CrimeReads: How I Stopped Worrying About The Rules And Learned To Write A Mystery Novel

Thanks to CrimeReads for featuring an essay on my journey to writing Skin Deep.

One of my greatest thrills as a college student was when I was let into the intermediate-level creative writing workshop. You couldn’t just sign up and walk in—you had to submit a short story good enough for the professor to deem you worthy. That first day, I sat around the rectangular table with my future colleagues and was handed a set of rules for the class. It’s been almost thirty years since I laid eyes on this single xeroxed sheet, but I can still remember one of them: You will not write stories about serial murderers, or even regular murderers.

CrimeReads