I Am a Professional Liar
Cut Pinocchio Some Slack
First of all, let’s give Pinocchio a little leeway, okay? He’s not the only masterful fabricator on the planet. In fact, it occurs to me that anyone writing fiction is, indeed, a professional liar.
Oh, sure, you already knew we’re all dreamers, imaginative people who take our craft very seriously — even if it’s something totally out of our regular genre like my Funny Money ,which has absolutely nothing to do with my cop series. But when you get down to it? We pen our stories as if they were actually real, when in fact we simply made them up. We stitched together one falsehood after another until we had a make-believe story. (How cool is that, really?)
Anyway, making things up . . . well, we’re simply creating fantastical lies. Happily, we can’t be arrested for them. I say that because in my Claudia Hershey Mystery Series, police procedurals with an edge, murders happen. Oh, sure. My protagonist, Detective Lieutenant Claudia Hershey, is a crime solver. She’s pretty tough. She’ll engage in hand-to-hand combat if she absolutely has to.
However, to write about her, I have to waltz into the brain of someone else who committed a murder. I have absolutely no experience with killing anyone, nor do I plan to. So I lie about it. I lie about it well enough that the first in the series, In the Spirit of Murder, has more than 60,000 downloads and some 260 reviews. People seem to like it. It seems believable to them, and most go on to buy the remainder in the series. And hell’s bells, In the Spirit of Murder certainly seemed believable to me when I was writing it. Occasionally, thinking about how things would happen would jolt me out of a deep sleep, or make it really difficult to even fall asleep. I would become, well . . . fixated.
Well. I’m not going to delve into the psychology behind all of that. I’m not going to explore too deeply the ability to write dark scenes. It’s all a little weird and once in a while almost frightening. All I’m going to say is give Pinocchio a break. And don’t ask me where my own lies come from, because I don’t know.
It’s probably best I don’t.