How Many Crime Fiction Writers Have Actually Committed a Crime?

You don't necessarily have to say "yes" or "no." But what does a "yes" or "no" mean? Better or worse for the writing?

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Let me check the statute of limitations.
I think crime fiction writers--the good ones--are adept at getting in touch with their dark sides. It's not important to actually commit the crime, only to imagine it. I doubt, for example, that Thomas Harris ever really ate a census-taker's liver...
I think he is supposed to have been inspired by the Monster of Venice--and those horrendous crimes, Jude.
btw, HI!
I can think of at least one. Very successful author of period mysteries set in the UK, but she's originally American. The crime (murder) happened when she was an adolescent.
ooh I know who you mean!
An excellent film was made about the crime, too.
Wild horses won't get me to name the author though!
Anne Perry is the author, and I think she's a terrific writer. The movie was Heavenly Bodies, I thik.
Heavenly Creatures - a well-done flick!
I think she was a "heavenly creature" though, or something like that. I've heard her speak at Bloody Words in Toronto, and she was very interesting!
Sometimes personal experience can be worse for writing if you stick too closely to, "That's what really happened."

I'm working as a writer on a TV show and one of the executive producers is a former cop - he brings us lots of stories and he's usually most excited by the "way out there," ones which don't often make for very compelling fiction. A once-in-a-lifetime, freak thing is tough to relate to. Sometimes we say we'd like to have flashing on the screen, "this really happened."

On the other hand, when I was 19 I was arrested for a crime I committed and years later I used it as a character's background in my first crime novel, Dirty Sweet. Like Jude says, it wasn't so much the details of the events (the arrest, the police interrogation, the court room stuff) but the emotional stuff. There were other guys involved and they all pretty much continued with crime as a career (most of them had been arrested before this time as well). I admit, I thought about it. That's the part I used in the book, the wondering about what would have happened if I'd continued down that road (and been way cooler than I really am. The guy in my book is cool).

Like everything else in writing it's not about where stuff comes from, it's about what you do with it.
I'm planning my next caper now (and I could use a good wheel man).
I've got a Honda Civic and a Magic Bullet. Sign me up.
Man, can she drive!


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