|Posted by [email protected] on August 19, 2011 at 3:05 PM|
On the home page I mentioned the cozy/hardboiled continuum, but it strikes me that not many people think of it as a gradual shift from one kind of writing to another. "Oh, I don't read hardboiled novels," says one person. As if that covers it, closes the subject. Yet I wonder if she reads Sara Paretsky. V.I. is the epitome of a hardnosed PI. Not as much of a lone-wolf as the classic PIs, not as concerned with a personal code of conduct as much as a social conscience. So where does V.I. get slotted? And it's not just the hardboiled detectives, but cozies, too. How cozy must a cozy be?
What I would love to see is an egg scale. Not kidding. A softboiled egg takes 3 minutes; hardboiled, 15. So why not a 3 to 15 scale? Take a look at a book cover and it says 5; you would know it's a traditional mystery, probably with an amateur sleuth, but no recipes and more guns. See how it might work?
My own work is normally somewhere in the middle of the scale, and the way publishers work now, it's a disappearing area. Have you noticed how many favorite authors who reside in the middle are no longer published by the Big Six, or not published at all? I have.
Perhaps there are a couple of areas we can explore from here. Let me know.