Re your comment below:
"I've been seriously considering getting into an MFA program to kill
2 birds with 1 stone. the first would be, I'd write a novel as my thesis."
Actually, it seems to me that James Crumley's first novel, ONE TO COUNT CADENCE, was his creative writing master's thesis. It wasn't a mystery but it was a genre piece, specifically military fiction.
And wasn't Al Collins's master's thesis something he called THE RIVER CITY TRILOGY, three novels, his first Quarry, his first Nolan, and his first Mallory, all set in a lightly fictionalized Muscatine, IA.
So I guess it can be done.
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