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Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.
WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.
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.
In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.
Monday, May 31, 2010
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.
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.