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

Look for our new bloggers this month. Debra Sennefelder will blog on 1/15, and Debra Goldstein debuts on 1/22. Please welcome our double Debs to WWK.

Don't miss our January author interviews: 1/10-Lawrence H. Levy, 1/17-Kaye George, 1/24-Janet Bolin, 1/31-Kathy Aarons. And E. B. Davis will interview Shari Randall on Monday 1/29 about the publication of her first novel, Curses, Boiled Again. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our January Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 1/6-Becky Clark, Pat Hale, Leslie Karst, Edith Maxwell, Shawn McGuire, C. Perkins, and Sue Star, and 1/13-Polly Iyer. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 1/20, and Kait Carson on 1/27.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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 has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Although I’ve outlined my next WIP with crimes and plot twists, the villain is not yet clear in my mind. So far, the villain or villains seem motivated by greed but I want the sustained viciousness to be more personal. Perhaps, if I keep writing the first draft, the weaknesses of important characters will show me where they and the villain collide.

Most writers have heard the advice to make the villain a smart opponent so the protagonist pulls off a worthwhile victory. This advice makes more sense for a novel-length work where the villain has to plot and manipulate others to achieve his goal.

In short stories, villains can more easily correspond with the majority of bad guys. In her book, WHAT COPS KNOW, Connie Fletcher reports that officers and detectives working the streets often see offenders as not too bright. They kill relatives or friends and they are sometimes still holding the knife or gun when the police arrive. They might cut off a man’s head to make identification difficult and then leave the man’s business card in his jacket pocket. That could never happen for a fictional sleuth. Where’s the conflict and challenge? In real life, a victim might need brains and knowledge of how people think to escape harm. A man with a gun on a dark, lonely street doesn’t have to be a genius to shoot you. You have to think real fast to escape that bullet.

There are the rapists, killers, sexual predators, and stalkers who get away with repeated crimes because they don’t know their victims and they leave the scene before the law arrives. Real FBI profilers have written about these characters. John Douglas and Mark Olshaker wrote MINDHUNTER and OBSESSION. Stephen G. Michaud and Roy Hazelwood wrote THE EVIL THAT MEN DO. Sometimes, even people who live in low crime areas and wouldn’t usually spend time reading crime reports are fascinated by the psychologically disturbed criminals described in these books. What makes these criminals give up their tickets to the human race and perform acts that show their total lack of empathy? When a psychologically disturbed person is portrayed in a novel pursuing a victim or victims with whom the reader identifies, the writer can create a compelling and disturbing story. The reader can’t wait to have the criminal imprisoned or dead.

Hannibal Lecter is one of my all time favorite villains. Cannibalism is primitive behavior, or at least I think so. Yet Lecter has brains, an ethical code, and charm. Contrasts in a personality make it interesting.

I like to explore good guys turned inside out—the doctor who performs inhumane experiments on people, the angel of death who kills her helpless patients, the mother who destroys her child, the father who loves his daughter so much that he rapes her. What makes a policeman join the crooks? What makes a woman hate her own sex and seek to harm other women? What makes a priest prey on the innocent? What makes me dwell on these questions!

I see plenty of villainous characters waiting in the wings to step into my WIP. I just need to shine the light into the right patch of darkness.

Do you have favorite villains you love to hate?

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