I knew that if I was going to write a novel, I was going to have fun writing crime fiction. It was fun getting back at the bullies and jerks, the gold-diggers, troublemakers, and narcissists in your life. I was going to make them pay as the villain in my story. Justice always triumphs in crime fiction after all.
Most law enforcement jobs offer burst of excitement, danger, and thrilling action—in contrast to the way I made my living working on academic social science research projects. Writing crime fiction is fun. Oh, research had its own set of puzzles and intrigues, its own small excitements from time to time. But I relish the dark side, a bit of noir, semi-hardboiled in fiction– the thrill me, chill me, scare-me-to-death aspect of police work.
- In my fictional life I can dance on the dark side, speed into an alley in a Porsche after midnight, insult a gang banger, or talk back to a cop with impunity.
- I can be 32 again, and 5 foot ten. I can have a romance with a hard-bodied cop who can dance the tango.
- Goodness will prevail over evil and the villain will be punished. I guarantee it.
- In the name of research, I get to ride in the back seat of a police car, buy a pair of handcuffs, fire an AR-15, and pet a canine unit.
- I get to slide in my opinions on social issues. Good mysteries are about something, usually a social problem that has given rise to a crime. In my book On Behalf of the Family it was about honor killing. In Rip-Off it was about human trafficking. Believe me, I have opinions, but the trick is not to beat the reader over the head with them.
- I really like my fellow writers who like the stroll down dark alleys as much as I do. I love crime fiction fans who read and review my books.
- I can curse and swear and put gutter language in the mouths of my characters that I would never, ever say. I can let them have sex as much as I’d like, flaunt cleavage, and walk in five inch heels.
- I love the detectives in both of my police procedural series, one set in Santa Monica, the other in the peaceful village where I live in the central California mountains. Of course, Dave Mason is me, but he’s not me too. Same with Dex Stafford and Holly Seabright. I get to visit with them any time I like.
- I love puzzles. In the process of writing seven crime fiction novels, I’ve had to devise plots that sometimes seemed to have no resolution. But I get to tinker with them, set my characters in motion, and solve the puzzle. It’s fun writing crime fiction.
- I get to visit exotic locales. Friends consider them strange choices. Chechnya, for example. I read Turkish and Chechen newspapers in English for years, yes years, to get the plots and characters right. I get to poke my nose down rat holes in the name of research that I’m sure has earned me a place on Homeland Security Watch lists.
But I’m harmless. Really I am. I’m just a writer.
Here’s a sample of another aspect of writing crime fiction. This EBook series tells you how to write a mystery Finishing Your First Mystery
Ah, finishing. That’s another story.
And a link to my current novel By Accident due out September 15, 2021. You can pre-order it for $1.99.