Although I wrote three mysteries early in my career, and although some of my later titles such as NOVEMBER MOURNS, THE DEAD LETTERS, HEADSTONE CITY, and THE MIDNIGHT ROAD are all horror-crime fusions, THE COLD SPOT is my first real crime novel.
As a genre, Crime wasthe last that I tackled. I'd been a staunch reader of science fiction, fantasy (especially sword & sorcery), and horror, but it wasn't until I tackled Raymond Chandler's THE LITTLE SISTER about 20 years back that I really launched into reading the field. Odd that it should take me those 20 years to really dive in and write it.
In an interview, Harry Crews once said that he didn't much admire "science fiction and detective stories" because they weren't close enough to the real blood and bone of life. In a fashion, I suppose that's why it took me so long to come to writing crime. At first, I was more eager to get away from the world and create my own, than to tackle deeper issues that my mid-life crisis (or more properly crises) have hurled me into. We all have doubts and questions about our lives, especially when we start to hit the hill. We fear the waste, we fear the inevitable. We search for answers about our own morality and mortality. And I can't think of a better genre to delve into those issues than in Crime.
Not because it's a genre that deals with black and white, but because it features a wider horizon of gray. To me it's a much truer parallel of the real world. Of the place closest to blood and bone. It's where the confusions an frustrations of our lives are pared down to a single thread. One mission, one cause, one ambition. Whether it's to score a bank or to have your righteous revenge, the world is narrowed and focused down for you. As a writer, I suppose in some bizarre way that's my favorite element of the genre. I can distill all my daily fears and pains and regrets, and I can plant them into a story where some fucker has a halfway decent shot of figuring the world out. Even if he does so from a prison cell or a police station or a morgue slab. In the end, he gets his answer.
In any case, let me just say that I'm flattered and honored as hell to make the Edgar list. Good luck to all my fellow nominees.
You can check the complete list HERE.