Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Laura Joh Rowland

From a Q & A at the website of Laura Joh Rowland:

Why do you write mysteries?

The answer is, a combination of heritage, love, and circumstance. My father was a big mystery fan. He loved Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner, Mickey Spillane, Ross McDonald, and other great, classic detective writers. And I'm a real chip off the old block. I started out reading Nancy Drew, then progressed to my father's favorites and the many other authors who fill the mystery racks at libraries.

This is where love comes in: I loved those books, and still do. The usual advice to beginning authors is "Write what you know." I would add, "Write what you love." What I love in particular about mysteries is that good always triumphs over evil; the truth will always be discovered; justice will be served. I also love the way the mystery genre lets me explore the dark side of life, and the extremes of human behavior. Murder is the ultimate crime, and it involves plenty of action, adventure, and emotion, in addition to the intellectual challenge of figuring out whodunit.

By a stroke of luck, heritage and love intersected with fortunate circumstance. This circumstance was the radical change that the mystery novel underwent during the late 20th century. The field opened up to include a diverse array of detectives, settings, and time periods. Lucky for me, there was even room for a samurai detective in 17th century Japan.
Read the complete Q & A.

The Fire Kimono, volume 13 of Rowland's Sano Ichiro series, is now available.

--Marshal Zeringue