Award-winning novelist SJ Rozan and BookBaby president Brian Felsen sat down at the 2011 California Crime Writers Conference to talk about her creative process, how technology has changed the conversation with publishers, and the tricks that create a memorable book.

In this segment, SJ Rozan talks about what she calls the “Ur Story,” (a variant, perhaps, of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth) or the central human narrative that gets told and retold in each of the fiction genres because we as humans have a need to hear those tales over and over again.

For instance, romance stories are about the promise of deeper human connection; scifi explores what it means to be human by putting the species in a fictional laboratory, a made-up or future world where a particular aspect of human experience is expressed to the extreme.

According to Rozan, the “Ur Story” of crime fiction is about our need to find or impose meaning on the world; it’s an explanation for randomness.


Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 563 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

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