From Liz, on her way to Magna Cum Murder: If you are a member of Sisters in Crime, odds are you’ve heard of Frankie Bailey. A past president at the national level, she’s also a fabulous author and writer of Frankie’s List, a list of POC/LGBTQ writers published in the crime fiction world. Looking for a new author? Check the list! She’s visiting today and writing about the pleasures – and perils – authors experience when they step into the lives of their characters.
One of the pleasures of being a writer is that we step into the lives of our characters. We know their thoughts, feel what they feel. This intimate knowledge is also one of the perils of writing crime fiction. Even those of us who work in criminal justice-related fields find some types of crime, some offenders, some victims more than we can handle. We might prefer not to write about child victims or serial killers. We might cringe at the thought of describing domestic violence or sexual assault.
What we feel comfortable writing about reflects who we are and what we believe. But our perspectives may change over time. I don’t think of myself as a “cozy” writer because I deal with social issues that may make my readers uncomfortable. But, I’m not “hard-boiled” because I’m unlikely to write graphic descriptions of violence. Or explicit sex (for fear of making readers laugh out loud at my efforts and/or wonder how much research I do). On the other hand, one of my favorite characters appeared in the fourth book in my Lizzie Stuart series (currently being reissued). That character – Lizzie’s long-missing mother Becca – strolled in and stole the show. She’s a femme fatale. More than one reader described her as “the mother from hell”. I knew she was out there – she had been discussed in the first three books — but I was unprepared for my own reaction to Becca. As much as I felt I should disapprove of her, I loved seeing the world from her point of view. She will return.
Now that the series is getting a re-boot, I’m looking forward to catching up with what has been going on in Lizzie’s life. Series time has passed slowly. The year of the last book was 2004. One of the other pleasures of writing other lives is having the ability to time travel.
Criminologist Frankie Bailey has five books and two published short stories in a mystery series featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart. The Red Queen Dies, the first book in a near-future police procedural series featuring Detective Hannah McCabe, came out in September 2013. The second book in the series, What the Fly Saw came out in March 2015. Frankie is a former executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.
Website URL: http://www.frankieybailey.com
Amazon: Death’s Favorite Child
Amazon: What the Fly Saw