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

July Interview Schedule:
7/3 Jean Stone A Vineyard Summer
7/10 Mark Bergin
7/17 Christin Brecher Murder's No Votive Confidence
7/24 Dianne Freeman A Ladies' Guide to Gossip
7/31 J. C. Kenney A Genuine Fix

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 7/6 V. M. Burns, 7/13 Joe Amiel,

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 7/20 Gloria Alden, 7/27 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Suggested Reading List

I mentioned in my last post here at WWK that many of the members of my new critique group have read TONS more Young Adult (YA) books than I have, and how this makes me feel somewhat inadequate.  What I didn't mention is that I probably won’t do much to bridge the chasm between the amounts of books I've read in comparison to the rest of the group.

Since many writers espouse the benefits of reading as many books as possible within your writing genre, this decision may put me at a disadvantage as a writer.  By not following the tried and true path, I won't be learning what works or doesn't by reading others in my field. 

So why am I unwilling to read more and more of the books in the YA category? 

One of the reasons is—as I also mentioned in my last blog—I don’t read with a critical eye because it takes me out of the enjoyment experience that reading a book provides me.  It would be a useful skill, but I can’t seem to do it. 

But to be honest, the main reason is due to the sub-genres that are popular with teenagers (and adults) lately.  The bulk of what's out there now is dystopian , steam punk, or fraught with vampires, werewolves, or zombies.  None of those topics appeal to me in any way, so I doubt I'd be able to learn much from them, even if I were to read them, because I'd be too busy being grossed out or weirded out to focus on the tools that the author used.

Now, if there were a bunch of YA mysteries out there that didn't involve any of the sub-genres listed above, I'd snap them up in a heartbeat.  But I just don't know of many YA mystery books fitting that description.  I've found some Middle Grade (MG) books that are mysteries—The Sisters Grimm series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator—and have enjoyed them, but again, those are written for pre-teens.  My protagonist is sixteen, and she will be dealing with things high-school students face—including sex and dating—while solving murders and other such mysteries.  She’s also got a bit of an edge and swears; not things people look for in MG books.

So, while I can see reading books in the same genre as my WIP would be very beneficial, I'm not sure that I could do it, even if I wanted to.  However, I'm open to giving it a shot.  So if any of you know of any YA mysteries that don't involve a post-apocalyptic world, the undead, or things of that nature, I'd appreciate some suggestions.

I was given so many good suggestions after my last blog, but I'm open to more, if you have them.


Kara Cerise said...

That’s difficult, Alyx. Usually trends don’t last long but this one seems like it will be around for some time. Best-selling mystery/thriller author, James Patterson, now writes a series for young adults…but it is about a group of genetically mutated kids who are part human, part bird. The sixteen year old in my life loves those books.

Maybe you could read older YA mysteries? Or, have one of your characters make fun of the otherworldly? I think teens enjoy snarky comments.

Warren Bull said...

Reading with a critical eye is a skill that develops over time. Some well-written YA novels include: the Chocolate War by Robert Comie (sp?) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Hadden, Impossible by Nancy Werlin and the EarthSea series by Ursula L. LeGuin. The books are from various genres.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Alyx, I'd like to recommend a series by a writer in my critique group, Sam Morton. He writes the Austin Pierce files about a teenager in the spy business. You can read more about the series at http://sammorton.com. The first book is Betrayed and the second is Ten Weeks 'Til. . . He's been bringing the third to our group. It sounds a lot like what you're writing.

Gloria Alden said...

Alyx, Warren Bull's HEARTLAND is an excellent young adult book. Not exactly a mystery, but it combines history in an intriguing way as well as modern day teens. Then there's Alan Bradley's Flavian de Luce mysteries featuring a precocious 12 year old who solves mysteries. They are a big hit with adults and I'm sure would appeal to teens, too. The first one is THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF TH PIE.

Alyx Morgan said...

I've read the first book in that Patterson series, Kara, though that was before he was writing YA. I'll have to pick up the rest of the series.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Alyx Morgan said...

Thanks for your suggestions, Warren. I've heard of The Chocolate War, but not the others.

Alyx Morgan said...

Thanks for the series suggestion, Paula. Tabitha isn't really a spy, but it could help me gain some insight into writing the teenage mind.

Alyx Morgan said...

I wondered how long it would take for Warren's book to be recommended here. ;o) I've got it in my queue at the library, Gloria. And thanks for the other series, too.

E. B. Davis said...

Before he died, Robert Parker wrote a YA mystery, which I read. But other than that one--I don't have any suggestions.


Alyx Morgan said...

Thanks, EB, I'll check that out.

And, Happy Birthday, Warren!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Happy Birthday, Warren!

Alyx, I just remembered Harlan Coben's Shelter, about Myron Bolitar's newphew, I think. Have you seen it?

Alyx Morgan said...

I've never heard of that one either, Paula. Thanks again. :o)

Malena said...

My son read a great book a couple of years ago called The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd. He recommended it to me and I loved it. I can't remember the exact age of the sleuth, but I think it was considered a YA book. It was a great mystery. Also, Anthony Horowitz has his Alex Rider series, but that's more spy than mystery.