I was born precisely 9 months after Raymond Chandler died.
Perhaps there was only room for one of us at a time.
Perhaps that’s a stretch.
His books are what made me want to write. It took me ages to get a bunch of business books under my belt and develop the courage to try mysteries.
I am particularly proud of my latest effort, A Long, Hard Look. It has been compared to Chandler, though once again, modesty (fear?) forces me to wonder if it’s a stretch.
I call what I write “Chandleresque cozies.”
For those who like cozy mysteries (think Agatha Christie) but find they’re sometimes a bit bland, Chandleresque cozies stretch the cozy mystery concept, yet retain the good manners you expect.
For those who love Chandler and similar mysteries, but who’d like less sordid detail thank you very much, Chandleresque cozies are convoluted as all get-out with satisfying emotional crunch, but maintain their dignity.
There is romance, but no sex scenes. Conflict, but no gore. No profanity, not even the mildest. Some of these things may be alluded to, but in a way which we think even the most delicate sensibilities won’t find offensive.
The stories, though, touch on darker themes. Betrayal. Our own gut-wrenching fears. Family. (Yes, family. You’ll see.) Depression.
Touch, though, not dwell. The people in my Chandleresque cozies feel real because they share the same shadows we all suffer. They’re uplifting because they shine lights, letting us see why the darkness doesn’t have to win.
Who does your writing want to be when it grows up?