I was sitting at my writing desk tonight, looking at my bookshelf, and wondered what an ordinary person might think if they wandered into my home office and saw the titles crammed into my bookcase there.
I suppose they might consider four different versions of English dictionaries, two thesauruses (is that a word?), and the Encyclopeadia Brittanica showed a somewhat exaggerated enthusiasm for reference books. But what about the other titles?
Would Stephen Cohle's Skeletons in the Closet and Louis Catalide's Coroner's Journal cause the cable repairman to look at me askance? Would titles like Deadly Doses or The Encyclopedia of Poisonous Plants or a slim little volume called Making Crime Pay send a snoopy neighbor running to report me to the police? What about Creating Murder and Mayhem or maybe the one called Planning the Perfect Crime? Might those put a damper on a visit from a co-worker? Then there's those magazine jackets holding copies of Handgun Digest and all the catalogs from various International knife and weapons dealers. Last, let's not forget my scrapbook with the carefully preserved articles from the local newspaper about various crimes committed here over the the last couple of decades. Would those items make you look for the nearest exit, too?
Okay, I admit it, reading over the list just now has even creeped me out just a little, and it's my office for goodness sake. However, before any of you reach for the phone to call your local FBI office to report me, I invite you to look a little closer.
Interspersed with all those ominous titles are other books like: The Gregg Reference Manual; MLA Style Book; How to Write a Damn Good Mystery; A Writer's Guide to Private Eyes; and dozens of others writing books. There's also a book of baby names (good for coming up with character names); biographies of a couple favorite writers and authors; and even a dog-eared copied of Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul.
Yes, I am a writer, a mystery writer. On weekends, vacations, evenings, and the occasional stolen lunch hour, I cook up ways to "make crime pay." My writer's library is heavy on reference books about every aspects of genre, aiding me in my search for the perfect crime. My friends know it. They keep their eyes open for unusual books I may not yet own. I'm grateful for that and for them.
Afterall, you never know when you might need a good character witness! LOL!
Talk to you soon,