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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.
“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.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
BETWEEN THE SEXES
One of my protagonists was a man in his early thirties, one of the few survivors after WWV. He teamed up with a 55 year old woman and her 2 year old granddaughter. My critique group thought the man was convincing and wondered who my model was. I think he came from within. I’ve also successfully created a man who suffers a psychotic break because of PTSD. (From within, surely not?) Readers, male and female, like my adolescent male characters. I don’t think I could create a sportscaster or a dedicated baseball or football player.
My husband could watch sports 24/7. I’ve played a number of sports but watching them hour after hour would lead to narcolepsy. When I worked as a nurse, I remember a group of male patients discussing whether their doctors and baseball players were worth the salaries they received. I keep thinking grown men are paid outrageous sums to play games. Maybe they are symbols for society and we should all, whether male or female, search for the game that’s right for us. I could create a male sportscaster or a player if they had interesting quirks such as cross-dressing or serial killing.
When I work on male characters, I search through images of relatives and friends. My older brother is outgoing and sees himself in terms of the rest of the society. He loved sports and being on the team until he ruined his knees and back. My other brother is not a team player in any sense of the word. He pretended to attend Cub Scout meetings, hiding out so our mother wouldn’t realize he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and beat up anyone who called him a sissy for not playing sports.
What about the habits that give a character more reality? My husband would’ve worn the same style of dress, probably the same clothes, if not encouraged to branch out into something more daring—a blue shirt instead of a white one for work. Other men see their wardrobes as statements of who they are. They care how their hair is cut. My husband was oblivious to labels and boutiques until our daughter reached her teens. Then he became an expert on female fashion for anyone size 4 or less.
If a person expresses distress, a woman will offer support. She’ll listen to the whole story, often more than once. A man will rush in with a solution before he’s heard three sentences. The kindness of a good man is not the same as the kindness of a good woman. When a man offers help without any expected gain for himself, his generosity seems to come from within. It hasn’t been learned.
Although I’ve known male detectives, teachers, doctors, landscapers, engineers, pilots, artists, plumbers, and crooked used car salesmen, I’ve met only one male CEO of a large company. I’m not sure how men arrive at that position. (A few women arrive there and I’m sure they could chronicle their journey step by step). Perhaps I could get into the head of a geek but I’m not sure I’d want that. It requires learning a second language. Have you had the experience of bringing home your supposedly repaired laptop only to find out it doesn’t work the way you want? You call up your local geek squad and an indignant geek tells you he explained what you had to do. How can you be so stupid? You realize a geek would be proud of his ability to reduce a two page poem to 3 zeroes and 3 ones.
I’ll keep in mind what I’ve learned about the opposite sex over the years, but I have a few more female protagonists who need developing before I start deepening my voice, shaving every day, and stop cleaning around the taps with an old toothbrush. It is fun to play at being male instead of female. Does anyone truly wish they’d been born a man instead of a woman, or vice versa?