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

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Real Life Behavior

All of us have experienced people who behave oddly. I think deviant behavior is endemic to mankind, so much so that normal people seem boring in novels. But I don’t want a weird main character with whom I can’t identify. Most people identify more with conventional characters who share universal values and accepted behavior.

To me, oddball secondary characters who reveal clues to the mystery presented, provide insight into the main character’s personality and inject comedy or substance to backstory are preferable.

Childhood leftovers contribute to odd behavior. People act out what they haven’t received or show which lessons they still need to learn. Conversely, the main character can be on the receiving end of the lesson learned. Odd behavior can result from arrested development either unilaterally or in specific areas of personality. Some odd behavior seems contrived, and yet there is truth in the old adage, fact is stranger than fiction. Consider the following:

• A supposed friend, who invites herself to dinner, makes pointed, meant-to-be-seen glances at her watch. Cutting the dinner short, she borrows a fifth of vodka and leaves for a party.

• A friend laughs in an unctuous manner when she is putting on a false face.

• A friend names the dollar amount of her family fortune, and then looks you in the face as if wanting you to name the dollar amount of yours.

• The daughter who tells a story at the family dinner table seemingly to entertain, but the story horrifies those in attendance and reveals the mother to be narrow-minded and punitive. Those in attendance experience the awkward moment, but for those people in the know, the daughter experiences a triumphant moment.

• Persons who assume superiority, casting friends in the role of idiot, as if they want idiot friends.

• The father who demands his daughter travel two states away to visit him even though he knows her 17 year old son has been hospitalized.

• The daughter who finally asks her mother, “Is it all about you?” The mother replies by saying, “I don’t see why not.”

• The mother who questions everyone’s judgment, but then she displays little wisdom herself.

• Those who demand invitations to events when the hosts know they’re not a good fit.

But then on the other hand…

• You’re attending a party where you know no one and can’t figure out why the host invited you, until she announces to all assembled that you make extraordinary gravy and invites you into the kitchen.

The characters in these situations aren’t criminals, but they display odd, boorish, outlandish or unconventional behavior. Have you experienced odd behavior in your life? Do you portray odd instances in your fiction?


Warren Bull said...

There is a nameless member of my extended family who has said things like, "Each bridesmaid was prettier than the one who came in before her." KInd? Maybe but she said it to the first bridesmaid in line.

E. B. Davis said...

Yes, people can say the most unkind things. I've tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I usually find in time that there is a pointedness that finds its mark, and I have to conclude that those comments have purpose behind them. The deficiency is their own.

Pauline Alldred said...

When my husband died, my sister to console me said that the good die young. As the remaining member of the partnership, that seemed a strange comment and not consoling. But I'm sure she meant well.