How Did Film Noir End Up In The Reed Ferguson Mystery Series?
Someone recently asked me how I decided to write in the noir genre and when I answered, she said I should tell my readers because they might be interested. So here goes…
The truth is, I kind of stumbled into using film noir in the Reed Ferguson mystery series. I’ve always loved mysteries and have read many of the greats (Chandler, Cain, Hammett), along with plenty of modern mystery series. And I love old movies, not necessarily noir, and old TV shows. So when I was working on Reed’s character, I thought it would be a fun twist to have him want to emulate the great detectives, and yet not have all the baggage they do. I did research on old detective movies and of course Humphrey Bogart came up, and I thought it’d be fun to have Reed want to be like Bogie. But I didn’t intend to have film noir movies referenced in all the books.
As a matter of fact, in Reel Estate Rip-off, the second book in the series, I initially didn’t have noir references, but some references to the old TV western show, Bonanza. Both books sat on a shelf for a long time, and then I published This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies, and as I was polishing up Reel Estate Rip-off, I realized that Reed needed to keep referencing film noir. So Bonanza hit the cutting room floor and The Killers was introduced in book two. By now feedback for This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies was positive, and readers were saying they liked the film noir references, so I kept it.Turns out that was a good decision – I like that aspect of Reed’s character, and readers seem to as well. And the more books I’ve written in the series, the more I’ve studied film noir. There are some great movies in the genre, and for an old movie buff like me, it’s been a lot of fun to watch some classic noir.
So there you have it.