There are a couple reasons I got into this.
1) I like good detective stories.
2) I like good mysteries (not always the same thing).
3) I like good stories, period.
4) Once in a while you have to push yourself, even as a writer, and do something that neither you nor anyone else thought you might try. I've written several "hardboiled" mystery stories in the past but all of them had some other element- scifi, fantasy or both- and some people (they know who they are) started to think that was all I could write.
I've written precisely two stories of this sort thus far. One is a novel called BETTER ANGELS, the first of four I plan to set in the fictional city of Gray Harbor. The other is a novelette I was lucky enough to sell to ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE. It's called THE PLAYLIST and, as soon as I know when it's coming out, I'll run screaming across the internet to let others know too.
But why crime fiction at all? Because, frankly, it's pretty freaking versatile. You can use it as a frame for a comedic yarn or a romantic one; you can use it to make political points or to express your feelings about God. You can even work out some anger issues if that's your bag. It's just that flexible and, where I come from, flexible is good.
I'm not sure that diehard fans of the genre will love my stuff but I'm hoping they will at least try it. My aim is to use the tropes of the genre to tell, yes, good crime stories, but also to try and say something about the America we live in right now in a way that isn't preachy.
I don't like preachy.
But I do like genre fiction so I'm trying to add this one to the stable. If it goes well, maybe I'll try westerns next.