There is no doubt that enough words have been written and pictures taken of the tragedy that occurred in Tucson, Arizona, a short while ago. My prayers are with all involved and maybe they can take some solace in the fact that, "This too shall pass."
I guess one of the things that bothers me is that it happened in my home town. Even though I live in northern Arizona now, I still have fond memories of my birthplace. Tucson is a dynamic place and the people in general are warm and friendly. Of course, all big cities have crime and it’s just something the general public tries to deal with on a daily basis.
There is something else that is bothering me. Both of my murder mysteries, Evil in the Mirror and Day Stalker, are set in Tucson. In fact, the third unfinished book of the trilogy, The Phoenix Code, is also set in the same location. Even though all three books happen in the late ‘60s and there could not be any connection to the horrible shootings in the Safeway parking lot, I can’t help but contemplate the serious responsibilities a fiction writer might face when inventing murder scenarios.
Evil in the Mirror depicts two identical twins killing off hippies in a most unusual and gory way. How would I feel if someone read the book and decided to do a copycat killing? I know there have been books written and movies made dealing with the same scenario; I have read and seen a few, but this time it’s up close and personal. It never occurred to me while writing the books, that nut jobs might find the modus operandi intriguing enough to actually try it out!
I suppose it is the risk you take if you are passionate about writing murder mysteries, which I am, and I really don’t think there is any way to minimize that risk. Perhaps I could add a disclaimer stating: Read at your own risk; murder mysteries can be addicting!
I’m just saying,