Monday, December 06, 2010

Crime Pays Better

After being told by many, many people that I should watch ABC's Castle, I recently started catching it on Hulu. I love the line from the opening: "There are two kinds of folks who sit around planning how to kill people--psychopaths and mystery writers. I'm the kind that pays better."

That line alone drew me into the show.

From the time I became addicted to Nancy Drew, I've had a bit of a fascination with crime. Maybe that's why I tend to write mysteries over any other genre (even my science fiction stories are primarily mysteries, the setting puts them into the sci-fi category). I can spend hours reading the news about murders, robberies, carjackings. Sometimes, I come across a story that boggles my mind.

And despite the fact that I can, in theory, understand where the criminal is coming from as a writer, as a human being, I find myself wondering "how could they do that?"

Even though I write almost daily about murder and mayhem, I'm still relieved that I haven't been desensitized by my own research and can shake my head at what others do.

From =Falln-Stock at
For instance, a few years ago, there was a pregnant woman killed relatively nearby (within 100 miles of where I live). Her unborn baby was cut from the womb. The perpetrator had told her boyfriend or husband that she was pregnant, and after a while, needed a baby to "prove" things. As a writer, the story fascinated me. As a woman, it made me sick to my stomach, especially since it was around this time that my husband and I had started trying to have children.

Quite honestly, I think this split in my personality may make me a better writer. And I know for a fact it's led to some of my story ideas.

So even though crime may pay, I'm relieved that the only kind of crime I'll ever be paid for is the fictional kind. I'll just continue reading about the real-life crime, and leave the perpetrating to the idiots psychopaths criminals.

And because I love Castle's theme song so well, here's that ditty just for your own amusement. Enjoy!
Until next time,


Milo James Fowler said...

Castle's a great show. I followed Nathan Fillion from Firefly; he cracks me up. Have you seen the faux HEAT WAVE novels at B&N?
in medias res

Liberty Speidel said...

@Milo, thanks for stopping in!

I've heard of lots of people following Nathan Fillion, and truthfully, I watch so little TV, I haven't done that. (My other major show to watch is Bones and a lot of their viewers were fans of Angel, which I also haven't had the pleasure of seeing.)

I've not only seen the faux Heat Wave novels, I've read the first one! (The second, Naked Heat, is on hold for me at the library... I'm pathetic, I know...)

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of Castle! My first novel, now dry-rotting in a drawer, was a mystery (a police procedural). Most of my life, I preferred mysteries, but discovered with that first manuscript that their easier to read than to write!

I can handle the horrible things fiction writers portray because in the end, the bad guys get caught and punished. Real life crime, though, turns my stomach and breaks my heart. In fiction, juries find the bad guys guilty and sentence them to what they deserve. That's not always true in real life.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! That should've read "they're easier to read than write!" Sheesh. And I call myself an editor!

Liberty Speidel said...

@Linda, very true about fiction vs. real life! That's probably one reason I prefer to read and write mysteries...

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