I wanted to find out more about what Sylvie Granotier, the author of The Paris Lawyer, thinks about writing and crime fiction. So I went to an article Sylvie wrote with another French crime fiction writer, Dominique Manotti. For both of them, the question that crime fiction asks is not “Who did the killing?” but “Why do people kill?”
Here are some other things that define Sylvie’s writing.
Why does Sylvie write crime fiction?
- From the start, it was just obvious for her to write in this genre.
- Is it because she carries some sort of violence in her that pushes her to try to understand that of others? Probably, she says.
- Is it because she feels some kind of despair and/or revolt in face of the world we live in? Undoubtedly, she says.
- It is also because she has a taste for what is real, an interest and a love for reality.
What things is she interested in that feed her stories?
- Other people’s lives
- The mechanics of power
- People’s relationship to work
What writers, movies and artists does she love?
- Alexandre Dumas
- Charles Dickens
- B-series movies
- The photographer Weegee
- The hard-boiled crime writer Edward Bunker
- American literature, for its ability to free itself of dogma and conventions
What characterizes crime fiction?
- Plot is key.
- Suspense and pace go hand in hand.
- Direct dialogue contributes to character development.
- It has its own genre codes, but allows tremendous freedom to the writer.
- You need to grab the reader by the throat and not let go.
- You must never bore the reader.
What contract does she have with her readers?
Crime fiction readers are tough. They don’t hesitate to drop the book at the second chapter. They count on their favorite writers:
- When they can’t sleep
- When they want a way out of their daily lives
- To experience strong emotions without taking risks
- To be entertained
- And to explore several levels of meaning
For a fine example of what she is talking about, read The Paris Lawyer. Click below to get it now in your favorite ebook format.