soon come to learn that they are somehow connected and that them being brought together is no accident at all.
Throughout the story, you get to meet and get to know another character—the killer. A number of scenes are shown from their perspective, and, fair warning, they are vivid in detail and actions. Plus you will also meet a character from a past, a child that is intricately weaved into this story in ways that will ripple throughout the story from start to end in irrevocable and haunting ways.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
My main characters are usually pretty real to be by the time I start to write. With plotting out my stories, I need to know who they are and what motives them. Secondary characters may only exist in a role or action they must achieve before the writing begins. These characters may change names, gender, whether they are goodies or baddies, and they can even become obsolete or meshed with other characters by the time I get through my revision.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
To be honest, I try not to do too much research. If I am writing about a certain time or era, I like to know what things looked like and how people lived. With fantasy and paranormal genres, there is much more room to create without needing a whole lot of backstory or history, though that said, once you create a world and the creatures that dwell within it you have be sure of how everything works and what rules your world operates by. A little off course on the question here, but breaking rules that you’ve established your world by is a big no-no.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Do you have any advice to give aspiring writers?
Giving up is the only way to fail. Have an go and you may even surprise yourself!