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.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Murder Mystery Minds

I have a great fear of Walter Mitty, James Thurber’s character from his short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and a character he repeats in his novel, My World and Welcome To It. My fear: I’m too much like him.

Driving up Route 64 through Norfolk, I see a store located just off the road. Its reputation rubs me the wrong way and, before I get to Route 295 in Richmond, I’ve created a character who doesn’t like the store either. After I’m on the killing field of Route 95 North, a murder occurs in the store due to its testosterone-laced merchandise. I ensure that readers champion my protagonist.

When a cold day causes me to turn on my car’s heater, I wonder if it could be used to murder someone. A man, who wants to kill his wife, drives her to a remote spot on a cold day. After he gets out of the car, he tells her to stay in the car and keep warm by turning on the heater. He seems like such a loving man. I envision him to be a combination of Dorian Gray and Richard Cory. As she reaches for the controls and turns the heater on, the chameleon husband whips out a benign granular substance and pours it into the car’s air intake. Upon hitting the air intake and the heater’s temperature, it oxidizes into a toxic gas, killing his wife instantly.

I’m driving on a highway. In my side mirror, a red pick-up truck pulls beside my car on my left. The pick-up turns into a 1956 red Chevy convertible. My SUV turns into the 1967 gold Camaro I drove in high school. The year transforms to 1972. I look to my left and see a man who resembles a beardless Kris Kristofferson. When he smiles at me, I’m “lost” in his piercing blue eyes, but my crotch screams, “found.” In an instant, the pick-up truck reappears and I’m back to reality. I’m certain that Kris and his 56’ Chevy will drive through a manuscript I write someday.

A friend and I are touring rental homes in a beach town in North Carolina. Alone, we walk through an empty house. As I walk into the master bedroom, I wonder what would happen if a murderer entered the unlocked house or a murderous homeowner entered with their own key. Would we be killed? Or would they have brought someone who they intended to kill to the house and my friend and I end up witnessing a murder?

Like a memory that can be triggered in a variety of ways, my murderous mind takes on a life of its own and I fantasize characters and plots. If I try to invent characters and plots, usually they are abysmal. But when I’m in a boring situation, like long distance driving, my mind has no trouble spinning fiction. With no distractions, I can build and embellish, plot and plan, devise and kill, and trap and capture.

Is it the muse? Or do murder mystery minds think a common thought? Have I inherited Uncle Walter’s disease? I’m not sure of the answer, but if anyone can tell me what substance to throw into a heater to turn it into a killing machine, please let me know.


Warren Bull said...

I'm not saying mystery minds work alike but if the husband poked a tiny hole through the floor and into the exhaust pipe the car would gradually fill with exhaust fumes while he he is off gallantly searching for help.

E. B. Davis said...

I thought of that, but I wanted something more exotic. I think I may have worked out the solution. Although I'm not very good at chemistry, after a little research, I realized that dry ice will melt fairly rapidly if heated. Dry ice is mainly CO2, which if vented into a car would kill the occupant, especially someone unsuspecting. Maybe an extra heating coil rigged in the heater would provide enough heat to rapidly oxidize the dry ice.

Come to think of it, I read a short story recently, a locked door-no exit story where extinguished candles did the job.

I'll continue researching this. Of course, investigators would have a hard time finding a gas, but it would show up on an autopsy. But then connecting it to the killer...LOL--Why do we think like this?

Pauline Alldred said...

I think you've taken Walter Mitty once step further. When I taught the short story to freshmen students, their criticism was mainly that Walter's daydreams of being an admirable hero didn't translate into reality. When you're an eighteen year old freshman male, you look forward to being the hero of your life, or so I thought when I read their essays.

Ellen and Warren, your daydreams go somewhere. They could make you writers or murderers. Since I rarely taught freshman who were English majors, I'm guessing most of my students would have preferred killers. Even the criminal justice students would want to be able to solve the crimes.

I haven't seen recently American anthology books used in freshman English classes but it would be good to see writers I know anthologized.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

dipyrocyRecently I had a two-hour conversation with the sergeant of our county police to talk about the WIP I set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

As I described the plot his eyes grew wider and wider and I thought I could see him wondering if I was an author or a psychotic criminal.

Fortunately my criminal tendencies are only mind games.

~ Jim

Ellis Vidler said...

You have a lovely, warped mind. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone in my fantasy world. I'm always looking for places to dump the bodies as I drive. There's a great place along the highway by the Little Peedee River . . .