I thought I'd blog a bit today about who I am and what I like to write. Since I'm still trying to sort out who I am, I'll start with the latter.
I like looking at issues from multiple angles so I'm drawn to multiple points-of-view as a writer. As a reader, though, I know it's sometimes off-putting when you're just getting immersed in the story from one perspective and the author suddenly changes point-of-view on you.
I like mystery but not who-dun-its, more the mystery in life itself or the "why" behind human behavior, which can be at times so inexplicable. This includes the "why" of mysteries; that is, what motivates the criminal mind? I have one work in progress in which a child jealous of a sibling and feeling slighted by his mother goes on to become a killer who -- like all killers -- finds ways to justify his actions. (No, it's not the one about my grandmother. This is a different one, and this one is fiction.)
More often, though I like to write about the "lesser" sins that plague most of us. I like to write about characters who are flawed but not beyond redemption. I like to write about, in the words of William Faulkner, the human heart in conflict with itself. I like to write about the ways in which we both are, and are not, the product of our upbringing, our past , and even the past of our parents and grandparents.
As for who I am, isn't that what we're all trying to figure out? I think this is the greatest mystery of all, and perhaps the foremost reason I love to write. Maybe, through my characters -- who always contain a piece of me, whether it's the hero of the villain -- I hope to gain insight into myself, the foolish things I so often do, and the occasional glimpses of something noble.