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

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

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.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "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.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for pre-order.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

MONSTERS AND VAMPIRES

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Although agents and editors walked among us at the Crimebake conference, and attendees could listen to panels focusing on how to get published and how to promote one’s writing, I want to write first about authors discussing their work and characters. I thought the successful authors had lost none of their enthusiasm for creating fictional worlds. They loved to talk about their characters.

Charlaine Harris was the guest of honor. She has charm, was very approachable, and spoke honestly about her work and life. Before the Sookie Stackhouse series, she wrote only conventional mysteries but she was bored with these traditional mysteries and wanted to broaden her readership base. Anne Rice had set her vampire mysteries in southern Louisiana so Charlaine decided to set her series in the more staid north. She researched vampires, guns, synthetic blood, the Civil War, Vikings, and reflective glass before writing Dead Until Dark, the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.

Her agent didn’t like the book at first and hawked it around the publishing world for two years until the book was picked up by Ace. (She’d already written two series. No wonder an unpublished author has to wait so long.)

When Charlaine talked about Sookie, it was clear she’s involved in the development and many facets of her character. In real life, Charlaine thinks telepathic powers could be a disadvantage. Imagine going on a first date and knowing what your date is thinking.

The series is supposed to end with the thirteenth book and already fans are protesting that they want more. Charlaine said there may be one more book after the thirteenth as long as the series ends on an upbeat. She doesn’t want to have to produce another book in a series after she’s lost interest in it.

On the first night of the conference, I saw an episode of Trueblood. There was more blood and violence than I expected since I hadn’t read the books but I developed an interest in Sookie and the other characters. Also, I could appreciate the humor in the restaurant and family scenes.

Charlaine had nothing but praise for Alan Ball, the producer of Trueblood. She said she lets Alan do what he does well and he lets her do what she does best. When she saw the first episode of Trueblood, she told her husband they’d have to move. The blood and gore was more vivid in a visual medium and she lives in a small town in the bible-belt. However, neighbors rejoiced in the success of a local person so she continues as an active member in her church and community.

In her writing, she said she wants to deal with larger issues, especially those involving discrimination. She doesn’t want to shove her views down her readers’ throats but to present a different way of looking at the world. Vampires are the outcasts in the small town where they live. In looking at vampire outcasts, a reader might think about other groups that are stereotyped and shunned. When we look at monsters, we look at ourselves.

As well as guest of honor speaker, Charlaine was a member on a panel of best-selling authors and on a panel of short story writers. Charlaine’s short stories include stories about parts of Sookie’s life not in the novels. I plan to find out if one of my protagonists has an interesting enough life to support a short story or two.

In another blog, I’ll address ideas I learned from the best-selling authors and from the authors of short stories. I was happy to listen to Charlaine Harris because I could see how much she enjoyed what she did. On Saturday, there was a red and black, Vampire Ball and many people dressed up as vampires or monsters. Monsters, vampires, and those wearing red and black danced to DJ music. Conference attendees in their twenties to, I guess, their seventies enjoyed dressing up and playing a game.

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With all the bad news about the publishing world, do you sometimes forget that writing and reading are creative and exciting?

5 comments:

Ramona said...

Pauline, it was a pleasure meeting you at Crime Bake.

I agree that Charlaine Harris'e love and enthusiasm for her characters was so evident. She's a terrific writer, but her graciousness and humor made her a perfect guest of honor. And, she can dance!

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Sounds like a great time was had by all.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

It's wonderful when an author is obviously in love with her characters.

E. B. Davis said...

I've got to get to a Crime Bake conference. Since I'm on the east coast, travel wouldn't cost much. Bouchercon sounded very expensive to me, and until I sell a novel, I won't spend money I can't write-off. I'm glad that a good time was had by all, and would have loved meeting Charlaine. Thanks for the report.

Pauline Alldred said...

It was good to meet you in person, Ramona. And yes, I didn't hear anyone at the conference complaining. Writers recaptured what made them want to write in the first place.