Blog #6 by novelist Jeremy Logan -- WHY MYSTERY & SUSPENSE GENRE?
Why did I choose the mystery/suspense genre for my first novel. Quite simply, it's because the focus is more on the story than on the writing ability. As a beginner that lacks confidence in his ability to write tight, serious prose, writing at a level high enough to carry a mystery novel was challenge enough. If I become successful in writing mystery novels, and if I feel I am improving and more confident, I might take a stab at it.
There was another motive as well. My wife is my best editor and critic. She prefers novels in the mystery/suspense genre. I'm not sure I can convince her to edit anything else.
Looking beyond the outer skin of the mystery novel onion, there is freedom the author has to indulge himself to include a message other than what the plot reveals. In DGT, I wanted to make some comments on my experience in the corporate climate. One subject that is not taught in college, but should be, is how to act. And I mean act as if you are playing a part on stage. To believe that who you are, your personality and style, will be accepted openly in corporate America is simply absurd. Ignore it at your own peril! God bless those whose personality and style are the same as the culture of the company they hire into. Once hired, the savvy employee resists the temptation to do anything in meetings but observe and learn what succeeds and what doesn't. Early on all you want to show your fellow employees is that you are eager to fit in. As you become more aware of how the culture works you can start to take chances.
There was another subtle message in DGT that was told to me by my corporate mentor early in my career - never underestimate the ability or the tactics of your foes. And by foes, that includes just about everybody, including coworkers. In DGT I mention that this competition in the workplace is always afoot. The main character, Eli Taylor, discovers that there is little friendly competition to be found. Life and death competition is the only one in play. It may not be your mortal life, but your corporate life is always at stake. The flip side of this advice is that you have a choice to give it back equal to if not worse than you received it, or choose not to act in same, cold way. Be on alert for it and be prepared to defend yourself, but choose not to be another link in the chain that condones it or continues it.