The Booklist Interview with Mo Hayder by Elliott Swanson. Booklist Online is the counterpart to Booklist magazine, published by the American Library Association.
Mo Hayder, an award-winning author of crime fiction, has written six novels to date; her latest, Skin, published in February 2010, is the fourth to feature Detective Inspector Jack Caffery. Hayder’s characters are brilliantly crafted and impossible to forget, and her fiction explores the bleakest side of the human psyche. For more information about Hayder, check her Web site.
BKL: During a panel discussion held at the 2008 Bouchercon in Baltimore, one of the questions posed to you and fellow panelists Natasha Cooper, Ann Cleeves, and Val McDermid related to writing as a kind of marketable catharsis. Do you think writers write for catharsis? Do you think people read for catharsis?
HAYDER: I happen to think it’s more likely to be the writers writing for catharsis rather than the other way around [laughter]. I think readers, particularly in this genre, read because—whether they admit it to themselves or not—they are scared on some level and are looking for pointers. They’re scared about some unidentifiable threat out there, and they’re searching for role models to help them cope with that violence. If they read about a character who is subjected to a violent experience, they’re very often finding clues in that character’s response to the violence and maybe even preparing themselves in case it happens to them. I think a lot of women walk around thinking it could happen any day and wondering what they would do.
Click here to read the full interview.Tweet