Sunday, March 25, 2007

Minnesota Nice, Or Crime Fiction Nice . . .

by Sean Chercover

So, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Minneapolis, at 3:00am. And I’m not alone. I’m with Jon and Ruth Jordan, publishers of Crimespree Magazine. We are eating processed brie-like cheese food and listening to my iTunes in a Minnesota hotel room. The Spinners . . . John Holt . . . Isaac Hayes . . . AWB.

As you may know, Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. Some people may think that Michigan has many lakes, but those people don’t know lakes, or Minnesota. Minnesota has lakes, and lakes to spare, and is the home of Marvin Windows, to boot. I switch the music to Chaos And Disorder, an underrated album by one of Minnesota’s most talented exports.

Why am I bragging on Minnesota at 3:00am, full of vodka, processed brie-like cheese food and pride? Because tonight, I am an honorary Minnesotan, thanks to the generosity of Pat and Gary, owners of Once Upon A Crime, a truly great mystery bookstore. Today was Once Upon A Crime’s annual “Write of Spring” event. Over 35 authors (including William Kent Kruger, Anthony Neil Smith, Carl Brookins, Ellen Hart, Anne Frasier, and others) hanging out with readers, trading stories, and having a great time.

And, as so often happens at such events, today I was again overwhelmed by the sense of community and camaraderie among crime fiction authors and readers.

I have it on good authority that romance writers are less romantic in this regard. And literary writers seem to rip each other’s limbs off for sport. But those of us who bludgeon and betray in print, enjoy a supportive environment unmatched in other genres.

Anybody have any ideas about why that is?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PostScript: Two weeks past International Ken Bruen Appreciation Day - Jon, Ruth and I are still loving the man long-distance, as we do every day. You don’t need an official day to appreciate the man and his writing. Go buy a Ken Bruen book today. You won’t be sorry.

18 comments:

JD Rhoades said...

We drink more. And most of us are happy drunks.

Barbara D'Amato said...

Ah, we get murderous impulses out of our systems.
Barb

D.A. Davenport said...

I have 4 Bruens on the way! I expect to start looking in the mailbox tomorrow. At least one better be there.

Sean Chercover said...

Nice going, D.A.! You're in for a treat.

JD - Yes, we do. Will I see you in the bar at Thrillerfest?

Barb - Yup, that's probably part of it...catharsis...

...which leads me to a suggestion: Aristotle's Poetics. Sure, some of Aristotle's points are a product of his time and don't apply to our world, but many are still bang-on, and any writer would be well served by spending an afternoon re-reading Poetics and looking for the gems of wisdom that can improve her own writing.

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