If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.
- Tennessee Williams
I was hit with this question and connected it to my crime fiction Beyond Blood and Beyond the Tripping Point.
The trigger was listening to best-selling author Linden MacIntyre being interviewed this morning by Mike Duncan on Classic 93.6 FM radio station. MacIntyre was talking about his new novel Punishment and its theme of vengeance versus justice. And he is also a former journalist, albeit a high profile broadcast journalist lately host of CBC’s investigative TV show The Fifth Estate. (More information on MacIntyre in this Toronto Star story http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2014/11/21/linden_macintyre_on_community_vengeance_and_punishment.html
What is it about journalists turning to writing fiction, often crime fiction?
I’m beginning to think it is our sense of justice, justice not really being meted out today to those who commit crimes, especially heinous crimes. And as journalists we certainly see our share of that in the true stories we write, as well as in what we read in the newspapers and magazines, whether in print or online. (For the record – now that is a journalistic phrase – I read both print and online.)
With me, this sense of justice is something I have carried from my childhood. Blame it on my Catholic background. As an ex-Catholic I can no longer stand by some of those beliefs. Although I have to admit that my sense of justice comes more from the “eye for an eye” of the Old Testament.
That may be where the vengeance factor fits in.
In all my short stories in Beyond the Tripping Point, no one who commits a crime gets away with it. Not all the baddies get arrested but they get their just desserts. For example, in “Unfinished Business” a woman who was sexually assaulted as a child gets her chance to get back at the guilty party when he becomes a threat to her 12-year-old daughter.
Then there are the four-linked stories featuring the fraternal twin PIs Dana Bowman and Bast Overture. Here all the baddies do get arrested. Dana and Bast both have a great sense of justice. Bast was a former crime reporter so he’s seen a lot of bad things and talked to a lot of bad people. As a journalist he had to try to sit on the observation side. As a PI, especially in my new novel Beyond Blood, he can do more.
But it is Dana who drives this search for justice. Especially after her son David is kidnapped. Then it becomes more personal. Nothing like motherly love to motivate someone.
Maybe that has something to do with my sense of justice – at least adds fuel to the fire. My son is in his mid-thirties now and was never kidnapped but there have been instances over the years where I went to bat for him, even if just the normal growing-up incidents that happen.
Of course, there are other reasons why I write and why crime fiction. I’ll cover them in future blog posts.
For now, I would like to know
Why do you write?
Sharon A. Crawford
This Saturday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. I will be selling copies of Beyond Blood and Beyond the Tripping Point at the Toronto Heliconian Club Fine Arts and Gift Sale, 35 Hazelton Ave. (Yorkville area), Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For more info about the Toronto Heliconian Club and this sale (open to the public), see http://heliconianclub.org/ Scroll down a bit – it is there.
For those not in the Toronto, Canada area, you can click on my book covers below – they will lead you to my publisher Blue Denim Press’s website. Scroll down and you can see where Beyond Blood is currently available, including at www.bluedenimpress.com.
And check my website www.samcraw.com – click on Beyond Blood. I constantly update my gigs on that site.