Crime and Thriller Writing, co-authored by me and my friend Michelle Spring, has three sections to it. The first is our reflections on our writing life; the third is the nuts-and-bolts how-to section. But the middle section is a little of everything–and everyone.
Part two is a series of essays by twenty-six other fantastic crime & thriller writers, on topics ranging from Alafair Burke’s “Watching the World with Empathy” to Charles Todd on settings. One of our aims was to draw from both sides of the Atlantic, so we included a number of writers more at home in the UK than in the US. One of those is the excellent and subtle Sophie Hannah, poet, children’s writer, and writer of psychological thrillers that will have you sleeping with the lights on.
The reason I’ve always loved mystery stories, and probably the reason, also, that I became a crime writer, is because, in my real life, I’ve always been obsessed with the need to know, a need that so often goes unquenched. There are so many unknowns in our day-to-day existence, so many unfathomable mysteries – not associated with murders usually, but fascinating none the less. When everything is known, life is, let’s face it, boring. But when you yearn for information that is either deliberately withheld from you or for some other reason not available, you can’t bear the thought that this burning question might never be resolved. The comfort of crime fiction is that, except for in the most experimental of mystery novels, the puzzle always is resolved.
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