The destructive power of the lie

River of Lies Blog Post

The destructive power of the lie

Posted on May 12 by R.M. Greenaway in Mystery, Recent Releases
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So I was invited by Dundurn Press to write a guest post. That was over a month ago, plenty of time, no problem. I started to write about the latest in my BC Blues crime fiction series, River of Lies. At that time COVID-19 was in the news, but seemed distant. Life went on as normal, here in Nelson. Though we learned to sing happy birthday when washing our hands.

I started writing my post, but the news kept distracting me. Things were getting scarier. The numbers were surging. I scrapped Blog Post Take 1.

I didn't start Take 2 right away. It seemed meaningless in the face of what was happening. Trite. But I had promised to submit it, so I tried again. Instead of writing about my book, I thought more about why I write. I got a few words down, but was again distracted by the news. It wasn't just scary; it was horrifying. There were death graphs and conflicting opinions and lockdowns and tanking economies, and every time I coughed I knew I was infected (I wasn't). So I had no heart to write about why I write either, and scrapped Take 2.

The crisis is developing further, from contagion to rebellion, and we're learning more about what went wrong to start with, and all the lies we've been told. We're starting to fear some of the world's most powerful leaders as much as the bug itself (one in particular is mutating alarmingly). Imagine if those leaders had told the truth from the start. Dial it back. Resurrect the good people who have been mowed down by this pandemic. Protect them from harm.

Having all this on my mind, along with a looming deadline, has inspired Take 3: The destructive power of the lie. Not the little white lies, which are just a branch of kindness, like when you agree with a parent who has dementia that the room is full of butterflies (it's not). I'm talking about the dark, greedy bastard lies.

Linked to all that is a theme in my series that I haven't actually noticed till now. The stories don't bristle with guns or knives, but the lie is one weapon that's frequently deployed. The lie operates in all crime fiction to some extent, but in mine it's more demon than device. A demon I'm working to exorcise through writing. Or explore, or punish somehow. Because I hate being lied to. The lie is nasty. More accessible than a gun and often hard to detect. Your spouse may have one stashed under their pillow, ready to use against you, little do you know!

So that's my Take 3. It's about the lie, how on a global scale it kills, how on a smaller scale it drives fiction. True, life could be dull without the lie. The lie creates intrigue, and intrigue is, well, intriguing. All the same, I wish the world leaders would stick to the truth, and leave the BS to us writers.



R.M. Greenaway

Posted by Kendra on January 19, 2016
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R.M. Greenaway

R.M. Greenaway has worked in probation and travelled British Columbia as a court reporter. Her first novel in the B.C. Blues Crime series, Cold Girl, won the Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award. She lives in Nelson, B.C.