When people are entering into the spirit of Christmas, and being a tad kinder to each other than the usual sad norm, a strange thought flits around my mind -
I've never set a crime story at Christmas time.
Now why should that be, I wonder?
I suspect the answer is as I began this blog. Despite my hardened and cynical hack's exterior, and the mass murdering nature of the occasional book I might write, I'm a romantic at heart, however I try to hide it.
You might even say, as the song goes; "I believe in Father Xmas..." (metaphorically, anyway.)
Which means to set a horrible crime amidst the human warmth of Xmas time feels like heresy! Particularly when the season is presenting itself in a way like this...
(That's Budleigh Salterton, on the South Devon coast, on Boxing Day - you've always got to have some kind of a visual interlude in a blog when you live somewhere like this blessed county, and as we're talking seaons it's a good excuse.)
Anyway, back to the time of year to set a book, and I've been looking over the tvdetective novels to find a surprise. They're almost entirely set in either spring or autumn.
Cue more thinking as to why that may be, and one of those conclusions which now seems obvious, but wasn't at the time -
All books have to contain a theme of change. That's the story, the narrative, the journey, the point of the whole thing, after all.
So, subconsciously, I wonder if that means I've set the season to match - spring and autumn being the changing times of the year, they feel unspokenly the most appropriate for a book.
Which, finally for this musing, means one more thing -
As I've always been the kind of horrible kid who, when faced with a rule, had to find a way of breaking it... I'm now determined to set the next tvdetective novel in a different season.
And finally, finally, as we're in the dying days of the year - thanks to all those who've suffered my musings over 2013, not to mention my books, talks and teaching. Here's wishing you a great New Yar and a very fine 2014.