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.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fantasy Football and the Male Point of View

It’s football season! That means it’s time to step outside my normal female perspective and become steeped in the male point of view. How do I do this? I play fantasy football with the “boys.” By boys I mean Lt. Colonels in the Marines, Pentagon personnel, a military doctor and retired Air Force and Navy officers.

For those of you unfamiliar with fantasy football it’s an online game where you “choose” NFL players to fill positions on your team and then compete weekly with other teams in your league. Before the season begins, we spend an hour on a conference call picking our team. At the end of the season we compete in a playoff tournament.

Since the game is not actually played on the gridiron, it is a test of brain power and luck, not strength, so the playing field is leveled for me. Being a strapped writer it’s especially nice because no money changes hands. Also, it’s fun to create quirky team names. Last year my team was Athlete’s Football with the slogan, “We’re fast, on fire and itching to win.”

From a writing standpoint it is participatory research; for a few months in some ways I become one of the guys. Over the past three years I’ve learned how to talk smack - belittling things said in the heat of competition - and write phrases such as, “You’re almost as good as the water boy” or, “Better take up knitting and hang with your mama.” Just between us writers, I take notes on my competitors’ speaking style and attitude in order to write more believable alpha male dialogue.

Here are my observations:
• Talk is clipped and short. It’s also aggressive, blunt and to the point.
• Jokes and stories are highly valued as is good natured taunting and insults to manhood.
• Likely to challenge, dispute or interrupt during a conversation.
• Conversation is seen as competition.
• Make demand and command statements instead of requests.
• Avoid any reference to their health problems or injuries.
• Like to win and be the best.

What surprised me the most was the need to win and be the best. It shouldn’t have surprised me because my competitors are military leaders. But it did. The first year I played, I won and received the coveted trophy and t-shirt. By their incredulous reactions you’d have thought women were now welcome to play in the NFL. I don’t know if it was because I was a female. Or, that I was both a female and a civilian. Or, the triple threat of female, civilian and first time player. The next year I noticed the level of competition kicked up and I didn’t win.

Since I prefer supportive group activities, being an individual competitor in a male setting has been a stretch for me. However, I have discovered that this type of rivalry and weekly sparing keeps me sharp and makes me more assertive. I become competitive--not necessarily with other people but with myself. Also, I take more risks with my writing and am not as afraid to make mistakes.

Have you engaged in participatory research to help you write more believable dialogue?


Warren Bull said...

In my job I as a psychologist I had the chance to listen to people I would never have met socially. I model many of my characters after people I met at my work.

E. B. Davis said...

Wow, Kara, the sacrifices we make for our writing! I'm going to the Writers' Police Academy next week. It will be my first time. I know it will indirectly help my writing, which doesn't usually focus on police procedure but may help for defensive weapons and jurisdictional issues.

Kara Cerise said...

Warren, you must have some very interesting characters populating your books!

E.B., the Writer's Police Academy sounds like a terrific learning experience. I'm looking forward to reading about your experience.

Pauline Alldred said...

Males and sports is a world I've never totally understood even though my husband watched every game he could find. The competition and learning the lingo sounds like fun. I'm thinking of trying it, even though I'm not expecting to win. Wrong attitude, right?

Kara Cerise said...

I think there is also a lot of luck involved, Pauline, so you may just win the trophy. I was surprised by the number of player injuries and how that can be a real game changer.