SANDRA CAREY CODY: ON MYSTERIES
I’m the mystery writer of the group. Why do I choose to write mysteries? One of the cliches of writing is write what you know. Good advice, but I think even better is write what you love. I’ve always loved stories where an ordinary person wins against extraordinary odds and that, at its core, is what a mystery is.
You have the elements of any good story: suspense and the classic struggle between good and evil. I find satisfaction, both as a writer and a reader, inhabiting a world where I know justice will be served. I’m not talking about true crime, but fictional mysteries – where the bad guy always gets what’s coming to him and the good guy always emerges victorious – usually a little banged up, but bearing her (or his) scars proudly because she has righted a wrong.
Creating those good and bad guys is the part of writing I most enjoy and it’s where I start a story. A mystery provides the perfect format to present a variety of characters and to see how they react under stress. What are the hopes and dreams of these people? What are they afraid of?
As a writer, I have a chance to look into the heart of that ordinary person and to show what pushes her to overcome those extraordinary odds. I can also peek into the psyche of the bad guy and try to find the tipping point, that moment that makes an extreme act seem necessary. There’s nothing I would rather do. I’m not interested in world peace? Of course, but since that’s beyond my scope, I’ll do what for me is the next best thing; I’ll write stories that acknowledge the existence of evil, but show that it can be overcome.
What Sandy’s reading now:
BETWEEN GEORGIA by Joshilyn Jackson