As a transactional publishing attorney and mystery author, you might say secrets are my stock in trade. Most of my work involves issues I cannot talk about in public, and much of my writing … well, yeah. Can’t tell that either.
Unfortunately, I’m also a person who likes to share things.
This creates a bit of a problem.
Not so much with work – the secrets there are not my own, and I’m good at keeping other people’s confidences. More than once, I’ve had people tell me something expecting that I would leak the information. Every time, those people end up disappointed – if it’s a secret, I never tell.
When the secrets are mine, however, I have a harder time keeping them close to the vest. That’s particularly true where the “secrets” are Things That Happen in My Novels. My sleuth, master ninja Hiro Hattori, has a highly developed backstory … none of which I can tell you (yet). He does something really cool to solve the murder in Claws of the Cat – but if I revealed it, I’d ruin the story. Even the title – Claws of the Cat – has a secret meaning. But please don’t ask.
And while we’re at it, don’t ask me to tell you the name of Hiro’s kitten.
You see my dilemma.
I love writing mystery novels. I love it so much I’ll forget to eat, forego my sleep, and put off just about any other non-client-related pursuit. I love to talk about writing, and Hiro, and all of the little details that lurk in the shadows where ninjas hide.
Except that I can’t, because most of them are secrets.
And although I would love to talk about them, the worst kind of party-pooper is the one who reveals the twist in a novel or gives away the killer before the end.
I did figure out one secret that I can tell you today, however:
If you’re reading Claws of the Cat and dying to know who the murderer is, don’t skip to the final page to find out.
Why not? Because the killer isn’t revealed on the final page of the novel – but I do reveal a different secret there, so you’ll spoil that one and still not learn the answer you skipped to find.
Does that count as a secret? I hope so.
Because the ninjas won’t let me tell you anything more.