Friday, July 26, 2013

Mystery Geekdom

Years ago, being branded as a geek was a mark of shame. But no more. Face it, geeks rule.

What do I mean by "geek?" Let's get past the original definition as someone who worked the carnival circuit and entertained the masses by biting the heads off chickens. Or to the other vintage meaning of a socially inept person.

My geeks are those with a refined intellectual bent focused on a specific subject. Comic book geeks come to mind. Sci-fi geeks are another. I place geeks between nerds and wonks.

NERDS<->GEEKS<->WONKS<-> Nerds get obsessed to the point of being social spazzes (proto-geeks). Wonks get preoccupied with the arcane (boring) details of a specialized field, i.e., policy wonks. But the big difference is the sense of glee you get from geeking out. Knitters geek out. Foodies geek out. Geologists geek out. (But for some reason, sports nuts are not considered geeks for geeking out on sports. Fantasy football? Bass fishing? How geeky can you get?) And we mystery writers geek out. A lot. On blood spatter analysis, guns, gunshot entry and exit wounds, poisons, ligature marks, accelerants, basically anything involving mayhem and high crimes. Admit it, how many of you have eaten a sandwich while perusing autopsy photos?

We don't like listening to nerds for the most part, since their lack of social skills makes it a challenge to connect. Wonks are okay if they have a sufficient geek factor, especially if they bust a nut sharing the dirty details.

Like many of you, my foray into geekdom began as a bookworm. I used to spend so much time at the public library my mom would call the front desk and ask them to send me home. One of my regrets as a busy adult is that I don't make the time to roam the stacks of the local library like I used to. Early bookwormism is the gateway to other forms of geekdom. Model airplanes. Reptiles. History. Lapidary arts. Tropical fish. Cinema.

And what is Bouchercon other than a big geek fest? Just because we don't parade in costume like Comic Con, we mystery writers are second to none in geeky behavior. Only we disguise it with wine, scotch, and bourbon.

Indie-publishing! I dive in. I co-wrote a financial thriller with an insider of the biggest offshore Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. Good Money Gone, when the road to riches becomes the road to ruin. Greed. Treachery. Squandered love. Redemption. Get your free Kindle download, August 1-5.

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