Friday, February 21, 2014

Writing about Death and Murder

by Jean Henry Mead

I wrote about death and murder on a regular basis as a news reporter, until I'd had enough and decided to use my experiences as a mystery novelist. My Logan and Cafferty mystery/suspense series then evolved with a bit of humor and romance to lighten the plot, but with death stalking my family in successive years it made me wonder whether I was writing in the right genre. 

Following my niece's murder, my parents' and daughter's deaths from cancer as well as two of my younger brothers in their mid-to-late forties; I lost two young grandsons, one of them from a unloaded gun, the other from E. coli, the result of eating a fast food hamburger. 

Yesterday a third brother died of pneumonia--a big, handsome, great guy who kept me apprised of the latest vitamins to take as well as the right food combinations for good health. I'm devastated and have decided that I can no longer continue writing casually about the deaths of others, especially adding humor to the mix as I've done with my Logan and Cafferty series. 

Writing saved me from complete despair when  my daughter died  by immersing myself in my writing and promoting my work. But, now, I can't imagine writing about death and have decided to continue writing historical novels and children's mysteries instead. Some day I may be able to continue my mystery series, but for now I doubt that anyone will expire in one of my future novels. . .


Bill Kirton said...

So sorry to hear such devastating news, Jean. I knew of one or two of your losses but didn't realise there were so many. Your reaction's completely understandable but I was afraid at first that you were going to say you'd stop writing. But that, of course, is impossible, and I'm glad you'll be putting your skills to use in your children's and historical novels. Again, my thoughts are with you and I hope this latest pain soon starts hurting less.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Bill. I know that you've expeienced the pain of losing your own brother. They say that journalists have printer's ink in their veins and I image that novelists have a dose of restlessness in our blood, which drives us to share our illusions.

Jackie King said...

Dear Jean,
I'm so very sorry. I had no idea that you had suffered so many tragic losses. Like Bill, I understand why you don't want to write about death, no should you.

I hope your writing children's books, historical novels and nonfiction books will be a salve to your broken heart.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thanks, Jackie.