July 23, 2007

Why Mysteries?

Since beginning to write mysteries, I've gotten two recurring questions from people. The first: "Why are you writing mysteries?" The second one comes with a smile and a questioning eyebrow: "Can I tell you this great idea I have for a mystery that you could write?"

Why mysteries? I've always loved reading, and was introduced to the mystery world as an adult. Immersed as I was in academic and professional writing, I soon found that writing fiction (and why not mysteries, since I enjoyed them so much), functioned as comic relief, an escape valve. It was fun to create worlds, characters, and plots out of wholecloth, with nary a footnote in sight.

Which leads me to the second common question. Creating a novel or a short story is like being in your own dream world. You can picture everything and everyone, even without having to spell it all out in words. But someone else cannot (at least for most of us) be there in your dream seeing and experiencing it with you. So when you've got that tantalizing thread of an idea playing in technicolor in your head, it's probably best to sit down and start writing YOUR novel!

No comments: