Thursday, August 31, 2006

You Can't Judge a Writer by Their Genre

Not too long ago, I had lunch with a friend, then last week she was in Austin for a talk and book signing and I got to see her again. She’s a prolific writer – it seems like she has a book coming out every few months. She writes in multiple genres, is nationally known, and this year was nominated for an Edgar award. And, she’s funny, outgoing and fun to be around. This might be a surprise to some people. Why? Because she’s multi-published in … true crime.

I’m talking about Diane Fanning. If you’ve seen her on TV or in person, or heard her on the radio, then you know how interesting she is. If she comes to your town, go hear her stories about the cases she’s written about. Read her books and you’ll see how much research she does. She makes the stories, people and emotions come alive.

She’ll tell you that writing true crime takes a lot of research and can take you into some strange places. Luckily, she loves the research part. She’s also a multi-tasker. She can work on two true crime books at once, but she’ll reach a point where she sets one aside and focuses totally on one. She can also work on two genres at once since she just had a true crime, Baby Be Mine, come out and she’s already got a mystery in the pipeline for next year and she’s at work on another true crime right now.

But although her writing may take her dark places and she may write about horrendous real murders and solving of fictional crimes, she’s not a depressed (or depressing), weird person. Just goes to show you can’t judge a writer by their genre.

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