Much of my fiction reading until recently had been centered on classic novels. Why? My sensibilities are old school in that things like depravity and true malevolence hit me hard. The trend in fiction since the 1960’s seems to be toward the depiction of more and more malevolence. Crimes against women and children, for example, are written about routinely and graphically. Think about it. Even if the fictional perpetrators of these evil acts end up being punished, for these victims, there can be no victory.
I don't want to feel like the world is a bad place because fundamentally it's not. Now, I'm not saying novels have to end happily to be good—many a good work involves injustice and sadness. It’s just that I don’t see the point in immersing myself in depravity when I don’t have to.
During the course of writing Sufficient Ransom, people, on occasion, would ask me what writer(s) I thought I most resembled. Having read so little modern fiction I never knew what to say. But now that my novel is completed and I am faced with the need to market my work, I figured it was high time to step up my investigation of the marketplace. And that, by necessity, involves reading recently published works. And to be honest, so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
The subject of my next post will be a 2011 novel I enjoyed: David Baldacci’s The Sixth Man.