Not really. Actually i’m on my way to bed but i couldn’t miss the official thursday post or i’d feel like a big jerk. So here i am, ending the day as it began – with typing.
By now the usual readers have looked at the Murp Day thing, scratched their heads and said ‘umm…. what was that?’ Let me explain. No wait. There is too much. Let me sum up. I love my mystery stories. I love mysteries. Realizing that sort of came up suddenly one day a few years back after reading Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. More than anything else Chabon really opened my eyes to what a genre story could be. He’s a damned good writer, by the way. If you haven’t explored Werewolves in our Youth or The Wonder Boys or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay start now. His sentences just sing. But it was the Yiddish Policeman’s Union that REALLY did it. In it he crafts a pretty straightforward hard-boiled detective who happens to be Jewish in the now completely Jewish homeland of Sitka, Alaska which is on the verge of reverting to the sovereignty of the United States.
There you go. A speculative mystery.
Fast forward a few years and i decided i wanted to start a mystery series in my own hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin – a place that is positively RIPE for exploitation into a hard boiled sort of setting. We’ve got it all: seriously corrupt politicians that rival New Orleans, rampant racial segregation, crumbling infrastructure and violence. Oh so much violence. We have so much violence they can’t even squeeze it all onto the ten o’clock news, but my how they try. You can almost hear the glee of the newscasters on a ‘heavy’ day. I really wanted to talk about all of this stuff in some way but we readers have a nasty tendency to depersonalize our realities and demand accurate representation out of them. So what does a writer do when they want to talk about racial politics, history, all that stuff, without getting people completely bent out of shape in one stupid unintentional way or another? Ah… that’s it. Make it a fantasy. Much easier to chew that way.
So that’s what we have in the Murp thing. What you see is a preamble of sorts. The novels (so far there are two in various stages of completion) are speculative fiction. I know. Some folks will say fantasy. That’s fine. Except i don’t much care for fantasy. I love the Harry Potter books but find most fantasy nauseatingly derivative. I wanted to do something interesting, fun. So i packed up the detective genre, added a bit of traditional fantasy set in in Milwaukee and set to steep for a little while. The results are this odd little mixture that i’ve been enjoying and tossing everything but the kitchen sink into. I hope you’ll like it as you’ll be seeing a bit more of it here and there on the blog. Particularly if you’re looking for it.
No worry’s if you’re not into that sort of thing. I’m still a traditionalist at heart and i’ll be keeping up with the mystery blog and my traditional blood and guts mystery writing at the same time. I just want to give this stuff a little space to let it grow and see what fun i can have with it. If you’re here for the traditional stuff it’ll still be here as will the writing mystery blog you see before you. Feel free to ignore the Murp stuff.
If you’re daring and intrepid though and could use a little dash of the odd and sometimes magical in your tales well you’ll find it in the Murp stuff. I’ve got cops, homicides, and a teeming decaying metropolis laden with some truly… unique… folks. I’ve got a brand new College of Magic offering classes at the local university. See how they manage to integrate into the engineering fields. I have a necromancer who works with a medical examiner and reads the brains of the recently departed. I have a bunch of short people, a few tall people, and a bunch of folks who live in the shadows and the long, wide, wild valley of the Milwaukee River. I’ve got corrupt politicians of all stripes and sizes, an illegal potion ring, racial tensions, murder, mayhem and intrigue.
It’s going to be fun.
In the meantime, Homicide Detective Meg Brown is still in fairly normal Minneapolis. (as normal as Minneapolis gets, which isn’t very) Nothing strange going on there except some fun charming sleuthing. If that’s your thing take a look. There will be a lot to see in the coming months and years. Spike and Kenzie are getting married! I can’t wait actually. I’m really happy for them both.
As for this blog – sorry it’s not the usual fare right now. Like i said. I’m tired and wasn’t even going to write tonight. Was just heading to bed actually, but figured i had to do something for the thursday blog.