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Q Mystery writers seem to share a quirky sense of humor.
A We spend all of our working life thinking about different ways to kill people and solve murders.
Q Is there something funny about murder or is it that thinking about it all the time just makes you crazy?
A I can't speak for all authors, but if you really look at the books, we're not really writing about killings and beatings and things of that nature, we're really writing about the human condition, which sounds very pretentious, but in fact that's true. We are writing about relationships and what brings people to the point in their relationship where they can kill somebody.
Q So the genre is just a vehicle to tell a larger human story?
A In a large part that's true. But it is also a commercial enterprise. We want to be paid. All those things are important. One of the problems of so-called literary fiction -- another genre -- is it can get very heavy and very sticky to the point that I think people can take themselves too seriously.
Q People who aren't fans of mysteries sometimes say there's a formula. Is there a formula?
Q Do some mystery writers follow a formula?
A Of course, in all genres there are people who write to a particular formula, but there really isn't a formula. I write these stories to find out what's going to happen.
David Gustafson 612-673-7739 firstname.lastname@example.org