Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Almost Crime: A Beyers Guide

It's official. I'm a father. (Will take you to The Almost Crime on Amazon.)

Like any new parent, I've delivered my baby unto the world with both hope and trepidation. What's more, I've decided that he/she/it is a member of the Mystery Genre. But this label may be misleadingly specific, when in truth it's no more descriptive than announcing, "It's a boy!" or, "It's a girl!"

For one thing, each of its chapters begins with:

Narrative haikus
Expressing the singular
Thoughts of characters.
-Chris Beyers

For another, your classic mystery story is (for me, at least) a who-done-it, in which there is one of a handful of motives (usually: money, power, jealousy) and any number of possible suspects (usually: lovers, haters, heirs). Halfway through this book, however, you may suspect there are no suspects at all, and the murder-motive will be smoky mirrors. I could probably even tell you who the murderer is, right now, without ruining the narrative arc.

But, why risk it?

And, why read it?

Well, if you're a pure, honest-to-God mystery buff, and who-done-it's are your absolute cup-of-tea: you probably should not. But in addition to murder, I was trying to create something in The Almost Crime that was 1/2 literary and 1/2 philosophical, dark humor. (After all, I gave 150%.) I attempted to design something memorable, funny, and contemplative. I don't expect The Almost Crime to be required reading in AP Lit anytime soon, and you shouldn't expect slapstick, ROFL moments. But I hope you appreciate that my characters forget my character's names; or mis-remember details that could save their lives. And I hope you forgive me for how unreliable my narrator is.

All in all, I aspire to the carefully-crafted, careless tone of Kurt Vonnegut: quality included. Accept my child. And tell me how I did.

(For more about the writing of this book, and about me, as an author: read on!)

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