Potato Chips & Writing

Why do I write mystery-romance-suspense books? Potato chips. They taught me all I know about deception.

Potato chips are almost as light as air. They are crispy and flavorful, and for folks attempting to lose weight, what could be wrong with consuming something that is nearly as buoyant as air? Right? Wrong.

One of those deceitful, delightful treats contains 10 calories. How is it even possible to capture calories that can make a person fat in something so weightless? Ten calories in one chip—and who eats just one?

It gets worse. A single serving bag of light-as-air chips contains 155 calories, not bad unless one realizes that those bags are small and that after eating an entire bag—one is still hungry.

Chips are masters of deception. “Why is your waist getting bigger? Why are your jeans tight around your middle? What is causing your bathroom scale to creep up? Not us, surely. Look at how small we are and how lightly we sit in your hand. How could we be guilty? Look for the culprit somewhere else.”

Mystery writers are tasked with directing readers from one suspect to another to keep them guessing and to keep them from becoming bored. The closer mystery readers get to the end of the book without knowing whodunit, the better the writing. That requires delving into levels of deception and cooking up deceitful characters.

The world is full of examples of deception and deceivers. Potato chips are the worst.

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