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!


Monday, April 14, 2014

A Singularly Unwelcome Development for Readers

Dear Singularity,
How are you doing? I’ve been hearing about you for quite a while. This whole idea that we humans are going to merge with machines (the big moment that happens, that’s you, Singularity!) and embark on a Better Life of white jump-suited, computer-assisted bliss. I watched The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman in those bad old days when computers were the size of a two car garage, and I say, bring it! Anything that can keep me dancing into my tenth decade and beyond is OK by me.
Now, what you’ll do for my blown out joints is great, but I do have a few concerns about what you and all your Mini-Me minions (tablets, smartphones, etc) are doing to prepare my mind for your coming. You see, I enjoy doing something that’s, well, hard to admit because it’s so, you know, 19th century. Oh, all right, I’ll spill.
OK, so I like to read books. Call me crazy, old fashioned, a luddite, but I find reading a novel to be a very enjoyable, and occasionally exciting, thing to do. I know, right? I could be watching videos of cats skateboarding or the zombie kid who likes turtles. But the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. Some guy named Pascal said that.
Anyway, I was reading (there I go again!) an article that said the human brain is being rewired by digital life. We are developing “circuitry” that helps us sift through the Internet’s torrents of information. We can click links, skim for key words, and scroll with the speed of a squirrel on crack. We must do it fast, because speed is what matters, right? Leaves more time for buying stuff.

But our new wiring makes it increasingly difficult for us to maintain the sustained concentration necessary for reading novels. What’s a novel, you ask? Perhaps it would help you to think of them as really big text blocks, or “reading things” that are longer than 140 characters.

So, when you finally do get here, I do hope that my new knees will include programming for Argentine tango. And that there will still be a few surgeons who are capable of getting through my four hour long joint replacement surgery without taking a Twitter break or posting to Facebook.

But please, Singularity, just leave my brain alone.
Very sincerely yours,


Jim Jackson said...

One of the many advantages of being old is that none of this stuff really affects me. The brain damage likely to come my way will be in the form of strokes, hemorrhages, hardening arteries and misfiring dendrites.

Of course if people no longer read novels writing will become only self-therapy, but heck I'm at the leading edge of the baby boom--there will still be readers around when I am gone.

The future belongs to the young, and that is probably a good thing as the old tend to prefer the past.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Man has always been infatuated by his inventions including machines. They can assist us and make life better--but they can also kill us. I'd like to think that there will always be people who live outside of the mainstream, who dare to be individuals, and who fight cultural machinations. I count on these gutsy people and champion them. If books become the new underground contraband--good!

Shari Randall said...

Jim, I'm a wee bit further back in the boom. I think of myself as a hybrid. I'm comfortable enough with technology, but I am also aware of what's being lost. I do wonder if these shortening attention spans will mean a renaissance in short story writing and publishing.

EB,I love/hate the idea that physical books will become an underground thing, loved by only a few passionate people. Wonderful if people appreciate them, but sad that fewer can get their hands on them. With the demise of book stores, where do people get books?

KM Rockwood said...

I see technology and ebooks as supplementing, not replacing, print books. To tell the truth, with the introduction of Harry Potter and the Twilight books, I see more young people reading in the last decade or so than before. Reading, including reading print books, is cool now to a population who didn't used to consider reading as a possible recreational activity.

I prefer print books, but I the low cost of ebooks makes it possible for me to buy many books I would once have either waited to get from the library or not read at all. And when I'm traveling or stuck waiting somewhere, I love to have a variety of reading material available on my Kindle.

Oh, but I will take some of those new joints please. And perhaps a reconditioned heart.

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, like you I love books - print books especially. My favorite time of day is in the evening when I curl up with a book or when I go to bed to read another book. When I go places I might have to wait, I always take a TIME magazine - they fit in the outside pocket of my purse and books don't.

Like KM said, thanks to Harry Potter and the Twilight series, lots of kids are reading today. And yesterday when I was taking home my 16 year old grandson after he'd been working doing yard work for me, he told me he thought he got the writing gene from me because he and a friend of his were writing stories - not books but stories, and that convinces me there will always be readers and writers.

Sarah Henning said...

I met with a group of writers this weekend and moms with teens and a children's librarian were all saying that teens are very much interested in having real books in their hands and not a Kindle/Nook/tablet. Maybe that's so they actually can focus? Maybe the younger generation will revert? So many of them are already avoiding Facebook. Wouldn't that be nice?

Shari Randall said...

KM, Gloria, and Sarah - I love that you mention the younger generation. I have noticed that teens still like to get a physical copy of a book - I think you are on to something, Sarah, maybe they spend so much time on other media that a book feels like a break to them. Gloria - another writer in your family would be pretty cool!
KM - those book series did hook a lot of kids. It is great that, in a way, these hot novels make a bit of peer pressure for reading - kids want to read what their friends are reading. And I do hope the new parts will be available when I need them. I just got back from zumba and all I can say is, Ouch!

Kara Cerise said...

That was an eye-opening article, Shari. I was surprised that our brains are adapting so quickly to using technology. I wonder what the human brain will look like in 200 years?

I also like the idea that physical books may become the new underground contraband. We writers and readers are a rebellious group.