Bouchercon panel, October 11, 2015
Make Mine Edgy
Lori Roy (moderator), Nichole Christoff, Scott Nicholson, D.M. Pulley, Carole Mitchell (Caro Ramsey)
How near the edge is your current project?
NC: As a news producer you have to judge how far to take things, car accidents, children in harms way, etc.
SN: As a journalist and paranormal investigator, my children’s books generate the most controversy for their edginess.
DMP: I’m an engineer, my story was inspired by an old bank’s building inspection. It took ten years to write.
CR: My fiction is quite dark, there is nothing I can’t write about.
Are any subjects taboo?
CR: Anything goes as long as it’s treated with integrity.
DMP: Readers fill in details better than writers.
SN: Things change, skills change, so the edginess of a writer’s work can change over time.
NC: The reader is with the character as things happen to her.
What input have editors or agents given you in regard to edginess?
DMP: Don’t kill a certain character.
SN: “Make it trashier.”
CR: My agent said “kill ’em” and she was right.
NC: Readers give advice too.
What about considerations from readers?
CR: Certainly listen, but be true to yourself.
DMP: Readers have mentioned foul language, now its on my radar. Taking the Lord’s name in vain, a sexual affair with an unmarried man . . .
NC: There’s almost a double standard for women’s sexual behavior versus James Bond.
What have you been binge-watching on TV?
Noir, Drunk History, The Wire, White Pines.
Who are some favorite villains?
Dolores Umbridge, Hannibal Lector, Cruella De Vil, the nurse in Misery (Annie Wilkes)
Favorite book cover?
Steppenwolf, skeleton hand in a baby carriage, something red
Who are some favorite heroes?
James Lee Burke’s, Stephanie Plum, Kinsey Millhone, Philip Marlowe, Simon Brett’s.
Is what’s considered edgy changing?
NC: Be true to what is edgy to you.