by: Joelle Charbonneau
Well, here I am pinch hitting for the amazing Russel McLean while he does right by his country and serves on jury duty. For all of those keeping score – that is two of our illustrious crew that have served on a jury this year. Of course, his is across the pond while mine was here in the states. I admit that I am curious to compare notes about our respective experiences. Perhaps a joint blog post might be in order in the future.
Personally, I am amazed that both of us weren’t thrown off our respective juries because of our interest in crime and mystery. Okay, maybe I’m just shocked that Russel wasn’t tossed off his panel. His books are dark and gritty edge of your seat crime fiction. (If you haven’t read him, you need to go pick up one of his books!!) If I were a prosecuting attorney, or even the defense, I’d think twice about having Russell serve on my jury. He’s smart and he knows crime. A deadly combo – one that probably has him serving as a leader of his jury right now.
Me, well, my writing wasn’t about to get me tossed out of jury duty. Not that I didn’t try. I did say I wrote murder mysteries. Then the judge asked me to explain the plot of my book. That’s when my chances to get booted from the panel went up in smoke.
Without intending to, I have managed to write on the edge of genres. Yes, my book is a mystery. Honest it is. It says so on my cover! But it's not the same kind of mysteries or crime fiction pieces that you find being penned by my fellow DSD writers. (Insert dramatic sigh here.) See, I also write funny…at least that’s what they tell me. And while I’ve been told that I’m technically a cozy mystery because of my town and the lack on on-screen violence – most people who have read cozies tell me I don’t exactly fit there. I guess grandfathers in most cozies don’t have active sex lives and pets don’t have personality disorders. Who knew? I didn’t. Perhaps therein lies my problem.
A lot of writers will tell you that you should know what genre you are writing before you start writing your story. And maybe it is easier if you do, but I can’t ever do anything the easy way. I write the story, enjoy the ride and analyze it after I’m done. Which begs the question – what do you do when you write? Do you know what genre you are writing in when you start and stick to it all the way through or do you straddle the genre lines? And more important – tell me, what sub-genre or sub-genres does your writing fall into? This is a chance to pimp yourself and your work. And more important – I REALLY want to know.