Friday 22 April 2016

Inside The Author: Why The Crime & Mystery Genre?


When I decided to write for the young adult genre, I also made a decision to write books with crime plots. From a young age I liked reading and I adored following along with the characters and going down the paths their journey took me. I was a fan of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books, as well as the Secret Seven and her other works. I was never really focused on one particular genre. However, as I grew older, my tastes changed and I found that I loved reading a good mystery. As it turned out, I also loved writing them.

Whilst not all of my books can be placed firmly in crime and mystery, the majority of them have some aspect of it within their plots. I have delved into other genres, and enjoyed doing so, but for me, my heart and inspiration firmly stays within the job of thinking up ways to kill people and to almost get away doing so. I have a sign on my office door that states that anyone who annoys me may get put into a book and murdered in the most gruesome of ways, much to the chagrin of my mother! I suppose I have always been someone who enjoyed a good puzzle and while as previously stated, although I never really stuck to one genre when reading as a child and teen, I did enjoy working things out, finding out where this part went and what it meant in regards to the whole picture.

That's what I do now when I'm writing. I start with the end in some ways and work my way back to find out how they got there. I like to leave clues for my readers and sometimes it becomes obvious to them 'whodunnit', other times it isn't. I have always enjoyed, when reading a good crime novel, the bit where you are enlightened on the killer and their motives. I love the back-story and I love it when after I'd read the book I can find the clues that pointed to the bad guy all along. I got my first taste of doing the same for my readers when I wrote BLACKOUT and it's something that has stayed with me ever since.

I also like to have a different spin on each book as to why that character is the one who's solving the crime. With BLACKOUT, it was because Tally was the victim, with LYNNE & HOPE, it was Hope trying to clear her sister's name and with the DYING THOUGHTS series, it's because Tara has a gift that gives her visions. While it is rare in the real world for teenagers to be solving crimes, it's always nice to be able to pop over to the fictional world where there are many doing just that. You only have to look at other great writers such as Enid Blyton, who had the Famous Five solving all sorts of crimes, as well as Harlan Coben with his Mickey Bolitar books, and not forgetting Kathy Reichs with Tory Brennan and the rest of her pack. They all have written excellent spins on how teens and young adults can be involved in catching the killers or other criminals and they're wildly popular.

I don't write crime and mystery because I think it will make me rich, I write crime novels because I enjoy it, I love making puzzles and solving them. I love thinking up new and interesting cases for Tara to solve and different ways for my other characters to get involved. Sometimes they work for the police, and other times they feel that they are the only ones capable of doing so before more people get hurt. I love what I do and I wouldn't change it for the world.

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