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

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

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.


Thursday, July 8, 2010


I was born in the county of Middlesex (figuratively, somewhere between male and female) in the UK and spent twenty years raising my family in the county of Middlesex in Massachusetts. Growing up, I wanted to live like Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer. Pretty dresses and curly hair left me cold. Tales of adventure and exploration held my attention. I wanted to ride a sled to the South Pole and plunge through jungles and rain forests in search of a lost tribe. So why not make my protagonist male?

One of my protagonists was a man in his early thirties, one of the few survivors after WWV. He teamed up with a 55 year old woman and her 2 year old granddaughter. My critique group thought the man was convincing and wondered who my model was. I think he came from within. I’ve also successfully created a man who suffers a psychotic break because of PTSD. (From within, surely not?) Readers, male and female, like my adolescent male characters. I don’t think I could create a sportscaster or a dedicated baseball or football player.

My husband could watch sports 24/7. I’ve played a number of sports but watching them hour after hour would lead to narcolepsy. When I worked as a nurse, I remember a group of male patients discussing whether their doctors and baseball players were worth the salaries they received. I keep thinking grown men are paid outrageous sums to play games. Maybe they are symbols for society and we should all, whether male or female, search for the game that’s right for us. I could create a male sportscaster or a player if they had interesting quirks such as cross-dressing or serial killing.

When I work on male characters, I search through images of relatives and friends. My older brother is outgoing and sees himself in terms of the rest of the society. He loved sports and being on the team until he ruined his knees and back. My other brother is not a team player in any sense of the word. He pretended to attend Cub Scout meetings, hiding out so our mother wouldn’t realize he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and beat up anyone who called him a sissy for not playing sports.

What about the habits that give a character more reality? My husband would’ve worn the same style of dress, probably the same clothes, if not encouraged to branch out into something more daring—a blue shirt instead of a white one for work. Other men see their wardrobes as statements of who they are. They care how their hair is cut. My husband was oblivious to labels and boutiques until our daughter reached her teens. Then he became an expert on female fashion for anyone size 4 or less.

If a person expresses distress, a woman will offer support. She’ll listen to the whole story, often more than once. A man will rush in with a solution before he’s heard three sentences. The kindness of a good man is not the same as the kindness of a good woman. When a man offers help without any expected gain for himself, his generosity seems to come from within. It hasn’t been learned.

Although I’ve known male detectives, teachers, doctors, landscapers, engineers, pilots, artists, plumbers, and crooked used car salesmen, I’ve met only one male CEO of a large company. I’m not sure how men arrive at that position. (A few women arrive there and I’m sure they could chronicle their journey step by step). Perhaps I could get into the head of a geek but I’m not sure I’d want that. It requires learning a second language. Have you had the experience of bringing home your supposedly repaired laptop only to find out it doesn’t work the way you want? You call up your local geek squad and an indignant geek tells you he explained what you had to do. How can you be so stupid? You realize a geek would be proud of his ability to reduce a two page poem to 3 zeroes and 3 ones.

I’ll keep in mind what I’ve learned about the opposite sex over the years, but I have a few more female protagonists who need developing before I start deepening my voice, shaving every day, and stop cleaning around the taps with an old toothbrush. It is fun to play at being male instead of female. Does anyone truly wish they’d been born a man instead of a woman, or vice versa?


1 comment:

Ramona said...

Pauline, I've written short pieces from a male POV, but never anything long. It's an extra challenge, and I'm always impressed when a writer does a good job from the head of the opposite sex.

Good stuff to think about--thanks.