A View to Thrill


HankS-WallWords don’t kill people, thriller writers do.

And the beautiful part about it is, nobody has to get hurt.

That’s one of the things I love so much about fiction, that ability it has to transport us not merely to a different time or different place, but to a different existence, an existence where we get to experience things we would otherwise only dream about, and experience them in full, rich detail.  Some of those dreams are ones we embrace, musings about different careers, different lifestyles, different adventures; others are more like nightmares, intense, scary conjurings of the imagination that linger in our thoughts long into the night, disturbing our sleep.  But, unlike reality, nobody has to get hurt.

As a writer, I have the privilege of creating those experiences for others.  The privilege, and the burden.  I’d like to think I chose that path, but it’s not true.  The path chose me.  I just happen to walk it in boots made for violence.

Hence the title of this blog.  That’s what we thriller writers do, we trade in violence.  Sure, it’s pretend violence, but that’s what makes for the thrill.  People often ask, if there is a God, how can He allow such awful things to happen in the world?  Whether they admit it or not, writers know at least part of the answer to that question.  We create our own worlds, usually reasonable approximations of the real one to some extent, and none of us populates that world with peaceful, harmonious, happy people all getting along.  We imagine good people, bad people, flawed people, conflicted people.  Tortured souls and haunted individuals.  Men with pasts and women with secrets.  Good versus evil.  Good versus good.  Murder and mayhem.  We create characters, and we assassinate them.

Why?  Why not write about puppies and flowers and sugar and spice, happy beginnings that lead to happy middles followed by happy endings?  Because at some level, most all of us know that the boundaries of civilized conduct, the foundation for the things we hold dear in life, are defined by conflicts and always have been.  Conflicts that predate civilization itself.  Conflict between species, conflict between rivals, conflict between the sexes, conflict between siblings, conflict between nations, religions, ideologies.  Whether or not it is considered taboo to mention in polite society–the modern incarnation of which demands that we unequivocally deplore such strife and deny its essential nature, going so far as banning child’s games like tag and dodgeball from school playgrounds–the fact is it is this constant, ongoing human dialectic that makes things interesting, the accumulated synthesis of it that allows us to appreciate all the wonderful, unconflicted things life has to offer.  Including things as simple as curling up with a good book.

This, therefore, is my blog.  Come join me as I share my thoughts on writing and publishing, on books and movies, on monsters and mayhem and life and death and murder most foul.

These boots are made for violence, but, like I said at the start, no one need get hurt.  What do you say we take a walk.

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