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

Look for our new bloggers this month. Debra Sennefelder will blog on 1/15, and Debra Goldstein debuts on 1/22. Please welcome our double Debs to WWK.

Don't miss our January author interviews: 1/10-Lawrence H. Levy, 1/17-Kaye George, 1/24-Janet Bolin, 1/31-Kathy Aarons. And E. B. Davis will interview Shari Randall on Monday 1/29 about the publication of her first novel, Curses, Boiled Again. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our January Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 1/6-Becky Clark, Pat Hale, Leslie Karst, Edith Maxwell, Shawn McGuire, C. Perkins, and Sue Star, and 1/13-Polly Iyer. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 1/20, and Kait Carson on 1/27.

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


Wednesday, February 1, 2012


A co-worker and I were recently discussing the latest Mission Impossible movie. When I asked for her opinion, she said that she didn't like how violent it was, and thought it was one of the most violent movies she'd seen lately. I didn't agree. Yes, there were fights, guns, killing, etc, but I've honestly seen worse.
Many people think our society is too violent, and that we’ve become desensitized over time. I remember several years back when they started "editing" some Looney Tunes so as not to introduce children to all the violence in them. That bugged me on two levels. Not only were they messing with classic cartoons that I enjoyed so much in my youth, but they were also suggesting that children can't differentiate between real and imaginary violence.

Granted, there are some children for whom violence on TV is as real and frightening as seeing it in person – heck, Craig (my fiancé) doesn’t have a restful sleep if he watches a thriller right before bed – but for many of us, violence for entertainment’s sake helps us explore that darker side of our psyche in a safe, vicarious manner.
I strongly believe that each and every human being has the capacity for all possible emotions within them, including violence. Maybe writers just have the ability to tap into it easier than other people. Or maybe we're just not as afraid of it. Take Stephen King, for example. By all accounts, he's a nice (and seemingly normal) guy, and yet he can come up with such horrific tales.

I myself am a pretty mild mannered person. Were you to meet me on the street, I'm betting you would never guess that I enjoy James Patterson's books. Or that - while I'm not a fan of most horror movies - I watched the first five Freddy Krueger movies, and enjoyed them.

So the question is, do mystery writers seem drawn to violence more than other people? Is violence more acceptable when it's part of the news or a nature show, rather than a movie or book?
What do you think?


E. B. Davis said...

Mystery plots usually involve crime, including murder, which necessitates depicting violence.

Cozies are the only type of mysteries in which the violence is kept to a minimum because the main character, whose POV the writer provides the reader, isn't involved in the actual crime. But even in cozies, violence is implicit in the plot and railing against that violence may provide the main character the motivation for involvement.

No, suggest that your friend watch movies rated only PG. We are a violent society and depicting violence in our books is necessary for credence and plausibility.

Warren Bull said...

Mystery writers still lag behind the violence depicted in Shakespeare's plays and in The Bible. Sadly, violence has always been a part of the human experience and character.

Pauline Alldred said...

I guess there's an audience for movies and books that are warm and fuzzy with happy endings. Characters live in a protected world and therefore don't experience extreme emotions. I don't see why people can't enjoy that if that's what they like.
Personally, I couldn't get past the first page of such a book. Throughout life, my experience has taught me I am not that far from violence or a sad outcome. I like to explore how characters deal with extreme situations that challenge their courage and ethics.

Alyx Morgan said...

I agree, EB. I think she had unrealistic expectations in a Mission Impossible movie. I will also suggest she stay away from any Bond movies.

Alyx Morgan said...

Good point, Warren! Shakespeare's work is rife with blood, stabbings & whatnot. Maybe because the blood was shown as red cloth, it was easier to stomach. The violence in movies is certainly looking more & more realistic, so maybe that's what bothered her most.

Thanks for posting.

Alyx Morgan said...

I'm with you, Pauline. I recently tried reading a cozy & found that I had to force myself to plod through it. I'm sure the writing was superb, but I just couldn't care much about the characters, because there wasn't enough of a life-or-death situation going on. Not sure what that says about me, but maybe I'm in touch with my violent side, too. :o)

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren's right about Shakespeare and the Bible. It's tough to get much more violent than that. Add the Greek and Roman classics in there, too.

Cozies are more about restoring order while traditional mysteries that aren't necessarily cozies (Louise Penny, Julia Spencer-Fleming) are more about the effect the violence has on all involved and how it impacts the relationships of the people involved.

Sorry I'm late with this,
Alyx. I've been underwater finishing revisions--and now I"m done!