Art, a book, a painting, a song, can definitely inspire change, whether it's a small change or a big change but you know there's novels I've read or a scene in a film that I've seen where I definitely inspired something and made a change or addressed an issue in my life or done something cliche like make a phone call.
There are the people who read my horror novels - the first two of them - and they found them scary or whatever, and then there are some people who are maybe not entirely stable who think that they're real, who think that they're being stalked by the same demons or ghosts that are mentioned in the books.
People are much more complicated in real life, but my characters are as subtle and nuanced as I can make them. But if you say my characters are too black and white, you've missed the point. Villains are meant to be black-hearted in popular novels. If you say I have a grey-hearted villain, then I've failed.
I grew up in a community where it was not the exception to be a good girl. It was sort of expected. And all of my friends were good girls too, and my boyfriends were good boys. Everybody was pretty nice. And that affects how I write my characters. There aren't very many bad guys in my novels.
I seldom read anything that is not of a factual nature because I want to invest my time wisely in the things that will improve my life. Don't misunderstand; there is nothing wrong with reading purely for the joy of it. Novels have their place, but biographies of famous men and women contain information that can change lives.