Recipe for High Camp Crimesolving

By Paul Faraday

It took me years to write The Straight Shooter,
but in reality I spent most of that time doing no writing at all. The whole
idea for Nate Dainty began in the Summer of 2004. I was leaving LA and moving
to live with my boyfriend in Las Vegas. As I packed, I found myself sorting
through items in storage that I’d long forgotten: a romance manuscript I’d
submitted to Harlequin my Freshman year of college (Winner Takes All was the
glossy title!) and several soap scripts I had spent my first months in LA
striving to perfect. It was now easily six years after any attempt at writing
whatsoever, and I suddenly found myself longing for the time when that had been
my lone dream and ambition.
Then I began flipping through my old Nancy Drew
collection, and the thrill of reading those books, back when a child, came
flooding back. Each forty pages, I’d stop to admire the illustrations of
Nancy’s adventure. The hilarity of the captions both amused and warmed me with
a reassuring comfort. One in particular still stands out: “Dripping with
whitish water, Nancy was a strange sight!”. When I completed my move, I
cut out the photos I found most inspiring and framed them in what became a Nancy Drew bathroom.
But back to that day of packing: I took a break of tacos and
margaritas with my good friend Eric, with whom I had moved to LA seven years
before. “I think,” I said, a little dazed, but even more excited,
“I have an idea.”. Even though Eric has been encouraging about all
the different paths I’ve taken, I found this time to be particularly
What I had told Eric was that my idea was to write a campy gay
mystery series modeled after Nancy Drew. But, as I wrote, Nate, Beso and Jorge,
although modeled after those characters from my childhood, came into their own,
so much so that at times I forgot about my original muse. The other elements
fell in naturally: my nostalgic sense of a gay era and time that never came to
fruition, a generation that died too soon, the sassy banter that had filled
those forgotten soap scripts, and the ingredient I kept skimping on in my
writing over that time in LA—- my sense of humor.
When all was said and done,
I knew it wasn’t mainstream, and that it likely wouldn’t pay the rent. But,
typing the final lines, then re-reading the crazed antics my most caffeinated
moments had created, I knew then that I had done something — finally — in
my writing life that I could call my own.

1 Response to “Recipe for High Camp Crimesolving”

  1. 1 Mel September 13, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Wonderful post…Now I have to read your book!


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