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Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows.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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Monday, June 22, 2015

Reading on the Road


If my family had a motto it would be "On the Road Again."

We're a military family that also happens to like to see new places. We've spent a lot of time on wheels, on water, and in the air.

My girls could name every rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike by the time they were ten. My older daughter had a passport before she could walk. If I ever get a tattoo in honor of my favorite technology, it would say "Easy Pass."

All this travel time has made us, well, good travelers, but sometimes you need a little help to make the miles pass faster. Games are great - we're pros at the license plate game and I Packed My Grandmother's Trunk. Music works wonders. But we've found that the one thing that can make us actually look forward to long stretches of blacktop is a good book to listen to.

In the days before instant downloads that meant books on CD or that I got to be Reader in Chief. I remember how Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events books took us across the Badlands and all the way to California - and gave me a bad case of laryngitis. Still, there was no way I could stop reading those wonderfully twisted books.

If you are planning a trip with kids, here are some suggestions for audiobooks that will save your family's sanity and your voice. Listening to one of these great books may turn out to be one of the best memories of your trip:

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell read by - yes, Doctor Who fans - David Tennant
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary read by Stockard Channing
The Graveyard Book, written and read by Neil Gaiman
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, read by Hope Davis
The Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale

Do you listen to audiobooks? How do you pass the time when you are traveling?


14 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

I usually listen to music or plot, Shari. I've never tried to listen to a book. If I listened to someone read a book, I'd go mad. Every book would be plodding because no one can read aloud as fast as most people read, especially me. It must be like appreciating a Japanese tea ritual. All well and good, but I'd fall asleep before I got interested in the book and wrapped into the plot. Yes I did like being read to as a child, but I also daydreamed if it went on too long. Yep, I'd start my grocery list or what if so and so got killed before the end of chapter one or two.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

When I am driving by myself, I listen to podcasts. When I am driving with Jan, we listen to each other -- or at least that is the theory as I understand why we do not listen to podcasts or audio books.

When I used to travel for business I often used books on tape (pre-CDs for the most part).

When I walk in the city (not in the woods where I listen to nature) I will often listen to free audiod books from <a href="https://librivox.org/>Librivox.org</a>, in which volunteers read out-of-copywrite books.

~ Jim

Kara Cerise said...

I remember childhood games like how many different state license plates or car colors can you spot. My friend's brother taught me "slug bug." That's the game where someone spots a Volkswagen Beetle then slugs the person next to them. Ouch.

Now when I'm a passenger on a long car ride, I nap or search online for an interesting historical fact about the place we're driving by.

Warren Bull said...

We used to play the alphabet game,i.e., identify something we passed starting with each letter in sequence. I've tried listening to audio books but I either pay too much or too little attention if I'm the driver.

Grace Topping said...

Recorded books kept me sane during my long (sometimes one-hour journey each way) commute to work. I have been known to stop at the closet library if one of the tapes got jammed and I had nothing to listen to. Recorded books kept me from focusing on the work I had just left or on the tasks awaiting me when I arrived home. Music just couldn't do that. They also help me deal with occasional bouts of sleeplessness. I keep a CD player by my bed, and if I awake and can't go back to sleep, I put on earphones so as not to disturb my husband, and turn it on. It's better than a sleeping pill.

Kait said...

What fun! I have never learned to listen to audiobooks. In the days when my commute could take over an hour (to go 12 miles) I tried, but I found I either got caught up in the book and didn't pay enough attention to the road, or I wasn't listening to the book, in which case it either ended up on my bookshelf or in my kindle depending on the era! I loved long trips when I was a kid. And yes, I survived them by playing the license plate game (much easier when I was a kid, they only had one variation per state) or reading. I could always read in a moving car. I used to pity those that could not. Happy trails!

Shari Randall said...

Hi EB,
I usually do recorded books when I am trying to catch up on reading. Drive time can be great for plotting - just have to get a recorder for those flashes of inspiration.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Jim,
Thanks for recommending librivox! I had not heard of it. I'll be checking it out.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Kara,
I knew Slug Bug as Punch Buggy! Those little VW bugs looked so innocent, but boy they could get us going!
When I'm on a trip I am usually the restaurant researcher - what's off the next exit for lunch?

Shari Randall said...

Warren, I have passed an exit while listening to an exciting audiobook! I find them distracting too, so they're only a good idea if I'm a passenger. My husband can block it out.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Grace,
I know people who get an armful of books on tape to make their commutes more fun. I might try listening at night before I go to sleep. Can you recommend an especially sleepy book?

Shari Randall said...

Hi Kait,
I'm so grateful, too, that I can read in a moving car. My younger daughter used to get carsick when reading which was a shame since she loved (loves) books. She said it's not such a problem when she reads on her Kindle. I wonder if that works for others, too.

Gloria Alden said...


If I'm traveling very far in a car, it's usually with someone else so we're talking. If I'm alone I listen to the radio or a CD. I've never listened to books on tape, but at one time when I had a cassette player, I had a cassette of Sarah Orne Jewett short stories and they were a delight to listen to. She was a Maine writer in the mid to late 1800's and her humor and characters are delightful. In fact, I think I'll dig out her book "The Country of the Pointed Firs" now and reread some of those delightful tales. For awhile almost all my siblings and a brother-in-law were big fans of hers. I can't read in a car because it makes me sick. As a child and when my kids were little we played games where different animals were worth so many points cows 5, horses 10, dogs 30 and cats 50, and a cemetery subtracted 100 points.
Once as adults one sister and I thought up weird names for the streets in a housing development if we had one; things like serious illnesses you wouldn't want to have because of all the tree or number names you'd see in every small town you went through. I mean is there any town out there that doesn't have a Maple Street?

Sarah Henning said...

I love all these idea, Shari! We were thinking of doing the second Harry Potter book on CD on our way to Colorado this summer. Might be a good break for the kiddo from "iPad time"...