Scary stories and the women who write them

It’s a rehashed topic, but the Guardian’s Julie Bindel at least gives the question of “what attracts so many women to writing – and reading – gruesome crime novels” a fairly sympathetic spin. It also helps that she’s polled several notable British and Scottish writers like Jo-Ann Goodwin, Tana French, Martina Cole and Val Mcdermid about their motivations:

As one of Britain’s bestselling crime writers, Val McDermid,

(creator of ITV’s Wire in the Blood), believes that reading and writing

violent fiction is about admitting the existence of inhuman cruelty,

and examining its causes and consequences. “Women are far more in tune

with violence than men,” she says. “As a result of 24-hour news, we are

more aware than ever before of the atrocities that are happening to

women all over the world, and, to make sense of what is going on, we

turn to art and fiction.“?

Many writers I interviewed for this

article were critical of what they called the “pointless violence” they

often find in crime novels written by men. “I draw a particular

distinction between violence that is gratuitous, and violence that is

meaningful,” says McDermid. “In some crime novels [by men], the victims

are one-dimensional characters who merely exist to be slayed.” McDermid

writes to entertain, but also hopes that her books will, in some way,

open the readers’ eyes as to how and why the atrocities she describes

have occurred. “I always say we get the crimes we deserve,” she says.

Has that ever been proven time and time again…