I recently joined this network because I am turning my attention to crime writing. I've been writing for about 12 years and have around 30 short stories published - all 'literary'. I've been a part of the editorial board for a couple of magazines (most notably Pindeldyboz which recently folded its print edition) and I have to say that, outside of that specific magazine world, the mystery writers society is unbelievably friendly compared to the 'literary' writing world. There is so much competition in crime writing, yet this does not translate to jealousy or arrogance in the writers themselves. I have to say it's refreshing having, for so long, been on both sides of the literary writing world (by this I mean, a lowly author who was always being asked 'Yes, but what have you PUBLISHED?' to being an editor who 'doesn't appreciate good writing when he sees it.'
I'd heard about the good nature of crime writers and the community, and I'm glad to see it is all true.

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Actually, Newt, in unmoderated newsgroups like RAM, the "kill file" is strictly personal, i.e. only the individual user can block their ability to see another poster's messages. It means someone was ignoring you, not keeping you from posting to the list.

And, since the tradition was to quote the post to which you were replying, you often got to see "killfiled" posters' output anyway.

Sorry your experience with RAM was so negative. I was a regular poster for years and still pop in on occasion. I met some good friends there, some of whom I still see at conventions. I met my first supporters there, and I daresay, if it hadn't been for the good words of posters like Karin and Katy Munger, I might not have stuck with it. I didn't always agree with folks, and I'm ashamed to say, didn't always disagree nicely, but I generally found it a congenial place.

YMMV as they say.
So Jeff,
Besides the people, what brought you to mystery/crime fiction?

As I mentioned in my initial post I published a lot of short fiction and then had some issues getting a novel out. I had agents a few times, and had an offer on a novel but then the house went under and whenever I went back to re-write the novels I got kind of bored of them. That's not good. You shouldn't get bored of your own novel. Then my wife got me into reading crime (Robinson and Connelly) and I've been drawn in ever since. My novels always seemed to be missing the 'what's going to happen next' element, and now it's there. My ideas tend to not just fit into a mystery mold but are better because of it. And now that I've finished my first crime novel, it's all I want to write.
As well, I got bored of dysfunctional family stories and stories of immigrants and coming of age stories. They are good, but I don't really want to write them any longer and that seems to be what the genre is filled with. crime is just more interesting, and they are just as good and deep and important as literature.
And, finally, when I was finishing my MA I took a course on medical and virus fiction with a prof I always respected and she pointed out that these novels are the most important at the moment (crime, thrillers, &c., in general) because of how many people read them. And I have to agree.
So there it is.
While I have admittedly run across one or two jack asses in the mystery writing world, I have to say most folks have been quite kind to me and several far more than I probably deserve. I have been fortunate to encounter that, in my book, and that gives me much encouragement.


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