If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our April author interviews: Two WWK members have new books out this month. Look for James Montgomery Jackson's interview about his fifth Seamus McCree novel, Empty Promises, on 4/4. Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver novel, Necessary Ends also debuts this month. Her interview will be on 4/18. WWK veteran, Sherry Harris's interview posts on 4/11. The next in her series, I Know What You Bid Last Summer, is now available. Grace Topping interviews KB Owen on 4/25. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our April Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 4/7-Cindy Callaghan, 4/14-Sasscer Hill, 4/21-Margaret S. Hamilton, 4/28-Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Monday, May 31, 2010

My Setting

I chose the Outer Banks of North Carolina as the setting of my new novel Sparkle Days, a paranormal mystery, because of the islands’ remote location, beaches and dangers of the surrounding ocean. I only hope that the residents have a sense of humor.

When a writer contemplates the setting for a novel, the most important factor is whether that setting complements the plot and assists the interaction of the characters. Choosing to create a fictitious setting enables the author to manipulate the setting and avoid liability issues, which can be especially problematic for murder mystery authors. The other approach, using a real place, limits how much the author can manipulate the setting, but can enhance the story because readers who know the area can relate to it and others unfamiliar with the area can learn something about it. Each approach has pitfalls.

The Outer Banks (OBX), a popular spot for East Coast vacationers, is composed of Bodie (pronounced Bow-dee) Island, the most northern, Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island, and Cape Lookout National Seashore, at the most southern end, which is composed of Portsmouth Island, the Core Banks and the Shackleford Banks. These last three are uninhabited. The first book in the Sparkle Days series features only Bodie and Hatteras Islands.

The town of Kitty Hawk on Bodie Island is the closest point to the mainland. The Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge connects the mainland to Bodie Island at Point Harbor using Route 158, which horseshoes through Bodie Island and returns to the mainland via Raleigh Island, which is not considered a barrier island, to the south. Due to the narrowness of the islands the northern tip of Bodie Island and southern islands are only accessible via Route 12. Bonner Memorial Bridge joins Bodie Island to Hatteras Island over Oregon Inlet.

Buxton, the farthest point off shore on Hatteras Island, is over 30 miles from the mainland. Access to the Ocracoke Island and the other, more southern islands necessitates water or air travel. The State of North Carolina operates a ferry system for public use. Most of the ferries run free of charge or with a small charge to help fund the operation.

Between the mainland and the Outer Banks are brackish sounds. From the north to south the sounds are, Currituck, Ablemarle, Pamlico, and Core. The islands are also located in four counties each having laws that vary, which complicate a writer’s use of real places as the setting.

For example, in a short story I recently wrote, one of my critique partners questioned why I moved characters from Ocracoke to Hatteras Island. He thought the change unnecessary and overly involved. I realized that the change of islands was due to the very real differences in the liquor laws between the two. Had I kept the characters on the Hatteras Island, where the murder took place, the main characters could not have enjoyed a cocktail in a restaurant and met their waitress, who turned out to be the murderous antagonist, because Hatteras Island prohibits sales of mixed drinks in those establishments. Readers would have pointed out that the situation I created was unauthentic and proved I had not done my research.

There are over six hundred shipwrecks in the ocean surrounding the Outer Banks, called the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Diamond Shoals, shallow sandbanks underneath the ocean, are dangerous to ships and extend out from Cape Point in Buxton. The southern waters of the Gulf Stream meet the arctic Labrador Current, running down from the north, and form the deadly sandbanks that ground ships. The shoals are treacherous for all navigators because the banks move reshaping channels. Storms create new inlets and move sand, building the islands and transforming their shape.

During WWII, German U Boats cruised the area destroying merchant marine vessels that supplied the Allied War effort, earning the area the moniker Torpedo Junction and adding to the Graveyard of the Atlantic’s lore.

The area is rich is historical lore that include nomadic Native American culture, island ponies left by Spanish explorers, pirates such as Blackbeard, lighthouses and the birth of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Next week, I’ll explore Bodie Island in more detail.

1 comment:

best paper writing service reviews said...

Native American culture seems to be very interesting for the asians and i think they are crazy to adopt such kind of traditional stuff may be because of so much attraction and popularity all over the world.