Because of a class I taught last summer, I will never again make an appointment with my gynecologist with only the mild dread that usually accompanies that annual awfulness. It will be full out trepidation from here on out.
That’s because for six weeks I got to sit around a table with five other writers and discuss the mysteries of mystery writing. And suspense. And horror.
Now, none of us at that table looked especially menacing. We all looked like the people who flow past you on the sidewalks of Houston everyday of your life. But we all had something in common—something that sets us apart.
While you were enjoying the Houston skyline and wondering which food truck to visit for your lunch next to the Discovery Green reflection pool, we were thinking of ways to kill you there. Site specific murder is an important skill when you write the dark side of life…and death.
Food trucks have propane tanks.
Crowds offer concealment.
And bodies of water are so rich with possibilities.
It was in just such a discussion that I acquired my new fear of gynecologists.
Now, that’s a problem for me once a year for, well, forever, but I’m glad for it. It’s worth it. I found members of my tribe around that table. Writers who cannot pass a car parked alongside a stretch of deserted frontage without needing to pull over and see where the body is being buried back there in the piney woods. Writers who won’t stand next to a steep drop if there is anyone, anyone, behind their back. Writers who walk with their dark muse down roads many of us would politely decline to follow.
I love these people. I hope to meet more of them this spring.
Stephanie Jaye Evans is a mystery novelist and a fifth-generation Texan. Her novel Faithful Unto Death earned a Library Journal starred review and Debut of the Month, it was a Houston Chronicle Ultimate 2012 Summer Book List pick and an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. To learn more about her, visit her Writespace faculty page.
Her upcoming workshop, KILLING FOR A LIVING: THE CRAFT OF WRITING MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, AND HORROR, starts Monday, March 30. To learn more, click here. Sign up here by Sunday, March 29.