Caro Ramsay im Interview mit Len Wanner
Is it fair to say that brains are the better part of feminism?
Yes, I think so. It sounds like something Costello would say. I’m not really a feminist. I’m more of a humanist. I think people are important, and I like neither outrageous feminists nor outrageous anti-feminists. A lot of women do themselves a huge disservice by being rampant feminists, when they’d get better on by being nicer people.
Is there a place for feminism in the police and in your writing?
Yes. I’ve got a lot of friends who are female cops, and they tend to suffer from other female cops being very girly, rather than getting on with the job, which is a total disservice to women. Denise Mina and I have gone head to head about this on a few occasions, but, coming from a medical background, men and women are quite different, and the more research is done into how women’s and men’s brains work, the more apparent it becomes how different we are. I think that each should play to their advantage, and there’s nothing wrong with being in one or the other camp. Just make the best of what you’ve got.
What does that mean for female cops?
They’re very good at diffusing situations – very good at calming people down. Women, on the whole, do not do well by being overly aggressive. You could say that’s a sociological thing, but it’s also a physiological thing. That’s not a woman’s job in society, and you can’t undo half a million years of evolution just because someone passes a law that says everybody’s equal and everybody’s the same. We are equal, but we are not the same.
How do you push that agenda in your writing?
I think Costello plays that role. She’s bright, she’s intuitive, and she’s not afraid to speak her mind, but a lot of women don’t want that degree of promotion, that degree of responsibility, because they’ve got other areas in life that interest them just as much. I don’t think that’s wrong. It’s totally up to her and to women who do that job. Nothing can get in their way if they want to be Chief Constables, but they don’t all want to be.
What role does writing play in your life?
Catharsis. I think I would be insane if I wasn’t a crime writer. Ha! I’d probably be on a lot more medication. Yeah, it’s definitely a cathartic thing for me. There’s a wonderful sense in creating a world out of chaos and making everything right. Talking to a lot of crime writers, you’ve probably found that they’re quite moral people, but if you ever decide to interview romance writers, you’ll probably have a much tougher journey, because people who write Mills and Boon fiction are strange. This is just a personal opinion, but I think they’re strange because they think the world is full of Colin Firths, getting out of the water and wearing that shirt. That’s what they’re looking for, and it’s never gonnae happen, whereas crime writers take the unfairness of that situation and put it right, so a crime writer’s world is moral, balanced, and justified, and that’s a very nice way to deal with the world.
As a wee baby writer I went to a women’s fiction conference in Italy, where they filmed The Passion of the Christ. I couldn’t believe the way these women behaved. It was unlike any crime writers’ conference I’ve attended, where everybody sits down and tells jokes and where most people get very drunk and it’s great. Romance writers sack their agents once every six months if they’re not getting enough money, and they’re very temperamental, forever throwing their teddies out of the pram. Both my agent and my editor said: “That’s why we work with crime writers. You just do as you’re told.” It’s true, and I blame Colin Firth.