Crime fiction. Two of the best words in the English language. What else can delve so effortlessly into society’s problems and humanity’s imperfections? Guilt, sorrow, fear, heartbreak, lust, love, politics, religion? All the things you’re not supposed to talk about at Thanksgiving dinner, packaged in a way that makes you want to know more. To read on until the end.
Crime fiction is also, I’ve discovered, one of the most welcoming communities around. Whether you’re a reader, a bestselling author, a debut novelist, or anything else, there’s plenty of room. Come on in and pull up a chair. I’m sure glad I did.
My name is Claire Booth, and I fall in that debut novelist category. I’ve been a writer for twenty years, but most of that was spent in journalism. I wrote for daily newspapers (remember those?) in Missouri, Washington, D.C., South Florida, the Seattle region, and the Bay Area. And most of what I covered was crime. At my last paper, I covered murder trials, which meant I got to watch the story of a crime unspool from beginning to end. Just like a novel.
So after I left newspapers, I decided to write one. It’s called The Branson Beauty, and it comes out this July. It’s not based on any particular crime that I covered while writing for newspapers, but I couldn’t have written it without being a reporter first. I learned a whole lot about the bad – and the good – that people can do. And that knowledge is invaluable to me now as a crime fiction writer.
It was also while I was working as a journalist that I met one of my best friends and the hugely talented writer who has graciously handed over the keys to this Sunday blog space. Kristi Belcamino invited me to join Do Some Damage, and I’m thrilled to join such a fun, creative group of people. Catch me here every Sunday.