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

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Monday, May 31, 2010

My Setting

I chose the Outer Banks of North Carolina as the setting of my new novel Sparkle Days, a paranormal mystery, because of the islands’ remote location, beaches and dangers of the surrounding ocean. I only hope that the residents have a sense of humor.

When a writer contemplates the setting for a novel, the most important factor is whether that setting complements the plot and assists the interaction of the characters. Choosing to create a fictitious setting enables the author to manipulate the setting and avoid liability issues, which can be especially problematic for murder mystery authors. The other approach, using a real place, limits how much the author can manipulate the setting, but can enhance the story because readers who know the area can relate to it and others unfamiliar with the area can learn something about it. Each approach has pitfalls.

The Outer Banks (OBX), a popular spot for East Coast vacationers, is composed of Bodie (pronounced Bow-dee) Island, the most northern, Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island, and Cape Lookout National Seashore, at the most southern end, which is composed of Portsmouth Island, the Core Banks and the Shackleford Banks. These last three are uninhabited. The first book in the Sparkle Days series features only Bodie and Hatteras Islands.

The town of Kitty Hawk on Bodie Island is the closest point to the mainland. The Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge connects the mainland to Bodie Island at Point Harbor using Route 158, which horseshoes through Bodie Island and returns to the mainland via Raleigh Island, which is not considered a barrier island, to the south. Due to the narrowness of the islands the northern tip of Bodie Island and southern islands are only accessible via Route 12. Bonner Memorial Bridge joins Bodie Island to Hatteras Island over Oregon Inlet.

Buxton, the farthest point off shore on Hatteras Island, is over 30 miles from the mainland. Access to the Ocracoke Island and the other, more southern islands necessitates water or air travel. The State of North Carolina operates a ferry system for public use. Most of the ferries run free of charge or with a small charge to help fund the operation.

Between the mainland and the Outer Banks are brackish sounds. From the north to south the sounds are, Currituck, Ablemarle, Pamlico, and Core. The islands are also located in four counties each having laws that vary, which complicate a writer’s use of real places as the setting.

For example, in a short story I recently wrote, one of my critique partners questioned why I moved characters from Ocracoke to Hatteras Island. He thought the change unnecessary and overly involved. I realized that the change of islands was due to the very real differences in the liquor laws between the two. Had I kept the characters on the Hatteras Island, where the murder took place, the main characters could not have enjoyed a cocktail in a restaurant and met their waitress, who turned out to be the murderous antagonist, because Hatteras Island prohibits sales of mixed drinks in those establishments. Readers would have pointed out that the situation I created was unauthentic and proved I had not done my research.

There are over six hundred shipwrecks in the ocean surrounding the Outer Banks, called the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Diamond Shoals, shallow sandbanks underneath the ocean, are dangerous to ships and extend out from Cape Point in Buxton. The southern waters of the Gulf Stream meet the arctic Labrador Current, running down from the north, and form the deadly sandbanks that ground ships. The shoals are treacherous for all navigators because the banks move reshaping channels. Storms create new inlets and move sand, building the islands and transforming their shape.

During WWII, German U Boats cruised the area destroying merchant marine vessels that supplied the Allied War effort, earning the area the moniker Torpedo Junction and adding to the Graveyard of the Atlantic’s lore.

The area is rich is historical lore that include nomadic Native American culture, island ponies left by Spanish explorers, pirates such as Blackbeard, lighthouses and the birth of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Next week, I’ll explore Bodie Island in more detail.

1 comment:

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Native American culture seems to be very interesting for the asians and i think they are crazy to adopt such kind of traditional stuff may be because of so much attraction and popularity all over the world.