Why I write crime thrillers?

As a guest on Dolly Garland’s ‘Writer Revealed’, I was asked: why write crime thrillers? This is how I replied:

Crime thrillers allow me to explore human emotions at their extremes, whilst writing about what interests me, such as, love, death, betrayal, vengeance, the pursuit, and the pursued. By placing an ‘everyman character’ (one that people can identify with) in a criminal world, I can invite the reader to experience a dangerous journey from the safety of their imagination.

There is an old adage that you should write what you know. I prefer to say, you should write about what interests you. It follows then, that you should write in the genre that you most often read. My enjoyment of fast-paced, plot-driven, American crime thrillers inspired my desire to write and influenced my style.

Over time, my reading developed a familiarity with a structure that would enable me to entertain and excite to maximum effect. In a vague chronological order:

1. An event/action that poses Intriguing questions.
2. The presence of obstacles or Conflict.
3. Chapter ending - what next? - Hooks.
4. Gripping Suspense.
5. Unexpected revelations and Twists.
6. More conflict - pile on the pressure to an enthralling Climax.
7. A surprise Resolution.

The key to keeping the pages turning is the need to know; what happens next? This need is why I read and write thrillers.

John Baird, author of Chasing Shadows, coming to America in the summer of 2010.