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

WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

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. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! 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 August, 2018.

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, February 3, 2011


Writers spend much time developing motives for killings. Impulse killings in a bar brawl or an out of control argument are rarely the main story line in a novel. Such murders may be central to a short story but then the emphasis is on hiding the crime and escaping punishment.

Serial killings account for 1-2% of murders but much fiction and psychological research is dedicated to these killers. What about the other 98% of murderers who often seem normal until they kill? Who are they?

Maybe they’re psychopaths. Smart psychopaths can be successful politicians and business men. These psychopaths exploit others to rise to the top. They might have superficial charm and be admired by others.

Psychopaths who lack education and other social and economic resources can more easily turn to crime than people without this pathology. But what about the large number of violent crimes committed by people who aren’t serial killers or psychopaths?

gangster_with_a_tommy_gun_royalty_free_080816-171601-449042If individuals lack education and marketable skills, they may turn to a life of crime as preferable to low-paying, boring jobs. Gangs give young people a sense of belonging if this is lacking in the family or at school. Drugs and alcohol decrease inhibitions and may lead to crime to support a drug habit. Greed, jealousy, anger, and frustration can lead to an impulse murder.

Dr. David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas suggests that killing is part of human nature and has been used Cartoon_Woman_with_Snakes_Coming_Out_Her_Head_Mythologic_Medusa_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_101015-044413-194053throughout time to enhance reproductive success. All the mystery writers who claim creative license for their homicidal fantasies might take note of Buss’s research into murderous fantasies. 91% of men and 84% of women have at least one detailed fantasy of committing murder. Being rejected by a mate increases the likelihood in both men and women that these fantasies will include torture.

Men most often kill mates who dump them whereas women kill mates who abuse them because these women believe murder is the only way out of their situation. Men are more likely to kill rejecting mates who are younger, beautiful and fertile.

Public humiliation ranks high as a reason for killing, especially among men who are more often valued as partners because of their status and economic success. If a wife cheats, she may expose her mate to ridicule and severe damage to his reputation so the most beautiful women are less likely to be interested in him.

CoolClips_vc037980Are mystery writers being creative with their killing fantasies or are they digging into evolutionary instincts as hard-wired as those of predatory animals who kill to eat? Part of our preoccupation with murder and killing could be a human and social effort to understand the act and the motives behind it so we can control or stop such crimes. The tale of Cain and Abel suggests our ancestors knew instinctively our efforts are doomed to failure. In the end, artistic or instinctive, does the fantasy turn into a good story—that’s what counts for writers and readers. Fiction lets the mind play without fear of punishment--usually.


E. B. Davis said...

Mystery writers want to explain why murder is committed. Most murder results from human weakness, our nature. Whether or not the weakness is one of the seven deadly sins or psychopathology--all are human weaknesses, organic or character based.

(I exclude murder in self-defense because that stems from our basic survival/defense of loved ones instinct, which I don't associate with weakness, but strength.)

Some writers are fascinated by the pathology of serial killers, others in the weaknesses of character. But nearly every writer wants goodness to win and endure--our need for justice in the end. This fascination with cause and effect drives writers.

Excellent topic, Pauline.

Pauline Alldred said...

Thank you, Elaine. In life I don't often think about good and evil but I do when I'm writing. Some people seem to have a clearer sense of evil than others.

Warren Bull said...

In real life most murders are simple and not very interesting. Serial killers are rare. So are hit men. I think we struggle to understand why a person is killed over a bag of potato chips, for returning a borrowed lawn mower, or for making gestures that are mistaken for gang signs. I believe mystery writing is sort of a morality play where, most of the time, order is restored from chaos and readers feel some degree of safety in an unsafe and disorderly workd.

Pauline Alldred said...

When my world is most chaotic I find I'm most interested in writing mystery stories that tie up loose ends. Doesn't happen in real life.