Why do you write crime instead of another form of fiction,
like science fiction, romance or general fiction?
(About a year ago, we answered a similar question, so I thought you’d enjoy this “classic” post (okay, a rerun). But if you haven’t read this post before, it’s new to you, and judging by the zero comments I got last year, it will probably be new to you!)
Because we’re talking crime here, I think it’s appropriate to use, uh, bullet points.
- Justice – I have a well-developed sense of right and wrong, but in the real world, justice doesn’t always prevail. In my world, justice does prevail, often with extreme prejudice.
- High stakes, high drama – Often, crime is about life and death. For the victims, for the perpetrators, for those suffering the fallout of crime. Writing about characters facing these types of situations makes for compelling drama.
- Anything goes – criminals do some nasty, nasty things, so as a writer, I don’t feel constrained in any way about what I can write about. I can be as nasty as I want!
- Fascination – As a kid, my TV diet consisted of all those great cop/detective shows of the 70’s—Mannix, The Rockford Files, The FBI, Adam-12, Barnaby Jones, Ironside, McMillan & Wife, Banacek, Columbo, Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Baretta, Starsky & Hutch, Kojak, McCloud, Harry O, Shaft, Cool Million, and for some reason, Police Woman and Charlie’s Angels. For me, it’s not so much “write what you know,” but “write what you’ve watched a million times.”
Inside knowledge – It would be a shame to waste the 15 years I spent at Leavenworth.