It gives me great pleasure to welcome back crime fiction author Val Penny to my blog. Val is not only a talented writer but also a great friend who I met at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School.
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today, Tricia. I really appreciate it.
It’s a pleasure to have you back, Val. Thank you for coming. I understand that today you’ve come along to share your reasons to write a crime novel, so without further ado, it’s over to you.
Reasons to Write a Crime Novel
I write crime novels, largely because that is the genre I like to read. I enjoy puzzles, mysteries, crosswords and crime novels. I like to try to work out ‘who done it’ before the author tells me: and I am not alone!
Lots of people like crime, at least in novels! Often, I meet dentists and bank managers with clever plot ideas, or nurses who read every crime novel they can lay their hands on. If I visit a writing group, there are always members keenly producing new murderous plots. Lawyers and convicts show equal enthusiasm for this genre. For those who want to write a crime novel, there are several reasons to want to do so. Here are a few of them.
Often, those who write crime novels find an emotional release in their craft. Crime novelists deal with the dark things that people usually push to the side of their minds in order to get on with every day life. The cathartic attraction of writing can be decisive.
Some crime authors tell of poor sleep patterns, punctured by night-mares that are repaired when they start to write. Others, panic, constantly scanning doorways for signs of danger. The stiffening fear that afflicts them resolves when they are busy writing crime.
The Story-Telling Urge
The sources for crime novels are many and varied. Ideas can spring from the news and current affairs; memories from the past and historical events or things that puzzle or fascinate the writer. Once an author begins to exercise their creative muscles, they often find that they run into stories demanding to be told. The stories demand to be told and will not stop coming.
It is often said that writers can be difficult people: gloomy, competitive and quarrelsome. However, for the most part, I have found crime writers to be an inclusive and convivial bunch. They are certainly hard-working. The pressure of producing a book a year is intense, yet they never seem to turn their backs on fun. If you have a chance to go to a crime-writers’ convention, do take it. They are exhausting, exhilarating and irresistible.
An Outlet for Aggression
Most crime-writers will tell you that they are good company because they channel all their belligerent thoughts into their stories, so in real life, the authors are meek and mild. It is not always true, but I can confirm the a crime novel is an excellent place to park your rage! The prospect of giving vent to righteous anger in a safe form can be a particularly pleasing device. When characters require to act in a violent way or commit violence the reader is willing to witness this on the page but they would shy from it in real life. Crime writers can let rip on the page in a way they avoid doing in the real world.
The Thrill of Research
I can personally confirm that the research you do for crime novels and for academic purposes are equally satisfying. It is also extremely diverse. It may involve visiting prisons, refuges, police stations or drug dens. Police are often very willing to be of assistance to crime writers, even if it is just to avoid being irritated when otherwise the writers would get police procedures wrong. This information is most useful and helpful. Indeed, when you are writing a novel, no information or experience is wasted!
Thank you, Val. I’m sure that the readers will agree with me that was a very informative read. Let’s find out a little more about Val.
Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, Hunter’s Chase, Hunter’s Revenge and Hunter’s Force are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood, published by darkstroke follows shortly.
Where can you purchase Val’s books?
The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, are all available to purchase from Amazon via the links below. The fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood, will be published by darkstroke on 01st January 2020.
Where can you find Val on Social Media?
An interesting read. Thanks, Val. I am a novice writer who struggles with plotting. A published writer told me to try writing a crime story as it’s a good way to tackle this as you need to plan your narrative in advance. So that’s another good reason to write crime stories.
A crime novel certainly does need to be well plotted, Cathallwood – good luck with yours.
Thank you for commenting Cathallwood. I am pleased that you found Val’s blog on reasons to write a crime story interesting. Good luck with writing yours.