Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I have a little essay posted on the Mystery Circus website. Check it out here.


Sandra Ruttan said...

You've touched on a lot of things we have in common - being a news junkie, wondering about the things people do to each other and why.

I think crime writers are often interested in society and trying to make sense of the bad things in the world. I know Rankin talks about being influenced by the news and real events, and I certainly am.

I also think that there's gravity to these topics. Matters of justice, or morality all come into play. I know some people only want to read to be entertained, but that isn't me. I want my entertainment to make me think, long after the last page. Maybe reading about fictional characters who struggle with some of the same frustrations I do makes me feel less alone, and maybe giving some of my issues to fictional characters is just cheaper than therapy.

Steve Allan said...

Yeah, my stories need to have some grounding - well, most of them anyway. Stumpy doesn't really count, unless we're talking about saving the world from bad poets.

I agree that I want the things I read to entertain and inform. Granted, every once and awhile I want complete pulp; but I want that more from movies and television than from literature.

One of the best things about crime fiction is that we get an opportunity to play the bad guy from time to time. And while we get our vicarious thrills from that, we also get a glimpse of what makes people like this tick - if the characters are well developed.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Every once in a while I want complete entertainment as well, but usually like you, from movies. And short fiction doesn't really count in my philosophy - for books, I don't want to spend time with people who are completely frivolous, never take anything in life seriously, solve problems by shopping or getting a manicure - I wouldn't spend time with those people in real life, I'm not paying for a book where I have to put up with their fluffiness.

And sometimes it is nice to think that you can let your character do what you'd only dream of doing, and see how that would work out, at least fictionally.

But saving the world from bad poetry is a noble cause.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Why do we write the violent, nasty things we write? A good question, and fodder for a long panel discussion. I'll have to spend some time on the answer and get back to you. I mean I know why I do it, but making the reasons sound logical to other people is something else.

And then we'll need to discuss your pudding fetish.

Steve Allan said...

So, at least two people read it. I think my name on the front page made people actually take back their web hits. Circus is the first site to have a negetive number of people visit because of me.