I’m delighted to welcome friend and author, Val Penny to tell us about social anxiety in her Edinburgh Crime Novels and in particular the brand new Hunter’s Rules.
In the real world, many people consciously restrict their contact with others due to the social anxiety they suffer, and I try to illustrate this in my series of Edinburgh Crime Novels through the character of Frankie Hope.
Frankie is now a young man, but as a child he was bullied by his mother and insulted by his father. This has left him cautious of interaction in the wider world. He fears being thought of negatively so, in Hunter’s Rules, the most recent book in my crime fiction series, he waits in two long lines during a prison visit to his uncle, Ian. Otherwise, he would have had to return empty-handed and get scolded by Ian. That is not an option for Frankie.
Frankie also finds it difficult to initiate conversations with strangers. They cause him a great deal of embarrassment. However, he works in the family business, a car showroom where new customers are always unknown to him, so rather than approach them, he will usually leave his more ebullient cousin, Jamie, to make the first approach.
Social anxiety also usually holds a fear for those who suffer from it that they may humiliate themselves in some way or do or say something out of place. They worry about drawing attention to themselves and getting a negative reaction. Frankie is no different.
During his adolescence, he suffered from severe acne and, although he dated the prettiest and nicest girl at his high school, he did not have the confidence to understand why she might like him. The girl had to make the first move; Frankie certainly would not do so.
The only people Frankie is really relaxed around are those he knows best, his twin daughters, Kylie-Ann and Dannii-Ann, his fiancée Donna and his cousin Jamie. They live together in the house Frankie inherited from his parents and I doubt Frankie will ever move – the anxiety would be too great.
Set in Edinburgh, the beautiful capital city of Scotland, Hunter’s Rules revolves largely around Frankie, Jamie and their loved ones. There is no doubt that they are impatient for DI Hunter Wilson and his team to solve the case that has touched them so deeply.
Thank you for explaining that, Val. Here’s some more information about Hunter’s Rules, which launches on 1st January, 2022.
About Hunter’s Rules
A bloody scene brings Hunter and Meera’s romantic plans to an abrupt end.
A young woman was attacked in a hotel lift. She has life changing injuries, but she is alive. Hunter notes that her wounds are like those inflicted on two women who previously died.
Can Meera keep the injured woman alive long enough for her to identify her assailant? Is the same person responsible for all three crimes? When Hunter is identified as a suspect in the crime, can he establish his innocence and lead his team to solve the crime and keep Edinburgh safe?
This is the sixth book in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series of novels. Val Penny’s other crime novels, Hunter’s Chase Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force Hunter’s Blood and Hunter’s Secret form the rest of this bestselling series set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by darkstroke.
You can also start at the beginning of The Jane Renwick Thrillers with The First Cut.
Her first non-fiction book Let’s Get Published is also available now and she has most recently contributed her short story, Cats and Dogs to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland.
Val is an American author living in SW Scotland with her husband and their cat.