Holiday Short Stories By WWK Authors Presented This Season:

11/30 KM Rockwood's "Holiday Summons"
12/06 "Death By Dictionary" by Gloria Alden
12/12 E. B. Davis's "The Christmas Tree"
12/18 "Femme Fatally Yours" by Paula Gail Benson
12/24 Kara Cerise's "The Ho-Ho Plan"
12/30 "Last Minute Shopping" by Shari Randall

For another free short story, check out E. B. Davis's "The Christmas Cookie Conviction" on Kings River Life online magazine at: http://kingsriverlife.com/12/06/the-christmas-cookie-conviction-a-christmas-mystery-short-story/

Put A Shaker of Margaritas: That Mysterious Woman on your holiday list. Three WWK authors have short stories in this Mozark Press anthology. Look for "Moving On" by Paula Gail Benson, "Sauna" by KM Rockwood, and "Wishing For Ignorance" by E. B. Davis. Paper or eformat are available at Amazon.


Gloria Alden has released the fourth book, The Body in the Goldenrod, in her Catherine Jewel series. It's available in print and in eformat. Here are two links to the book: Amazon and Kobo. Put it on your "TBR" or Christmas list!

Carla Damron's latest project, THE STONE NECKLACE, a literary novel about five lives that intersect, and are forever changed, by a senseless accident, has been picked up by Story River Books for publication in 2016. Story River is an arm of the University of South Carolina Press and is under the leadership of editor-in-chief author Pat Conroy. Congratulations, Carla!


A great stocking stuffer, Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays is available at Wildside Press or Amazon. This anthology includes short stories by WWK bloggers Shari Randall ("Disco Donna") and E. B. Davis ("Compromised Circumstances").
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Endings Can Be Better than Expected

No torture of children or animals, that is a frequent rule magazine publishers state in their submission guidelines. I don’t want to peer into the minds of child molesters as they commit their crimes. I don’t want to learn a sympathetic understanding of parents who consistently neglect and beat their children, as I’ve seen more than enough of that in my work as an RN.

However, we have an Amber Alert in this country for a reason. I’d thought crimes against children were under-reported. When the clergy sex scandal broke, the number of such crimes was staggering. Runaway teens or even teens who are lost are in serious danger of being forced into prostitution and drug addiction.

Fiction doesn’t seek to educate. Its primary goal is to entertain. How can crimes against children be entertaining?

As well as being entertained, I want to know how characters react in different situations, including distasteful ones. I want to take the same trip authors take as they explore characters who’ve survived stress and shock. I want the characters and situations to tie into the society in which I live. I don’t believe novels that explore the subsequent lives of traumatized children are always cathartic outpourings of survivors of such trauma.

Amy McKinnon’s TETHERED, Dennis Lehane’s MYSTIC RIVER, and Laura Lippman’s WHAT THE DEAD KNOW take the reader into the minds of adults who suffered as children. I can believe traumatized children don’t always repeat the abuse they suffered. Perhaps the suspicion that they might makes them hide their pain and the more fortunate shun them.

I wouldn’t necessarily pick up these books or books with a similar subject matter before my flight in economy class. There’s no shortage of books with lighter subject matter in the airport book store so I’m not forced to deal with difficult social issues.

It’s interesting that children and animals are grouped together. Both lack many legal rights and they don’t vote. Naturally, publishers can make whatever rules they wish about what they are willing to publish and I respect that. Not all readers are looking all the time for a constant diet of characters functioning in bubbles of security who never challenge what we thought we knew about the world and our neighbors.

What do you think about novels that cover difficult subject matter?

5 comments:

Polly said...

I write about tough subject matter, and that's what I choose when I pick up a book to read. I've read two of the three books you mentioned. You're right, though. If that type of book bothers you, there are plenty of others to choose from. Frankly, I don't read cozies. Rarely does the main character's meddling involvement in solving the crime ring true to me. I much prefer a dark police procedural, thriller, or psychological suspense to a contrived amateur sleuth plot.

Ramona said...

Pauline, I think one of the functions of art is to address the painful parts of life. My personal preferences keep me from books (movies, TV) with graphic violence, but tough subject matter is not a deal breaker. I love psychological suspense--what's left to the imagination is often much scarier than what's written or shown.

Good post. Ignoring the bad stuff doesn't make it disappear. It's only natural people want to write about it.

Pauline Alldred said...

I'm going to pick up one of your books, Polly. Readers need a choice. That's the whole point.

Pauline

Pauline Alldred said...

Thanks for the comment, Ramona. I believe all characters deserve a voice even if they haven't led normal happy lives, especially if they haven't lead normal, happy lives. Unfortunately, not even the most prolific writer can cover all of society's characters.

Pauline

Polly said...

I wish you could pick up one of my books, Pauline. Maybe one day some smart publisher will sign me up.

By the way, my real name is Pauline. Not many of us around.