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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

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: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

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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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?

3 comments:

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.