I'm pleased to introduce Robin Spano who is currently on a whirlwind virtual book tour for Dead Politician Society. She has been kind enough to stop here and talk about injecting humor into a novel about murder.
A virtual tour, or blog book tour as it's sometimes called, is another great way for authors to promote their new releases. Take a look at Robin's tour schedule to see where she has been so far, and where she's going to be. Tomorrow is a double post day, with one appearance at Yes, Virginia and a second at Birds and Words.
Grab a cup of coffee (or tea, if you prefer) and read on:
Why I Take a Lighthearted Approach to Crime by Robin Spano
Yes, I take a light approach to murder. If a critic wants to knock me, that’s the first think they should jump on. I don’t think crime is funny, and I don’t think death is light. But this is absolutely the genre I want to write in, for a few reasons:
1. I like to explore human darkness, but I don’t like to be scared or depressed.
Murder forces you to go inside the head of a killer. Even if you don’t spend time with them as a point-of view character, you need to understand who they are, why they kill, and how they justify murder to themselves and to the world.
But while this dark side of human nature intrigues me, I don’t want to go deep into a dark place and get stopped there. Some writers can do that, and some readers love books that are scary or depressing (think Stephen King or Oprah’s booklist). But I don’t want to invite dark demons into my life; I like things positive and upbeat. I like that I can explore negative emotions, but I want to do that within the lighthearted structure of a crime that will get solved.
When you’re writing a book, you’re living in it for a year. I want to write about a place where—minus the murders—I’d be happy to spend my time.
2. I like the interplay between realism and improbability.
Sure, I know how unlikely it is that a 22-year-old would be undercover on such a high profile case as the murder of the mayor. Since it’s central to Dead Politician Society that Clare is in that situation, I created as realistic a circumstance as I could to make that happen.
Characters can do outrageous things like stake out hotel ice machines or start email dialogues with potential killers—both of which are seriously fun to write about—but I try very hard to make sure that their emotions and dialogue are true to how real people would feel and react.
So while I like that this genre takes me on adventures I would never get to have in real life, I also like that I have to rein it in and keep it real on a human level. It’s a fun balance.
3. I always wanted to be one of Charlie’s Angels.
Writing is the perfect little virtual reality machine—if I die on the page I don’t die in real life.
Since I have no idea how to shoot a gun and less of a clue how to self-preserve as an undercover operative, following Clare around on her assignments is the closest I will ever get to realizing that childhood dream.
While Clare is not such a flat character as Charlie’s Angels are—it’s important to me that she learns and grows through the series—I like that she can crack a joke and make mistakes and be relatable to most of us non-cops.
I would like to enjoy each book while I’m writing it. Ideally that will translate into an enjoyable ride for the reader.
Robin, thanks so much for being here today. I wish you great success with Dead Politician Society and future Clare Vengel mysteries.
To learn more about Robin and her novel, you can visit her website. Follow her on Twitter and become a Clare Vengel fan at Facebook.
And to see the entertaining book trailer for Dead Politician Society, check my post from yesterday, or Robin's website, or go directly to You Tube.