28 March 2015

Never Marry a Crime Writer

(they let me off my leash again...)

Everybody knows they shouldn’t marry a writer.  Mothers the world over have made that obvious: “For Gawd Sake, never marry a marauding barbarian, a sex pervert, or a writer.” (Or a politician, but that is my own personal bias.  Ignore me.)

But for some reason, lots of innocent, unsuspecting people marry writers every year.  Obviously, they don’t know about the (gasp!) “Zone.”  (More obviously, they didn’t have the right mothers.)

Never mind: I’m here to help.

I think it pays to understand that writers aren’t normal humans: they write about people who don’t exist and things that never happened.  Their brains work differently.  They have different needs.  And in some cases, they live on different planets (at least, my characters do, which is kind of the same thing.)

Thing is, writers are sensitive creatures.  This can be attractive to some humans who think that they can ‘help’ poor writer-beings (in the way that one might rescue a stray dog.)  True, we are easy to feed and grateful for attention.  We respond well to praise.  And we can be adorable.  So there are many reasons you might wish to marry a writer, but here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t:

The basics: 

1.  Writers are hoarders.  Your house will be filled with books.  And more books.  It will be a shrine to books.  The lost library of Alexandria will pale in comparison.

2.  Writers are addicts.  We mainline coffee.  We’ve also been known to drink other beverages in copious quantities, especially when together with other writers in places called ‘bars.’ 

3.  Writers are weird.  Crime Writers are particularly weird (as weird as horror writers.) You will hear all sorts of gruesome research details at the dinner table.  When your parents are there.  Maybe even with your parents in mind.

4.  Writers are deaf.  We can’t hear you when we are in our offices, pounding away at keyboards. Even if you come in the room.  Even if you yell in our ears.

5.  Writers are single-minded.  We think that spending perfectly good vacation money to go to crime writing conferences like Bouchercon is a really good idea.  Especially if there are other writers there with whom to drink beverages.

The bad ones:

6.  It may occasionally seem that we’d rather spend time with our characters than our family or friends.  (See 9 below.)

7.  We rarely sleep through the night.  (It’s hard to sleep when you’re typing.  Also, all that coffee...)

8.  Our Google Search history is a thing of nightmares.  (Don’t look.  No really – don’t.  And I’m not just talking about ways to avoid taxes… although if anyone knows a really fool-proof scheme, please email me.)

And the really bad ones:

9.  If we could have affairs with our beloved protagonists, we probably would. (No!  Did I say that out loud?)

10.  We know at least twenty ways to kill you and not get caught.

RE that last one:  If you are married to a writer, don’t worry over-much.  Usually writers do not kill the hand that feeds them.  Mostly, we are way too focused on figuring out ways to kill our agents, editors, and particularly, reviewers.

Melodie Campbell writes funny books, like The Artful Goddaughter, book 3 in the award-winning series about a reluctant mob goddaughter.  Please don't be reluctant to check them out.


  1. I will walk miles through snow barefooted to read what Melodie writes!!! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

  2. Thelma, you sweetie - thank you! You are good for my soul. But don't even think of walking through snow in those Manhattan designer shoes.

  3. Thanks, Judy :) I'm sure you can relate, being a crime writer yourself!

  4. Love this, Melodie! You made me spit up my tea, laughing.

    My fav line: We know at least twenty ways to kill you and not get caught.

    So true!

    Dee Willson
    Author of A Keeper's Truth and GOT

  5. Another bad one: We have notebooks with scribbles in it that will get us sent to the pen if we're caught in the wrong town at the wrong time writing this crap down.

    LOVE IT! This is MEEEE!!!!!!

  6. Eve, yup - you are indeed a sister in crime (she said furtively looking around...)

  7. Thanks, Dee! You've just given me an idea for another column >grin<

  8. Melodie, I showed this to my two grown sons and they said, "She's right on the money with those ten characteristics. You're just like that!"

  9. Melodie, my older son wants me to tell you to add that writers are interesting to shop with. When writing The Corpse and the Fiddle, I took him with me to the music store where I asked, "Which of these tuning forks would be the right size to jam up someone's nose into the brain resulting in death?" The salesman recommended one. We all measured it against our noses, and I bought it. That's how I research.

  10. Fran, that is absolutely the best crime writer shopping anecdote I have heard! I can't wait to tell my daughter (who probably has stories similar to those of your son. Poor spawn of ours.)

  11. Absolutely hilarious, Melodie! And sooooo true.

  12. Anne, I thought of you when I was writing this one :)

  13. Very weird. No men have commented on this post. Are we seeing a humour divide? :)

  14. You just get better and better, Melodie. The sister of an old girlfriend warned her she might "wake up dead." Nonsense. It was the sister who should have been watching her back.


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