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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of June!

June 6 Maggie Toussaint, Confound It

June 13 Nicole J. Burton, Swimming Up the Sun

June 20 Julie Mulhern, Shadow Dancing

June 27 Abby L. Vandiver, Debut author, Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies

Our June Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 6/2--Joanne Guidoccio, 6/9 Julie Mulhern, 6/16--Margaret S. Hamilton, 6/23--Kait Carson, and 6/30--Edith Maxwell.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

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.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


The where of a story sometimes defines a story’s characters and grounds them. Writers of fantasy and science fiction create imaginary settings. Historical fiction writers create settings in earlier times. I noticed recently in the online crimescenewriter group emails, D.P. Lyle, MD responding to a question about a woman in the sixteenth century with breast cancer. Not only would a writer want to be accurate about the treatments available at the time—none—but the whole way of looking at sickness and disfigurement would be part of that setting. A woman might be seen as evil because of the disfigurement or shunned because of the fear of contagion. The cancer would spread and cause physical destruction in ways we don’t see today.

The last time I looked for a new home, my real estate agent took me to a house that looked as though it sprouted in the middle of three acres of grassland. The nearest neighbor could be reached by phone. What if the phone was dead? Deep snow accumulated from November to April. We drove up to the house on a dirt road. A truck and plough came with the house and a new owner would need them to clear a path across a field and to open up the dirt road. On one side of the house was a deep hole that I guess was an infant quarry because I saw notices back in town stating that people were against quarrying. Persons living in that house could be mauled by animals or murdered and no one would know for days. I could deal with that part of living there but the unfinished quarry bothered me. Neighbors I would hope to befriend might show up with protest placards. Who was digging that hole and how deep would it go? If I was running from a serial killer in the middle of the night, I wouldn't want to fall into a pit and be unable to get up.

Different cities have different auras. London’s history stretches back to the Roman conquest of Britain completed by 43 AD. If Boston streets follow cow paths, London streets follow the equivalent of woolly mammoth paths. Jack the Ripper put the Whitechapel area of London on the world stage. Stabbings and throat slashings are more appropriate in London since citizens rarely own guns.

In contrast to London, Paris appears designed with its broad boulevards and its white or light-colored buildings. Its streets are swept daily and water washes through the gutters. There are no sinister alleys with cobble stones worn down by characters like Mr. Hyde. The guillotine and all the disembodied heads don’t seem to cast the smallest shadow. I imagine very civilized people taking part in crimes of espionage or involving high finance. A person doesn’t have to travel far in Paris to reach a wooded area. Before treatments for AIDS and HIV became more successful in controlling the disease and prolonging life, French doctors deplored in writing the use of these woods for what they describe as feral couplings with prostitutes. London has many public parks but, after dark, they are most often used by teenage couples who can’t afford apartments. No self-respecting, feral adult would want to be seen there.

According to the Bible, “the meek shall inherit the earth,” but not, I think, in New York. A person needs a good-sized ego and confidence to survive there. I imagine taking a photo of a building at one end of a block, drawing a cross beside an apartment on the 15th floor and writing home, “X marks the spot where I live.” A person could feel very anonymous in such a setting. I love the vitality and diversity of New York but I imagine it is not always easy to carve out a niche there.

When you write, do you choose a setting you know or make up a setting where you’d like to be?


Ramona said...

Pauline, a lot of my work is set in real places, which is both good and bad. Good part is, readers identify with real places. Bad part is, get a detail wrong...ouch.

I admire people who write fantasy or create entire new worlds and civilizations. I have never tried from-scratch world building. Maybe that should go on my writer's to-do list.

Pauline Alldred said...

Some authors use a combination of real and imaginary, ie, they write about Boston but the specific streets they describe are imaginary. I write about towns in Western Mass that are imaginary but are somewhat like towns in that area.

I'm fascinated by the idea of making a science fiction or an historical setting authentic.

Polly said...

I write some stories with a Boston setting, even though I haven't lived there in decades. It was home, and still is in my mind. Right now, I'm setting a story in Rockport and East Lynn, both places I know. I've also made up locations based on real places, plus a story or two based on where I live now. But Ramona is right. Make a mistake, and you'll never hear the end of it.