The reasons I write crime fiction are many. Beyond the strong desire to make the world a better place, one of them might be that when I was six or seven-years-old, Hitchcock's PSYCHO happened to be playing at the local drive-in and my parents wanted to see the movie. Their rationale for not getting a babysitter went something like this ... They had a station wagon. If they lowered the backseat and brought the sleeping bags, my younger brother and I would fall asleep and everything would be cool. They could sit up front and watch the movie.
I can remember Detective Arbogast entering the Bates's house, making that slow climb up the staircase, the music going (Oh, I forgot. I was supposed to be sleeping!) I can remember "Bates's mother" running into the hallway with the butcher knife raised, Arbogast taking the hit, tumbling down the stairs onto his back, and then that shot of the knife in the air ... I can remember watching the entire scene with my father trying to hold my head down.
Forget about it! I couldn't get to sleep that night.
The movie scared the living daylights out of me, but I was hooked. Once the initial shock wore off, Hitchcock would become one of my favorite directors ever. And in the end, show me the way to writing my first novel, which we'll talk about tomorrow.