In the world of mystery novels, lawyers, police officers, PIs, FBI agents, and journalists often take leading roles. Few authors choose an accountant as an protagonist but when you’re a beginning writer as I was when I started to write Taxed to Death, the old adage, “write what you know” was sound advice.
I was working as a secretary for a mid-size accounting firm and spent many lunch hours sharing a table with articling students. One day, I found myself talking about my writing (something I still rarely do at work) when one of them said, “How come no one writes about us?” It was a good question. A lot of the accountants I’d known we’re pretty interesting: funny, smart, cocky, shy, arrogant, kind, neurotic, lecherous. Some loved their work, others loathed it, but most were ambivalent.
The idea for Taxed to Death came easily, but the words didn’t. I’d written a few short stories, but I quickly discovered that writing a novel was completely different. Concepts like point of view changes, inner monologue, pace, red herrings, and dialogue were skills that came slowly with practice, workshops, and a helpful agent.
The book took twelve years and ten drafts to complete while I maintained a day job and had two babies. Needless to say, writing time was squeezed between feedings, diaper changes and the hundred household duties most of us have. But I finished it and Taxed to Death was published in 1995. The book received some terrific reviews, one from a CA, no less. I thought the sequel, Fatal Encryption, would go a little faster. Boy, was I wrong. But that’s another story.
To read excerpts of Taxed to Death visit http://www.debrapurdykong.com