Monday, July 20, 2015

Ingrid Thoft

Ingrid Thoft was born in Boston and is a graduate of Wellesley College. Her interest in the PI life and her desire to create a believable PI character led her to the certificate program in private investigation at the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle with her husband.

Thoft's new novel is Brutality.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
It’s a treat when a book satisfies me as both a writer and a reader, and that’s been my experience reading The Gift of Fear, by Gavin De Becker. Given to me by a friend at the Seattle Police Department, its premise is that fear is an essential part of our wiring and that, too often, we ignore the signals that could keep us safe. As a reader and an urban dweller, I’m finding the practical solutions in the book to be illuminating. As a writer, the case studies that De Becker provides offer insight into the criminal mind, which will undoubtedly inform my writing.

One of De Becker’s most important points is that we value logic over intuition—otherwise known as the unease you feel when something or someone in your environment doesn’t seem quite right. Our erroneous assumption is that intuition isn’t based on data when, in fact, it is. The problem is that our bodies and unconscious have evolved to signal danger in the blink of an eye, but our rational brains don’t want to accept the conclusion without the proof. De Becker writes “Intuition is the journey from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way. It is knowing without knowing why.”

The Gift of Fear argues that we spend too much time worrying about the threats out of our control that are statistically unlikely—like plane crashes and terrorist attacks—and not enough time considering the more likely threats in our day-to-day environments. The suitor who won’t take “no” for an answer and the “helpful” stranger in the parking lot are more apt to cause you grief and harm, but a variety of factors, including a fear of being rude, prompts us to ignore the warning signs and enter into potentially dangerous interactions and relationships. You may assume that the book is alarming and a downer, but I’m finding it to be quite the opposite. It’s given me permission to always listen to the little voice in my head that warns when something isn’t quite right, and it’s providing best practices for avoiding victimization. And a charming conman who manipulates his victims using subtle wordplay? He may just show up in a future novel.
Visit Ingrid Thoft's website.

The Page 69 Test: Brutality.

--Marshal Zeringue