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 July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

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, October 14, 2010


Isaac Bashevis Singer, a winner of the Nobel prize for literature, said, “a good writer is basically a story teller, not a scholar or redeemer of mankind, ” and, “a story for me means a plot where there are some surprises. Because that is how life is—full of surprises.” He thought the relationship between a man and a woman a key element in writing.

I don’t believe writers and readers started the great divide between what is literary and what is genre. Dead authors featured in literature courses offered by universities wrote mysteries and thrillers. Mystery and romance writers today polish their writing as well as their plots. Who keeps this division alive? While I was a graduate student studying for a MA, I would have guessed it was the faculty of the English Department.

Robert Parker, author of the Spenser series, was a professor in that department, and Gary Goshgarian, who sometimes writes under the pen name Gary Braver, is a professor and writes science fiction and thrillers. However, the scholarly contingent of the faculty dominated what students studied. Literature was reduced to its smallest elements—symbols, images, and words.

Since I couldn’t work up enthusiasm for Thomas Pynchon and other twentieth century writers who espoused internal monologues (I have yet to have a personal epiphany involving such a monologue), I had to study for my final exam James Fenimore Cooper or Jonathan Edwards. Our early American literature professor wanted us to see Natty Bumppo as one of the earliest American heroes continuing in an unbroken chain down to latter day heroic representatives in the department. I couldn’t work up the right degree of admiration and devotion. Also, I couldn’t get past Natty’s name. Frankly, I have little time for the Puritan element in religion and Jonathan Edwards’s prose wasn’t the best I’ve ever read but my choices were limited. Benjamin Franklin wrote in the eighteenth century but he wasn’t a choice.

As a reader, I know genre writers can write great literature and literary writers can write exciting mysteries. Mysteries and thrillers without a touch of romance can be dry or mostly a brain tease. Love is never far from its opposite, hate, or its close relative, jealousy. A woman, the oldest daughter and frequently forced to care for her siblings, might marry a sick man so she can continue in her role as care giver. Suppose a healthy male finds her physically attractive and wants to protect her, is she going to kill her sick husband for the chance at a more lusty relationship? Cheat on a man or a woman and you can inspire the most primitive rage. Jealousy and envy can quickly eclipse the emotions of the kindest person. Will eliminating the rival rekindle a lost love?

Love and hate are so intimately linked that the possibilities for murder and mayhem swallowing up tender feelings are endless. Conflict in parent-child relationships carry over into romantic relationships producing violence, and the paranormal when the parent is dead.

What a pity we have to pigeon-hole stories when they can connect at so many levels, link together the sublime and the ridiculous, and explore the emotions of so many strangers.

Seriously, does anyone still believe genre writers are all plot and no character? Why can’t writers of genre be considered “good” writers and given equal respect?


E. B. Davis said...

Maybe it is actually jealousy. Genre writers earn more than most literary writers. I went to a writers' conference one time. The editor there said that "literary" books were defined by how much dust was on the jacket. I don't feel strongly on the subject since, if it is well written, I'll read everything.

Pauline Alldred said...

I'm not one hundred percent certain but I believe an unknown has more trouble publishing a literary novel than a genre novel. Again, the numbers of literary novels bought could be due partly to education. I don't remember reading any literary novel for a class and being able to just enjoy it. I had to think about the quiz or the essay that would ask for symbols or themes. Rarely was I asked about a favorite character.

Polly said...

I have to say, I've enjoyed very few literary novels. There's just something missing. Excitement, I think. In school, dissecting a book took all the joy from it. Now, I've reached an age when I'm able to close a book that leaves me cold without feeling guilty. I used to struggle through them. I want to be entertained. I want to find something in a book that leaves me breathless to turn the page. Dennis Lehane does that for me on two levels: story and writing.

Stacy Juba said...

Hi guys,
I think you do a great job with the blog and passed on a blog award to you. You can visit my post at http://stacyjuba.com/blog/2010/10/14/passing-on-the-one-lovely-blog-award-to-deserving-blogs/ and if you'd like to pass it on to 8-15 deserving blogs sometime, you can follow the format of the post and download the jpeg. Keep up the good work!

Ricky Bush said...

The late, great John D. MacDonald wrote fabulous literature. He simply chose the genre for the vehicle. James Lee Burke can craft up some nice tales, too.

Congrats on the blog award.

Pauline Alldred said...

Hi, Polly, isn't it great to be able to put down a boring book and not have to worry about taking a quiz?

Stacy, thank you for the compliment and award. We'll certainly be looking to pass on the award.

Hi, Ricky, there are so many examples of great writing in genre novels, I couldn't begin to cover them in a blog.