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

April Interviews

4/1 Jennifer Chow, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue
4/8 John Gaspard
4/15 Art Taylor, The Boy Detective & The Summer of '74
4/22 Maggie Toussaint, Seas the Day
4/29 Grace Topping, Staging Wars

Saturday Guest Bloggers
4/4 Sasscer Hill
4/18 Jackie Green

WWK Bloggers:
4/11 Paula Gail Benson
4/25 Kait Carson


WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, will be released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here on April 29th.

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sharing the Pleasures of Reading

In preparation for 2012, I’ve transferred all my passwords scribbled on two disintegrating pieces of paper onto a Rolodex. I’ve removed from the top of my scanner the piles of often needed reference books and printed online advice. With a present of a MP3 player, I’ve joined the ranks of the miniature digital world. How can a gadget so small hold so much downloaded music that travels weightlessly on my person from computer to bathroom and to mailbox?

Most of all, in the upcoming year, I look forward to attending two local book discussion groups, one for mysteries and one for non-genre books. Several of the readers in the mystery group also belong to the other group, seemingly unaware of less prestige given to genre writers. In fact, the readers don’t seem interested in writers’ egos and problems. The readers’ great love is the stories themselves. Readers are willing to attend writer presentations free of charge. However they seem no more interested in long and torturous biographies for writers than for creators of anything else they purchase. untitled

Gone by Mo Hayder deals with the kidnapping of children. Several American editors and publishers refuse to consider this topic. However kidnapping exists in the US and readers in the discussion group identified with anguished parents.

In the non-genre book group, we read Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson and readers expressed the opinion that the themes were safe because they happened outside America. Themes such as the clash between the Pakistani Muslim culture and British culture could be examined without reservations.

Readers in both groups are intelligent and knowledgeable readers and the librarians that lead the groups understand books. They all display a love of the written word that I’d guess most writers want to engage. Also, as readers, they want the writer to present them with subject matter and characters that make them think as well as entertain them. In Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, readers enjoyed the romance between a middle-aged couple from vastly different and opposing backgrounds. Readers like being party to the thoughts, feelings and observations of fictional characters no matter how flawed. Several readers expressed pleasure at well-written sentences and evocative images.

With the internet, intellectual information travels fast. People in rural areas are as well-informed as city dwellers. Perhaps readers in rural areas have fewer distractions and curling up with a good book seems very attractive when snow piles up outside and it’s a long, 0403170430401march_16_snowstorm_tdangerous drive to the nearest theater or restaurant.

The next book we’ll discuss is Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman. Some discussion group members would prefer less violent mysteries because their workplace presents them with enough hassles without seeking out fictional wake-up situations.

I enjoy being part of both discussion groups with members who clearly love reading and don’t just skin through what they read. As a writer, I welcome the opinions of readers.


Ellis Vidler said...

Mo Hayder deals with horrible crimes in a way that fits. The violence never seems gratuitous, but that's weighty material for most book clubs. I never considered that writing about a crime might be more acceptable because it happens far from me. You must have an interesting book club.

E. B. Davis said...

I once joined a book club and found that half the readers hadn't read the books and weren't really interested in reading, but they were there to socialize. Your groups sounds much more academic, which will give you insight for your own writing. Happy reading, Pauline.

Pauline Alldred said...

Hi Ellis, yes the book club consists of interesting members with a variety of opinions and tastes.
Elaine, the one or two members who haven't finished the book say so and then why they want to keep reading or why they don't think they'll finish the book.

Warren Bull said...

It sounds like your book clubs are great. Maybe being led by librarians helps. Book clubs are great audiences for writers too.

Gloria Alden said...

I've belonged to two different book clubs for some time. Neither of them focus on mysteries, but at least once a year or more a mystery is picked. Not only do I enjoy discussing books with others, I like that most often books are picked I would never have thought of reading. I'll admit one of the groups is more a social night out with dinner, but most of them do read the books and have an opinion. Even better, many of those in this group were not ones who spent much time reading and now love to read. I read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand on my own and totally loved it. Enjoy your book clubs, Pauline.

Jenny Milchman said...

These groups sound fantastic. I wish I could take part.

Pauline Alldred said...

The readers I meet, Warren, see the author as the creator--good or bad--of a product. Although one or two readers might say they couldn't even imagine finishing a novel, it's the story that counts. The author's name has nothing to do with their enjoyment. That's a unique perspective compared with the views of other groups to which I belong.

Pauline Alldred said...

Hi, Gloria. I'm glad there's a mystery group but it's interesting to read other books I wouldn't usually pick out. Most of the authors I read are American so I'll be interested in the Scandinavian writers. I don't think anyone does despair as well as Swedish and Norwegian artists of all media.

Pauline Alldred said...

Hi Jenny. I wish you could join in. More members widen the discussion.