There are tons of genres you could have contributed your talents. For some reason, you ended up writing crime fiction. Not fantasy. Not techno-thriller. Not cyberpunk. You wound up writing/reading crime fiction. What was the trigger? Why do you write what you write?

For me, it was a fascination with the raw intensity committing a crime brought. As a crime reporter, my favorite stories were the atrocities everyday people committed. The forces that transformed a benign person into a criminal peaked my interest. That transformation makes for a terrific backdrop for a novel, one that drew me to explore. The fact it could happen to me or someone I know makes it all the more dangerous and appealing.

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For me, it's the sense of noir, the danger of the unknown, especially the unknown within ourselves. I am driven to explore and understand what makes people do the things they do, both the noble and the atrocious deeds of man. As a child I read everything -- both fiction and non (though I always had a passion for fiction) and every genre. But I always remember the thrill-rush of adrenaline when the sleuth got underway. From Holmes to Columbo, from Bogey on the screen to Hannibal Lecter, I loved them all, straight mystery and thriller alike.

I am still fascinated to this day with the study of what makes us all tick. Reading gives one a tremendous feeling of insight, and so does writing for that matter!
Years ago, I read a book on writing by Randall V. Cassell. The book is virtually impossible to get short of an arm, a leg, or an eye, but one piece of advice he gave was agout the unity of stories. There are tailor-made stories all around us in the form of things that have a beginning a middle and an end.

Crime is one of those: There's a crime, an investigation, and a conclusion--satisfactory or otherwise.

I am not sure that is why I consciously write crime stories, but it may be a subconscious reason.
If we invited Aristotle into the discussion (he loved Oedipus Rex, a crime story- sort of) he might adjust his theory of poetics to say that the fear and pity aroused by such tales results in catharsis, a restoration of emotional balance - especially when we see justice done and disequilibrium restored to some kind of balance. In every crime story there is 'discovery' (or 'recognition') and a resulting reversal of some kind, involving surprise (and suffering) even though there were plenty of 'clues' along the way as to what the inevitable and logical ending would be.

OK, maybe I'm over-analyzing it. They're just fun.
Nope, you're not over-analyzing. Crime fiction is both -- psychologically satisfying and cathartic, as well as fun!
That's where the flawed hero comes from. Only the discovery is self-recognition. In other words, Greek tragedy focuses inward. Mysteries mostly focus outward.


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