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December 17, 2012
Posted at 2:45 pm

*Life Is Short*

I began a new Carpenter novel today, called Life Is Short. It's something that as a rule I dislike - a mystery involving a serial murderer.* But I believe I did it differently enough that it's not a stereotypical serial murder mystery.

For one thing, I never ever get into the perp's head. I know enough about psychopaths (and all serial murderers are psychopaths - it's a "job requirement") to know that such a person's head is someplace I'd rather not be. And to do that, I'd have to depart from Darvin's first person narration, and while I have written a few stories in third person, and one from someone else's POV, the main point is what Darvin himself experiences - and he only experiences what he experiences, not what goes through the perp's mind.

For another thing, this is a Carpenter story, with all the family, Christianity, etc. that means. I'm not sure myself how to define exactly what a Carpenter story is, without coming back to the generic statement that it's a story about the Carpenters. :)

Anyway, the new novel's underway, and I hope y'all like it.

*I exceedingly loathe the common usage of "killer" in any and all circumstances. "Murderer" is a perfectly good word which people ought to learn how to use - and how about "perp(etrator)," "doer," "actor" (that last really is in use in some police departments, meaning the person who committed the act in view), or something else? The way people seem to think there's only one word per concept tells me that government education just doesn't work.