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

Our July author interviews: Ellen Byerrum (7/5), Day of the Dark anthology authors (7/12 and 7/19), and Nancy Cole Silverman (7/26).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in July: 7/1--Fran Stewart, and 7/8--Nancy Cole Silverman. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 7/15--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/22--Kait Carson, and 7/29--E. B. Davis.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.”

In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

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, "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 October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

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 order.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Suggested Reading List




I mentioned in my last post here at WWK that many of the members of my new critique group have read TONS more Young Adult (YA) books than I have, and how this makes me feel somewhat inadequate.  What I didn't mention is that I probably won’t do much to bridge the chasm between the amounts of books I've read in comparison to the rest of the group.

Since many writers espouse the benefits of reading as many books as possible within your writing genre, this decision may put me at a disadvantage as a writer.  By not following the tried and true path, I won't be learning what works or doesn't by reading others in my field. 

So why am I unwilling to read more and more of the books in the YA category? 

One of the reasons is—as I also mentioned in my last blog—I don’t read with a critical eye because it takes me out of the enjoyment experience that reading a book provides me.  It would be a useful skill, but I can’t seem to do it. 

But to be honest, the main reason is due to the sub-genres that are popular with teenagers (and adults) lately.  The bulk of what's out there now is dystopian , steam punk, or fraught with vampires, werewolves, or zombies.  None of those topics appeal to me in any way, so I doubt I'd be able to learn much from them, even if I were to read them, because I'd be too busy being grossed out or weirded out to focus on the tools that the author used.

Now, if there were a bunch of YA mysteries out there that didn't involve any of the sub-genres listed above, I'd snap them up in a heartbeat.  But I just don't know of many YA mystery books fitting that description.  I've found some Middle Grade (MG) books that are mysteries—The Sisters Grimm series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator—and have enjoyed them, but again, those are written for pre-teens.  My protagonist is sixteen, and she will be dealing with things high-school students face—including sex and dating—while solving murders and other such mysteries.  She’s also got a bit of an edge and swears; not things people look for in MG books.

So, while I can see reading books in the same genre as my WIP would be very beneficial, I'm not sure that I could do it, even if I wanted to.  However, I'm open to giving it a shot.  So if any of you know of any YA mysteries that don't involve a post-apocalyptic world, the undead, or things of that nature, I'd appreciate some suggestions.

I was given so many good suggestions after my last blog, but I'm open to more, if you have them.

13 comments:

Kara Cerise said...

That’s difficult, Alyx. Usually trends don’t last long but this one seems like it will be around for some time. Best-selling mystery/thriller author, James Patterson, now writes a series for young adults…but it is about a group of genetically mutated kids who are part human, part bird. The sixteen year old in my life loves those books.

Maybe you could read older YA mysteries? Or, have one of your characters make fun of the otherworldly? I think teens enjoy snarky comments.

Warren Bull said...

Reading with a critical eye is a skill that develops over time. Some well-written YA novels include: the Chocolate War by Robert Comie (sp?) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Hadden, Impossible by Nancy Werlin and the EarthSea series by Ursula L. LeGuin. The books are from various genres.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Alyx, I'd like to recommend a series by a writer in my critique group, Sam Morton. He writes the Austin Pierce files about a teenager in the spy business. You can read more about the series at http://sammorton.com. The first book is Betrayed and the second is Ten Weeks 'Til. . . He's been bringing the third to our group. It sounds a lot like what you're writing.

Gloria Alden said...

Alyx, Warren Bull's HEARTLAND is an excellent young adult book. Not exactly a mystery, but it combines history in an intriguing way as well as modern day teens. Then there's Alan Bradley's Flavian de Luce mysteries featuring a precocious 12 year old who solves mysteries. They are a big hit with adults and I'm sure would appeal to teens, too. The first one is THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF TH PIE.

Alyx Morgan said...

I've read the first book in that Patterson series, Kara, though that was before he was writing YA. I'll have to pick up the rest of the series.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Alyx Morgan said...

Thanks for your suggestions, Warren. I've heard of The Chocolate War, but not the others.

Alyx Morgan said...

Thanks for the series suggestion, Paula. Tabitha isn't really a spy, but it could help me gain some insight into writing the teenage mind.

Alyx Morgan said...

I wondered how long it would take for Warren's book to be recommended here. ;o) I've got it in my queue at the library, Gloria. And thanks for the other series, too.

E. B. Davis said...

Before he died, Robert Parker wrote a YA mystery, which I read. But other than that one--I don't have any suggestions.

BTW--HAPPY BIRTHDAY WARREN!

Alyx Morgan said...

Thanks, EB, I'll check that out.

And, Happy Birthday, Warren!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Happy Birthday, Warren!

Alyx, I just remembered Harlan Coben's Shelter, about Myron Bolitar's newphew, I think. Have you seen it?

Alyx Morgan said...

I've never heard of that one either, Paula. Thanks again. :o)

Malena said...

Alyx-
My son read a great book a couple of years ago called The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd. He recommended it to me and I loved it. I can't remember the exact age of the sleuth, but I think it was considered a YA book. It was a great mystery. Also, Anthony Horowitz has his Alex Rider series, but that's more spy than mystery.