The mystery writing community is one of the nicest groups of people I’ve ever encountered. Based on the posts this month, the rest of the Mysteristas agree. I find it funny, though. The nicest group of people I’ve ever met is made up of people who spend all their time plotting murder.
I’m not kidding about mystery writers being nice. It’s not a “nice to your face only” crowd. My writer friends are the kind of people who would give your car a jump in the Target parking lot in a twenty below windchill, good-to-the-bone, down-to-Earth people. It kind of makes sense, though. I’ve written three genres: romance, mystery, and legal documents, if you let me count “the law” as a genre (which might expose why I’m a better novelist than a lawyer). Out of those three genres, writing a mystery is the most blue collar, hands-on pursuit. It’s like fixing a car, dirty with lots of moving parts. Theoretically–it’s not like I’ve ever fixed a car.
I’m getting carried away, though. Writers can’t ever be as cool as car people, unless you count Steve Ulfelder (actual car person) or Kristi Belcamino, who considers leather pants and a faux fur jacket to be winter wear. Most mystery writers look a little more library-esque.
Murderous thinking or not, I would vouch for any mystery writer as a last-minute wedding date. For one, thinking about death is normal. My kids certainly talk about it enough. I’m not so sure thinking about murder is normal, but certainly death. I asked a psychologist if it’s normal to think about murder all day long (over coffee with no context). Her response: “Normal is so relative. Thinking about murdering relatives might be normal. Relatives thinking about murdering all day might be normal, depending on the relatives.” So there you have it, we’re normal!
I’ve also noticed that people who reflect on the darkness in life tend to be easier to hang out with. I haven’t met any saccharine or phony mystery writers. Not to mention, a book needs a lot of dramatic tension. Murder is arguably the worst crime, so that’s what most of us write about. So on that note, I leave you. Mystery writers might spend all day pretending to kill people, but they make great dinner dates.
Giveaway: comment on today’s post to enter! One winner will receive an e-copy of SMART, BUT DEAD by Nancy G. West (Aggie Mundeen Mystery #3).
“An impetuous, warm-hearted heroine with an insatiable curiosity, passion for learning and unquenchable zest for life.” – Mystery People.
Pushing forty and appalled at the prospect of descending into middle-age decrepitude, Aggie Mundeen blasts off to the local university to study the genetics of aging. She’s fascinated with scientific discoveries but finds a dead academic. Dangerously curious and programmed to prod, she winds up prime suspect and is on target to become next campus corpse. http://tinyurl.com/pxg2bm