Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The nature of the crime?

The Crime Readers' Association, which is the readers' arm of the UK Crime Writers' Association, has a swish new website. A poem in monochrome and red. There's a link at the bottom of this post if you're looking for some last minute ideas for Xmas gifts. Or suggestions for something nefarious to curl up with yourself,  after the port and the turkey. The site has an A to Z of authors (including me ) which got me thinking of the many different types of crime novel there are. As many as there are authors? Whole theses could (and possibly have) been written about our interest in crime as a form of entertainment, but it's a fact the for large numbers of us, a good crime novel is the one of the best kinds. No one wants crime, especially violent crime, in their home, but we're all prepared to import it from the library and the bookshop. Clearly there's excitement in reading about it. And the CWA has member who write all sorts of genres - police procedural, historical, elegant puzzles, thrillers. Whatever you fancy, the Crime Readers' site will probably have some ideas.

Me - I'm a hybrid. (That's posh for mongrel.) For a start, my books have a romance in them, with all the attendant ups and downs.  And they are thrillers. I was thinking about what makes a thriller. I'm sure screeds have been written about that too, but for a rough and ready start point I'd say that the germ that kicks it off has to be something out of place, that has the potential to cause fear  and/or harm - that might be crime or possibly something paranormal. After that the author just has to keep you turning the pages. 'Just '- she says nonchalantly! I like the danger and excitement element - and it's also useful for keeping the romance on the boil. Staying alive and running away from the bad guys is an excellent way of keeping the hero and heroine together. But I also like the puzzle part - I'm a fan of Agatha Christie and Robert Goddard in that respect. I have to say that puzzle plotting the best way in the world to paint yourself into a corner and tear your hair out until you find a way out. But when it works ...

So that's my take - romantic suspense.

But there's a lot of other stuff out there ...

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