By Peg Brantley, Writer at Work, Stumbling Toward Publication
I'm an optimist who can't imagine living life any other way. I work at making the choice to constantly see my world in a fresh and positive way. I would prefer to be a bit naive rather than suspicious and guarded. Not stupid—just not paranoid. For me, this is an easier way to live.
When people find out I write crime fiction—and we get the inevitable and uncomfortable question of my publication status out of the way (sigh)—if they're still interested (and if they're readers, they're still interested), they want to know about where I get my ideas, and finally, they want to know about how such an upbeat person can write about such bad things happening to people.
When I write bad things in my books, it's to depict people with the strength to survive those events. People who continue to love and laugh and don't allow trauma to rule their lives. People whose appreciation for life gets bigger as their world gets smaller and uglier. People who, usually, are honest and courageous at some level.
Evil is a choice. Just as love, hate and goodness are choices. Most people (except in my books) choose goodness, but even good people find themselves from time to time facing a part of themselves that is to some degree malevolent. That's how we recognize evil when we see it, or read it. That's how I know how to write it.
I'm an optimist with a bad side. Go figure.