Kevin O'Brien brought his characters with him. Rather, he brought the friends after whom he has named many characters. One friend, Dan, has appeared in several books, even, unfortunately, biting the dust in one of them. Jim and Barb, Doug and Ann have also been innocent bystanders, suspects, and everything in between. If Kevin uses the name or particulars of a real person for one of his victims, with the exception of Dan, he sometimes uses people who have crossed him in real life. (So be nice to him!) Actually Kevin is a charming, vivacious, funny guy, and that's why you shouldn't cross him.
We didn't have to be told that he had a good imagination as a kid. Add in influences like Hitchcock, especially in "Psycho," and you have part of what makes Kevin tick.
A lively audience discussion of movies that scare us ensued. We'd name some of the movies, but we're too scared to!
One of his hallmarks is how realistic he makes his characters, even ones who meet their doom after just a few pages. He also likes to create ambiguity and end his stories with unresolved issues, sometimes even when he hadn't intended to do so. It's not uncommon for someone to say, "Why did you send the woman off with that evil guy at the end?" Evil guy? Not intentionally meant to seem evil. Hmmm.
It's been a long road for the former railroad inspector.
His latest book is Vicious.