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

Look for our new bloggers this month. Debra Sennefelder will blog on 1/15, and Debra Goldstein debuts on 1/22. Please welcome our double Debs to WWK.

Don't miss our January author interviews: 1/10-Lawrence H. Levy, 1/17-Kaye George, 1/24-Janet Bolin, 1/31-Kathy Aarons. And E. B. Davis will interview Shari Randall on Monday 1/29 about the publication of her first novel, Curses, Boiled Again. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our January Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 1/6-Becky Clark, Pat Hale, Leslie Karst, Edith Maxwell, Shawn McGuire, C. Perkins, and Sue Star, and 1/13-Polly Iyer. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 1/20, and Kait Carson on 1/27.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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 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, June 28, 2010

A Homeward Pilgrimage: Horror and Melodrama Revisited

Father’s Day meant a trip back to my hometown of York, Pennsylvania. I have lived in the D. C. area since I went to college many years ago. When I cross the Mason-Dixon Line going north, I get a cramp in my stomach and wonder how I will survive the weekend. Yes, Thomas Wolfe was too right.

Dad, who has not been ambulatory for five years, lives in a nursing home. When the grandsons are in town, we take him to one of my siblings’ houses for dinner and a ride around the countryside. At eighty-nine, Dad, for the good and bad, is mentally acute. Yes, wonderful that he knows what is going on, and yet, living in a nursing home for five years, bad as well.

A doctor once told my sister that his sympathy is reserved for patients like my father. Alzheimer’s? They’re so removed from reality that his sympathy goes to their relatives. I live one hundred miles away and see him once a month. He’s lucky though. My brother and sister live in York and visit him each, on average, five times per week, so his life could be a lot worse. I’m thankful my father was a risk taker. He squeezed every drop out of life when he was able. Now, I don’t know how he gets by day to day.

Fiction dramatizes real life, but rarely boils down its essence. Horror writer Brian Keene based some of his books in my hometown, which, at one time, was the suicide capital of the U. S.  Real horror isn’t portrayed in Stephen King or Brian Keene’s books. Real horror is being unable to rely on your body anymore. Real horror is dependence on others when you are an adult. Real horror is losing your dignity. And real horror, is watching and knowing that this same fate could be yours. I’ve never wanted to write cheap thrills horror.

My hometown spews soap opera storylines that TV writers couldn’t fathom. I stayed with my sister and her significant other, Jerry, while in York. We sat out on the screen porch and talked, and then Jerry told me York tales. I sat astounded, listening and wondering how I could weave the story into my fiction. Let me just allude to factory owners, the government, radioactive waste, the Susquehanna River, indictments, drug trafficking charges and ex-Yorkers now living in Costa Rica in exile. I could write a true crime book based on the tales of all these “upstanding citizens.” But, that isn’t my aim. I could write a melodrama based on the true story as well, but I have an aversion to it. Somethings never change. I’ll get the sequel on my next visit home.

Sound like something JR Ewing would do? Yes, this is just my hometown. Home sweet home! No wonder I get a pain in my stomach when I cross the Mason Dixon Line. True life is stranger than fiction. And most of the time, I like fiction better. I create it and control it. Do I retreat into fiction? You can bet on it! And if you blame me, well, I can tell you a tale or two that might just change your mind.

My mother was traveling once and ran into a guy who temporarily played for the York White Roses, a minor league baseball team of yesteryear. When my mother said she was from York, he replied, “That’s Peyton Place.” To which my mother replied, “You’re telling me! I’m on the cast.” Yes, Mom and Dad were the fodder of gossip during my teen years. Oh, the joy of being a mid-size town gal with notorious parents.

A friend of mine once said that she likes stories with happy endings. That’s why I write fiction and want to create new stories not based on reality. Reality, like the smart kid in the neighborhood now serving 8-10 for assault with a deadly weapon, never quite lives up to our expectations.

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