Apologies to Mystery Writers!


What inspired me to write my first murder mystery, Corpse Pose?

I’d like to give you inspirational answers like, “I wanted to explore the reasons for human depravity!”…or…”I wanted to see justice done to characters (based on real-life individuals) who deserve everything the law can bring to bear on them.”

But I can’t.

The truth is, I wrote the novel to see if I could do a mystery.

That’s it.

To be honest, although I’ve enjoyed reading mysteries over the years (and continue to do so), I never had all that high opinion of the genre. It just didn’t seem that difficult.

Boy, oh boy, was I wrong!

After writing my book, my respect for mystery writers has risen to the level of Mt. Everest.

What a mystery author does in writing his or her book is best compared to the old entertainment art of simultaneously spinning plates on the top of several thin poles. In the act, the entertainer runs about frantically spinning each pole to keep the plates from crashing to the ground (the word record is an astonishing 108!).

That’s what writing a mystery felt like to me. You write a plot involving several characters, then realize that those characters are in the wrong place at the wrong time and have to dash back to correct this mistake. Then, in the course of correcting that mistake, you find it changes things in another part of the book, so you dash over to fix that….and on and on until you finally get the damned thing completed.

So, my apologies to all mystery writers past and present for my previous attitude! What you do is amazing! Even more amazing is the fact that you remain sane through the entire process!

Leave a reply