Electric Lit: "10 LGBTQ Crime Fiction Must-Reads"

The act of coming out is an unveiling. Since queer people live in a straight, cis-gendered dominant culture, we have the burden of proclaiming our sexual orientation or our gender identity. As a narrative, the coming-out story is one we’re familiar with, and one we’ve embraced. Crime stories have a similar structure, which perhaps is why they resonate with queer readers and writers: the tension of withheld secrets, the satisfying snap of the puzzle pieces fitting together, the wonder of the reveal. We’re drawn to a narrative where the unknown becomes known. Where motives are made clear. Where identity is made evident.

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CrimeReads: "Closure: Crime Fiction's Most Satisfying and Elusive Gift"

Several years ago, I decided to redecorate my office. The idea was to make it more aesthetically conducive to writing: fresh paint in pleasing earth tones, new furniture made from recycled pallet wood, everywhere clean, modern surfaces—a blank canvas from which to create. In truth, it was an elaborate (and expensive) excuse to procrastinate revising the ending of my novel, Dodging and Burning. One Saturday, passionately avoiding my laptop, I grabbed my husband, and we moved the furniture out and ripped up the frayed wall-to-wall Berber carpeting. Underneath, we discovered a loose board in the pine flooring. Our curiosity piqued, we removed it. Between the support beams, peeking through the dust, we found a treasure trove: three Chesterfield cigarette packets, two Hershey bar wrappers, an ad for women’s cosmetics, a hand-drawing (perhaps a tracing) of the silent film comedian Harold Lloyd, and the remains of a letter penned by a woman named Catherine, all dating back to the 1920’s or early 1930’s.

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