Dangerous dames & gruesome guys

Why do the people who write about crime tend to be so nice?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself more than a few times after interviewing everyone from Sandra Brown to Harlan Coben and attending many conferences such as the Bouchercon — the annual international gathering of crime writers and the readers who love them — and the New England Crime Bake.

I’ve heard many stories of one mystery writer helping another in a variety of ways — from reading and critiquing a manuscript to supplying a positive blurb for the first printing of a new book.

If I was ever to write a novel — a highly unlikely event — I would give serious consideration to making it a thriller or a mystery simply because the folks who work in those fields have formed a real community through organizations such as the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers.

Because these people are so much fun to be around, I volunteered to moderate a couple of panels at Murder 203 this weekend in Easton and Westport.

The libraries in the two towns launched the two-day event last year with great success, pleasing the many writers who came to talk about their work and the readers who wanted to meet them.

When I’ve asked a few crime writers to explain the congeniality of people who make a living writing about the darkest aspects of human behavior, more than one writer has speculated that perhaps they get rid of all their nastier impulses in their work, and then love to get out and meet people.

Whatever the reasons, crime writers are great to listen to and to party with, and you can do both this weekend at Murder 203.

(For more information on the Saturday and Sunday gathering in Easton and Westport, visit www.murder203.com.)

Joe Meyers