Saturday, 10 November 2007

Crime fiction - why don't I write it?

Just been to Blockbuster (Blockie to us and probably also to you) and come back with three thrillers. OK, I was in that kind of mood, but it is probably the genre we watch most, despite the Ultimate Frisbee Freak and his friends trying to educate us with all his A Level film studies stuff.

In terms of books, I suppose my taste is similar. They say you should write the kind of books you enjoy reading, in which case I should probably be writing crime fiction. A quick look along our bookshelves (and anywhere else books can be crammed in lest they have to be recycled via the local Oxfam bookshop) reveals that at least a third of both my and the Other Half’s reading matter involves murder and mayhem. Well, mostly murder to be honest.

So why have I never written a crime fiction novel?
Well the quick answer is ‘Give me time, I’ve only written four novels altogether!’ The slower answer is that my first attempt was a kind of crime novel, though it was based on theft, not murder. When I sent it to an agent, she was complimentary enough about it but said that she didn’t think that was where my heart was. Hmmm…

Maybe my writing self is a bit like one of my own characters (see yesterday’s blog) my rational, planning self can’t make it do what it doesn’t want to do.

I blogged recently about the like/admire split in my reading matter. Maybe that’s at the heart of all this. I don’t want just to write the kind of book I like, I want to produce something which, if I read it, I would admire as well as like. And, though I admire as well as like Minette Walters (hopefully getting her new book, the Chameleon's Shadow, for my birthday – in expensive hardback!!! – if the Ultimate Frisbee Freak and the Bassist have got their act together) I think my writing self is quite well aware that I’d never be able to produce anything as good as her books. I mean, have you read Disordered Minds? It’s a tour de force. A literary novel which also happens to have a strong narrative drive.

Want to know what’s on the Blockbuster list of cheapies from tonight? OK.
Amnesia – John Hannah and Jemma Redgrave
Secret Window – Johnny Depp (there doesn’t need to be anybody else, does there?)
Murder by Numbers – Sandra Bullock (ditto)

I’ll let you know whether they were like, admire, or both.

2 comments:

Akasha Savage said...

Firstly, one of my favourite films is Secret Window. Mainly because it has two important elements that are dear to my heart: It was penned by Stephen King, and it stars Johnny Depp! What more could a girl want? Enjoy.

Secondly,if you like crime thrillers you MUST read Lost Dog, the dubut novel of american author Bill Cameron...you can get it through Amazon. I'm not a great lover of crime fiction myself, but this book is excellent. You can read an excerpt of it on Bill's blog, linked through Killer Year's blog on my blog page.

Alis said...

Thanks for that Akasha, will do!