Thursday, May 20, 2010

Light Relief

Tomorrow I fly down to Southern California where I'm speaking at the Orange County day of women authors at the Irvine Marriott. I love these big events because for once I'm speaking to women who are not necessarily mystery fans.

The other speakers are usually frightfully literary, or deeply intense. Last year I was speaking after Jodie Picault. So I always get the feeling that I've been invited to provide some light relief from the intensity. Which is strange when you consider that I'm the only speaker who actually kills people for a living.

But I guess I'm the token representative of "genre fiction" which everyone knows isn't as serious as "real fiction." So events like this hopefully give me a chance to open readers' eyes to the fact that some mysteries being written today are among the best literature being created. ,I suppose mystery novels do come with the reputation of pulp fiction--the lurid covers of the past, the only females either dead or in bed.  But the genre has expanded so wonderfully in all directions: historical,  interesting occupations, tense pyschological dramas, great character studies. So I'll do my best to enlighten my audience tomorrow.
And just pray that I don't find myself following someone  who was abandoned by her parents to be reared by wolves!


  1. There is always a debate over literary vs. genre fiction. I think the lines blur in many cases. I have to say that I've found some wonderful and exciting style and character development in mysteries and discovered heart-pounding plots in literary novels.

    Not to discount knitting-circle mysteries or introspective fiction, but I tend to like those novels that incorporate thoughtful writing style with grab-you-by-the-shirt plots.

    Knock 'em dead tomorrow!

  2. I've written just about everything from advertising copy to epigrams, poetry, short stories, philosophy -- it's all just words, Isn't it?

  3. For what it's worth, I don't read so-called "real fiction". Give me my genre fiction! :)

  4. How wonderful that you have the chance to open reader's eyes to genre fiction! Good writing is good writing, and as long as the characters are interesting and the plot is solid, I don't care what kind of fiction it is.

    Ditto Greg...Knock 'em dead!

  5. Have fun, Rhys! I had the pleasure of attending an OC Literary Guild event last year, when SJ Rozan was speaking, and Harley Jane Kozak was a break-out session speaker. It was great: those OC ladies take their reading seriously, and treat authors well. Wish I could be there, but needs must work.

  6. Rhys, love the blog name and I wish you much success at the lectern. Do us proud!