Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Killing Is Hard...For Some

By Tracy Kiely

As you know, our topic this week is to reveal who would be the hardest for us to kill.

Um…hello? That’s a no brainer! Harry Potter, of course. I mean, not only is the kid a wizard, but he’s The Boy Who Lived! Throw in that invisibility cloak of his and the Elder Wand, and I ask you – how could a suburban mom of three – a muggle suburban mother of three, no less, kill The Chosen One when Lord Voldermort himself couldn’t?

So. Like I said – no brainer. It’s Harry Potter.

However, now that I’ve sat back in my chair, pleased with my final answer, I’m beginning to think that perhaps that’s not what you meant. Perhaps it was what kind of person is the hardest to kill.

And while I still maintain that a wizard would be extremely tricky to kill, I suppose that I should limit my answer to the muggle world.

However, just like the wizarding world, there is evil and nastiness in our world. Turn on the tv, read the paper, surf the web, and you will find example after example of human intolerance, cruelty, and ignorance. Many times these failings go unpunished. (Casey Anthony, anyone?) But, in the world I’ve created for my protagonist, Elizabeth Parker, I am able to right the wrongs and redress the balance. (I also am able to drive a stick shift, run six miles every morning, and speak fluent French – just some of the fabulous benefits available to you when you create your own world.)

Cozies are one of the purest forms of escapism (well, next to shopping for shoes, of course), and there are certain rules writers of cozies must adhere to. Readers do not want gratuitous violence, torture, or explicit sex. They want to read about (mostly) well-mannered, civilized people (in other words, people like themselves), who are suddenly thrust into a murder investigation that will be solved in a satisfactory manner.

The murder victims in my books are not nice people. They are people who deserve to die. They are people who readers want to see die. They are every skeevy ex-boyfriend, high school bully, or crappy boss you ever had. They do bad things, hurt people, and then are killed. It’s therapeutic, in a way.

And based on the number of potential victims I’ve got floating around in my head, apparently, I still need a lot of therapy.


Lois Winston said...

Tracy, killing as therapy? I love it! Authors don't have to get mad; we get even. At least on paper.

TracyK said...

Oh, it's the very best kind of therapy - 'cause it's free!

circuitmouse said...

The tag line for the recent panel of mystery authors at the Los Angeles Public Library ("We kill so you don't have to") was on everyone's lips as more than clever ...for some it hit a bit too close to home! I don't think anyone slipped a list of potential targets to any of the authors on the way out, however...