Sunday, November 08, 2009

Speaking on Crime

If you write crime novels or would like to, then you have to go read Jason Pinter’s November 4th post in The Huffington Post. It’s a long post full of information. Pinter asked six crime fiction critics to give their thoughts on the crime novel: Patrick Anderson, Oline H. Cogdill, Jon Jordan, David J. Montgomery, Kate Stine, and Sarah Weinman.

Here are the questions he asked them:
Do you feel like crime novels are adequately addressing issues in our culture? And do they even need to?

What do you feel is your individual mission statement when it comes to covering crime novels?

What does a crime imprint need to do to be successful?

Which small presses do you feel are doing the best job publishing crime novels? Which large houses?

With book reviews being slashed, and with crime fiction having so few homes for mainstream recognition, do you feel a certain responsibility to attract readers to the genre? Have problems within the newspaper industry affected your reviewing or career (and if so, how)?

How has the rise in crime fiction blogs and social networking impacted the crime novel?

How important is it for authors to "be visible"?

Do you feel like publishers are taking the same care to grow authors as they did 10, 15, 20 years ago, or is there more of a "swing for the fences" mentality?

How relevant is the crime novel today?

How important is it for a crime novelist to get reviewed, and reviewed favorably?

Who are three veteran crime writers you feel are still at the top of their game? Who are three writers flying under the radar you feel deserve to break out?

Even if you write some other genre, you will probably glean something from the answers of these six critics. Be sure to go over and read Jason Pinter’s The State of the Crime Novel.
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  1. Thanks for pointing the way to this article. I'm heading over to read it now.

  2. Helen I'm off to read it just now- thanks!

  3. That's an excellent checklist - I agree, useful in some measure in ANY genre. Thanks for sharing that - got my interest piqued enough to read the whole article.

    Marvin D Wilson

  4. It is an interesting article with info that's cross-genre.

  5. Wow, what great questions, definitely worth a read.

  6. I'll go check it out, but my guess is publishers (especially the big boys) are now swinging for the fences.

  7. Thanks for the link, Helen; it's a very interesting article.


  8. Interesting article. I enjoyed reading some the authors he interview.

    Helen, if you get a chance, contact me at I have an idea I'd like to run by you. :-)

  9. Helen, you always have very good information for us. Thank you!

    Bargain with the Devil


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