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The Sirens of Suspense




Rebecca Cantrell is the multi-award-winning author of the Hannah Vogel historical mystery series set in World War II Berlin. Her most recent A CITY OF BROKEN GLASS, released July 17. She is also the author of the young adult phenomenon iDRAKULA (and the forthcoming iFRANKENSTEIN) under the name Bekka Black.

Find Rebecca on Facebook and Twitter.

Why I Write (and Read) item1

I get asked this a lot, most often by those who feel that I am “wasting my talent reading and writing mysteries” and don’t mind telling me so just like that. Sometimes, they tell me so on stage at a reading that’s more than half filled with die hard mystery fans.  So far, this has not resulted in a giant literary brawl. But I think it’s gotten close.

I’ve tried to formulate a calming answer, but the truth is that I read everything. I read crime, mystery, thriller, literary, historical, sci-fi, fantasy, YA, graphic novels, the occasional romance, film scripts, and nonfiction. If it’s printed, I read it. If I had more time, I’d read even more. I’ve been told that it’s some kind of weird compulsion I ought to see someone about, and also that I should be more discriminating.item6

I doubt I’ll ever climb Mount Everest, fall in love with a Scottish Highlander, defeat an army of rampaging robots, or solve a tricky murder. But because of books I can experience all that while sitting in on a comfy couch while sipping tea and saying, “I’ll get to that as soon as I finish this chapter.”  I love the worlds writers create on the page. I can’t limit myself to just a few. That would be like eating just one bite of chocolate mousse.  I guess that the real, guilty pleasure reason why I read all the time. But why mysteries?

My mother would say that I read mysteries not just because they’re there, but also because I have an overblown sense of justice and I expect the world to be fair. As usual: she’d be right. I do. And in mysteries everything happens for a reason, the evil are exposed and, usually, they even get punished for what they did. Who could not want to read that? For just one moment, somewhere in a book, life is almost fair.

Obviously there’s a leap from reading them to writing them.

I could make up a deep psychological reason, but really I write them because they are fun. I get to do all kinds of research and ask questions that normally cause trouble. In the name of research, I watched someone blow a giant pile of lava into gravel, begged a vampire autopsy report off a medical examiner, asked an expert on chemical weapons all kinds of troublesome question, and right now I’m sitting in a cafe in Berlin looking at the cobblestones and thinking dark thoughts. As a writer friend once said: “It’s not a grown up job.”

I like that.



WHY DO YOU READ (OR WRITE) MYSTERIES? TELL US OR ASK REBECCA A QUESTION by commenting below or visit us and share your thoughts on our Facebook page and be entered to win the first in the Hannah Vogel series A TRACE OF SMOKE!

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