...but I am a crime writer, and it's the next best thing, right?
It has long since been accepted within the genre that when Ian Rankin was asked why he writes about music so much in his books, he never spoke a truer word than when he replied, "like all crime writers, I'm a frustrated rock star."
Indeed, it's true to say that he amongst others have dabbled in both, most notably, The Fun Lovin Crime Writers (which boasts NI's own Stuart Neville amongst its ranks), and the recent emergence of another local NI band, comprised mostly of crime writers,The Fuzz Tones.
As I too have peppered my work with musical references and music related easter eggs, my upcoming release included, it got me thinking, do I too share that frustration. The short answer I suppose is yes, though you might say that having zero musical talent or ability has held me back somewhat. Still, I have tried over the years to compensate for my shortcomings. I'm no stranger to a dalliance with a microphone as my radio presenting and podcast hosting career to date would attest to, and of course there was that time I bought a ukulele (which has never seen the light of day).
I suppose I can only console myself with my recent musings that the life of a rock star and that of a crime writer aren't that wildly different. After all, both types of tortured soul tend to create their art in isolation, putting angst filled pen to paper in solitary spaces (when not succumbing to the evils of procrastination) before tentatively sharing with their most trusted allies in the hope that their creative endeavours have some artistic merit. Then course, if the material does get the nod, there's the polishing of the work to make it fit for public consumption.
Be it a thriller or floor filler, the next steps are the same- the release. The point where you put yourself and your work out there into the public domain, marketing both it and you as best you can before retreating, albeit temporarily back into the shadows hoping against hope that people enjoy consuming it as much as you did in creating it (despite the angst).
Then of course there's the tour, which for me, is a part of the process that I've learned to relax into and enjoy. Be the stage be a jam packed stadium or arena, or a draughty library or festival venue, in my head the feeling has to be the same. That buzz of connecting with the public, people who have bought and enjoyed your work that makes everything worthwhile, and maybe, just maybe give us the courage to queue up once more to step onto the merry go round again.
My new book (due 24th Feb) continues my own traditions of including a soundtrack of sorts, and a generous helping of easter eggs for discovery. Happy hunting! In the meantime, if you want to find out more about, Write Me A Murder, you can do so here: