One of the best things about the crime fiction community is that we can all put aside the things that could divide us, and we can learn from each other. We all have different backgrounds, different cultures, different values, different politics, and so on. And instead of letting those things come between us, we are enriched by them. We all have different takes on books, different kinds of books we like and don’t like, and so on. But that only gives each of us a broader perspective. At the end of the day, I am a better person, and certainly a better-informed reader, because of the other people in this wonderful crime fiction community.
As I post this, it’s ANZAC Day, a day to remember those who gave their lives as part of the ANZAC forces. As I think about those who died, and of their families, I can’t help but imagine what a much better world we’d have if other people took lessons from the worldwide crime fiction community. Oh, don’t worry; I’m not completely naïve. I don’t have too many illusions about global reality. You can’t if you write crime fiction. But think what we’ve accomplished as a crime fiction community. We disagree – sometimes strongly. We don’t all see the world in the same way. And perhaps privately we get annoyed with each other. And we talk about death and murder a lot. But guess what? We’re friends. We work with each other. We learn from each other. We respect one another. We have commonalities that bind us. And I’ve seen how we all support each other when something goes very well – or very badly.
That’s one reason I feel so fortunate to be included in the crime fiction community. And it’s one reason I always take time out on this blog to reflect on ANZAC Day. So many Australians and Kiwis have been kind to me, and I’ve learned so much from my Kiwi and Aussie friends. You know who you are, and I hope you know how grateful I am to you. So, although I’m neither Australian nor a New Zealander, I stand with those who are, in remembrance of too many young people who lost their lives too soon. Their loss is a tragedy for us all.
Think what it might be like if everyone could work together, help each other, and learn from each other, the way we do in the crime fiction community. Perhaps if more people did that, there’d be less awful loss of life. Too idealistic? Quite possibly. Never gonna happen? Perhaps. But why not try? Wouldn’t it be a good way to remember those who died, by working to make sure that others don’t have to?
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Bronski Beat’s No More War.