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


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


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


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Lies Beneath



On a recent vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii I was treated to the beauty of seeing the ocean from the sky as well as from under the sea. Both were different perspectives than my usual terrestrial existence.

In a helicopter I saw the vast blue and turquoise sea stretching endlessly to the horizon. From this vantage point the ocean looked calm and clear as glass. At one point it met a narrow black sand beach bordering a jungle. A valley was flanked on either side by hills covered with lush green trees and numerous waterfalls. It looked so primordial and untouched that I expected dinosaurs to appear. It was truly a tropical paradise.

While snorkeling I saw numerous types of colorful fish with unpronounceable names like the humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa. I observed their everyday behavior close up. Fish lined up like cars going through a car wash to enjoy a “cleaning station” where smaller fish swim into their mouth and gills and onto their scales to eat tiny parasites.

However, one beautiful day at the beach turned unpleasant and then potentially dangerous. First, I was batted about by waves while snorkeling and pushed into rocks. A large eel ate a beautiful fish and a man speared an octopus. Moss covered lava close to shore caused people to slip and fall. One lifeguard grabbed her megaphone and yelled for everyone to get out of the water because of 15-foot tiger shark sightings while other lifeguards jumped on their surfboards and paddled out to warn people who didn’t hear the warning.

Looking back, the scariest part of the day actually took place two hours prior to the shark warning. Earlier that morning I watched my youngest niece make her first ocean swim with her swim class. She was so far out that she looked about the size of a microdot then disappeared from view. When the class returned, the kids were delighted because a pod of dolphins swam underneath and around them part of the time. The instructor said the dolphins nudged them on a different course and departed once the swimmers made it to a buoy close to shore. In retrospect, could this playfulness actually have been the dolphins protecting the kids from the sharks? I’ve heard of dolphins saving humans but never expected it would happen to someone I know.

What I learned from this experience is that life may appear tranquil from a great distance but there can be unseen currents churning beneath the surface – some potentially deadly. I think this is true with a gripping book. In the beginning a character often appears to have the perfect family, job and friends. Series of unexpected challenges increasing in intensity ratchet up the tension and a character may be unaware of what lies beneath. As we move closer to the situation, the shiny façade fades and cracks show. Delving further into the character’s life we discover why she committed a crime or why she was the victim. Along the way allies assist and steer the hero away from danger toward the best path ensuring a satisfying conclusion.

5 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Good examples that things are never quite what they seem to be in mysteries.

E. B. Davis said...

The situation you describe is Stepford Wife material. Everything seems what it isn't.

And yet, the most terrifying to me is when all really is well, and then hell hits from behind. That smacks of reality, and people can identify with that terror of waking up and everything has changed.

As Dorothy Parker asked, "What fresh hell is this?"

Kara Cerise said...

Good point, Warren, that in mysteries things are never quite what they seem.

I agree, E.B., that the most frightening time is when things are going along smoothly and then Wham! At the end of my perfect day turned ugly my thought was, "I was almost in a thriller."

Donnell said...

Cool post, Kara. Love your thoughts on the dolphins. Who knows. You may be right. What makes a great mystery in my opinion is when something occurs out of the ordinary and stirs up trouble. What better place than the ocean to do this!

Kara Cerise said...

That is so true, Donnell. Unexpected and unusual events that stir up trouble make for really interesting mysteries!