At the most recent writer’s conference I had lots of chances to chat with what one writer called “my fellow lunatics” about why we choose to use our precious time committing fiction. One author said that writing mysteries was the only way he knew to escape.

“Escape what?” I asked.

“My padded cell.”

“You’re not really in a cell.”

“Sure I am,” he said. “At work. Nine to five. You know a cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.”

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