I’m contemplating a murder. I can see it: the body, and two teenagers. And part of me is concerned that as a writer, I’m becoming ghoulish, and part of me is intrigued by this notion. In Alice Munro’s short stories, the characters are frequently informed by violence, but the violence is usually outside the scope of the story—it happens off-stage.
I don’t have any interest in writing thrillers. I think I’m much more interested in character-motivated stories. Distilled and human—my characters are people I would hang out with—flawed and seeking. So, why the murder? I’m not entirely sure I can do it, which is appealing. And I’m scared of it, scared of having to walk that path to wherever it leads. My fear, I think, is the thing that is most compelling to me, and the thing that in the end, will press me forward.