Q: What prompted you to become a writer of crime fiction?
1. I’ve gobbled up crime fiction since childhood. Yes, that means dopey Nancy Drew, but early exposure to Agatha Christie’s best puzzles, and other books that had some crime as the fulcrum around which the plot revolved.
2. Rex Stout’s atmospheric series of Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin stories set in my hometown of Manhattan looked so easy to write because they were stylish, unspooled so nicely, and fooled me often.
3. Winning a crime writing contest built around a John D. MacDonald serial mystery. The prize included a year’s membership in MWA. All those great people – Julie Smith, Mickey Friedman, JJ Lamb among them – were so cool and so encouraging.
4. The passion to write a book length piece, the decision to have that writing be fiction, and the appeal of a form of novel writing that included structure pulled me toward some kind of crime fiction.
5. A puzzling lack of interest in blood and gore, serial killers, torture, and endless forensics as acted on TV dramas made me realize I was not made of sterner stuff and that my crimes were going to be happiest solved in less ugly settings and probably by civilians.
What keeps me interested is the next dangling sparkly thing: What can I try that’s new and challenging?