Monday, March 4, 2013

Who do you love?

by Meredith Cole

Do you ever like your villain more than your hero?

In the traditional mysteries I wrote, I would have said "absolutely not." The books were all about Lydia McKenzie and her attempts to catch a murderer. I tried to make the murderers flesh and blood people rather than caricatures, but they weren't people I wanted to hang out with. Especially not in a dark alley at midnight.

But recently I've been trying my hand at writing a different kind of book, one without any murders. Oh, there's mystery all right--and someone even dies--but right and wrong isn't so cut and dried. Who is the villain? Who is the hero? Who do you trust? And who is telling the truth? What is a crime? And what is redemption?

My story isn't filled with criminals like Elmore Leonard, but it does ask the question of whether an honest man (or woman) would commit a crime if given an opportunity. And what it would take to right a wrong.

I'm enjoying playing with these concepts, and hanging out with all the characters in my book--even the ones on the lam. They all feel like flesh and blood people to me--just ones with a few more problems than I have (thank goodness).

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