Mysteries About People, Not Puzzles: Introspective Noir

Joel D CanfieldThat’s my genre: mysteries about people, not puzzles. The short and shareable marketing-friendly version: introspective noir.

I love writing about people. I love looking inside our heads, yours and mine, trying to understand why we are the way we are.

Humans are irrational

Sometimes we’re mean to those we love or kind to those we don’t. We know exactly what we want, and then when we get it we discover how wrong we were.

We live in moments, barely able to conceive of the future, let alone plan for our being there. We invest far more effort in changing our perspective of the past than in ensuring that we don’t make it a prologue to our future.

Continue reading “Mysteries About People, Not Puzzles: Introspective Noir”


Chandleresque

Raymond ChandlerA style so strong your name becomes an adjective: Chandleresque.

It means, clearly, “like Chandler.”

What that means is, perhaps, less obvious, unless we go with “I know it when I see it” which is, for a writer, ultimately, unsatisfying.

Because I call my mysteries Chandleresque I feel obligated to define my terms. Others have done so more completely, probably more correctly; others of greater literary stature than I.

Tough. I’m the only one here right now, so I get to make the calls.

Continue reading “Chandleresque”


Simplicity Itself (Revisited)

It’s been a couple years since I posted my very first short story (vignette, actually) here: Simplicity Itself.

I wrote it on my first computer, which would have been about 1990. Long before the days of the web. (A computer with no hard drive. Just two 5 1/4″ floppies.)

As soon as it was done, another sentence popped into my head:

It was one of those days when breakfast wanted to be cheap whiskey straight from the bottle.

And we know what that led to, don’t we?

Probably time for Simplicity Itself to turn into the book it never was.

Question is, will it be Phil Brennan’s book, or some completely new character?