Monday, January 18, 2010

The Lineup edited by Otto Penzler

Subtitle: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives.

Little Brown sent me this book for review, and I didn't realize it was non-fiction until it arrived. I tend to read mostly fiction, but I've read a great many Otto Penzler anthologies, so I decided it couldn't be bad. I was right.

It was like being in a room with authors at a convention where they shared with you what led them to choose a certain character (or what character chose them) and why the various attributes, successes and failures of each make the character they like to write about.

21 authors speak of their characters intimately. It's fun to see what inspired them, why some keep their characters true to type and some have characters that change throughout the series.

My personal favorite was Jeffery Deaver's contribution about Lincoln Rhyme's funeral. He always grabs my attention and leads me on.

Not only will this book share writer talk with you, it may inspire you to start thinking about a character you'd like to write about or a situation that could jump start a story for you.

For being non-fiction, this was really an enjoyable read. Try it, you'll like it!

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