Sorry to reply to my own post, but I inadvertently hit "send" before I
I meant to expand on my statement below by pointing out that my uncle is a
convicted felon who did two years in prison for drug trafficking and has
been shot at least once that I know of (he claims it was a drive-by. The
rest of his family are unconvinced).
The point? He was dealing drugs and consorting with assorted "folks who
live in the slums" (in fact, my whole family on both sides were poor until
my parents came along and worked their asses off to become middle class)
beginning in his teens and extending for a couple of decades (and now, in
his 50s, he's got the health problems to prove it, including inheriting
David Crosby's liver and cluster headaches that are related to the mountain
of coke he put up his nose), so he was hardly a "tourist."
He's harbored literary aspirations for his entire life.
I'm ten years younger than he is, and the amount of crime fiction I've
published is negligible (a few short stories), but I guarantee you, it's
more than my uncle will ever see published.
I think the worst thing you can do to crime fiction is to romanticize it, or
for that matter, those of us (with any degree of success under our belts)
who write and publish it. Lest we forget, James M. Cain was a journalist
(as was Daniel Mainwaring/Geoffrey Homes), son of a college president, and a former managing editor of a major New York publication; Raymond Chandler an oil company executive; Cornell Woolrich a trust fund baby; and Ross MacDonald a college professor. David Goodis and Dashiell Hammett might prove to be the exceptions here ("non-tourists"), but it sure does seem as if some of the best classic crime fiction writers were either "tourists" or
"slumming," or perhaps, some interesting combination of the two.
All the Best-
On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 6:05 PM, Brian Thornton
> On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 3:02 AM, Charlie Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote:
>> >Maybe crime fiction *is* slumming it. But some folks live in those slums,
>> and >others are just tourists. Out of the two, who is going to find the
> Since we're talking about *fiction*, the answer is simple: the better
> All the Best-
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