UPCOMING THRILLER DRAWS INSPIRATION FROM CELEBRITY STALKERS by Khaled Talib
Sandra Bullock called 911 after an intruder broke into her house. Brook Shields was stalked for years by an obsessive fan. A woman threatened to cut Catherine-Zeta Jones into pieces and feed her to a dog if she didn’t leave her husband, actor Michael Douglas. A man obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow threatened to ‘cut the sin out of her with god’s scalpel’. Paris Hilton had her fair share of undesired attention. A stalker threatened singer Rihanna and trespassed her home. And we all know what happened to John Lennon that dreadful night in New York. The list goes on…
We are told not to draw attention to ourselves. The simple reason is that it keeps us safe. Unfortunately, celebrities can’t afford to be invisible. Apart from their screen lives, they also use their spotlight to create awareness for charity projects as well as projects that benefit themselves. It comes with the job.
The everyday life of famous people is constantly peppered with excitement and glamour. But the price of fame has its pitfalls. They suffer home invasion and receive death threats. People who create trouble for celebrities are not genuine fans, but pathological personalities who have lost touch with reality. They zero in on their victim to fill an emotional void. The result is a dangerous fanaticism. A life of fantasy and lies that they are having an intimate relationship with their idol. Once that reality is gone, the distinction between reality and fantasy can become ugly. That’s when the crazed and violent journey begins.
In my upcoming thriller, Gun Kiss, I drew inspiration based on the stories I have read about the impact felt by celebrities from their stalkers. My story is about a maniacal drug lord in Mexico who becomes fixated with a Hollywood movie star. His obsession leads him to kidnap her. When she is rescued, he begins a lethal campaign to get her back.
The Hollywood character in my novel is not the protagonist, but she is the second most important person in the story. Her character is displayed in various situations from moments of strength to occasions of weakness. There are scenes where she delves into her own thoughts. At times, she attempts to hide or express her feelings.
Gun Kiss will be published by Imajin Books in Canada this autumn. The novel is connected to subplots that bring out various themes. Celebs not only have to deal with stalkers, but the constant watchful eye of the paparazzi. It’s hard not to feel paranoid. Sandwiched between danger and the lack of privacy, one wonders how famous people keep sane. Can you blame them for losing their cool in public when they are swarmed by autograph hunters and photographers?
As members of the public, we can brush off these incidences by saying celebrities deserve the fate that befalls on them since they have chosen this path. On the other hand, you don’t have to be a celebrity to become a stalking victim. Police files have shown that ordinary people have also been traumatized by obsessed stalkers. Simply put, it can happen to anyone. A brush-by at a park or a supermarket can lead to consequences. More and more, the stalker wants to know more about you… and get closer and closer and closer. You start to wonder what did you do? You start to feel scared, guilty, and confuse. And depending on the individual character, it can go this way or that way. Well, there’s only one way to know what happened to my Hollywood movie star. Read the novel when it’s released.
Khaled Talib is a former journalist with local and international exposure. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines. The author resides in Singapore.