Wednesday, June 10, 2015

You Know You're a Mystery Writer When...

I spent last weekend at the California Crime Writers Conference in Culver City, CA. Workshops included presentations on the forensics of creepy crawlers (bugs, of course), secrets of the Secret Service, the art of pitching, marketing through libraries, historical novels, Going Hollywood: novels to television (this is southern California after all) and many, many others including the one I was on, Putting Your Blog to Work. The wonderful keynote speakers were Anne Perry and Charlaine Harris. The night before the conference there was also a Noir v. Cozy “fight” at the bar at the hotel. (Elaine Ash has a short recap and pictures at https://ashedit.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/noir-the-bar-ccwc-2015/) Rumor has it the cozy writers won in a TKO, but the noir scribes may beg to differ. It was a wonderful conference, well worth attending. Held every other year, the next one will be in 2017.

Being among all those writers of stories filled with murder and mayhem reminded me how unique we are. Here are some indications you might be a mystery writer.

You know you’re a mystery writer when...
  • You see a body fat scale in a catalog and wonder if it could be modified to be used as a murder weapon.
  • You start writing a romance and you kill off the love interest within the first two chapters.
  • You like to pick out the mistakes on a television crime drama.
  • The first thing you do when you enter a hotel room is look behind the shower curtain to make sure there’s no body.
  • You think twice about throwing out old underwear because someone could get your DNA off it.
  • You see someone in a hardhat working on a traffic light and wonder if they’re really fixing the light or doing a bit of surveillance.
  • Someone annoys you and you immediately start planning their fictional death. (My personal favorite.)
  • Dinner conversation includes whipping out a set of lock picks and talking about trying them out on your hotel room door.
  • You drool over the latest book on forensics.
  • Your browser bookmarks include sites on poisons, how burglar alarms work and other things you wonder if the government and local law enforcement authorities will feel the need to interrogate you about.

10 comments:

Nancy Silverman said...

Oh we are a crazy bunch. But I love it.
Great post Sybil.

Sybil Johnson said...

Thanks, Nancy!

Travis Richardson said...

That's a great list. Love it Sybil.

Paul D. Marks said...

Love the last one, in particular, Sybil. Someone who didn't know us and was looking at our bookshelves or search history would want to have us committed immediately!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

One I would add is that mystery writers like to eavesdrop. This was fun post.

Nelly B. said...

Funny! I'm with you on your favorite. My entire mystery journey was motivated by a desire to kill off an a-hole writer I worked with on a show that I shall not name.

Eileen Goudge said...

Oh, the mind of a mystery writer. I think we must have a God complex, spending our days deciding who shall live and who shall die. Wonderful post, Sybil.

Sybil Johnson said...

Thanks, everyone. Sorry, didn't see the other comments until now. We are a strange breed!

Sybil Johnson said...

Oh, yes, Marilyn, eavesdropping! How did I miss that? Sounds like the makings of a second list...

Annette said...

Oh, guilty, guilty, and GUILTY. Great post, Sybil!