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

June Interviews

6/02 Terrie Moran, Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

6/09 Connie Berry, The Art of Betrayal

6/16 Kathleen Kalb, A Final Finale or A Fatal First Night

6/23 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery

6/30 Mary Keliikoa, Denied

Saturday WWK Bloggers

6/12 Jennifer J. Chow

6/26 Kait Carson

Guest Blogs

6/05 Samantha Downing

6/19 Lynn Johanson


E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez. It will be released on June 21st.

Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).

Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!

Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.

Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!

Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.

KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!

Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Sweet Spot by Kait Carson

I drive back and forth between Miami and my home in Southwest Florida on a regular basis. The Eagles are one of my favorite travel bands. No matter how bad the traffic, or how long the drive, be-bopping along with Glen Frey and friends passes the time. And it keeps me awake. Never a bad thing when your route takes you through sod farms and sugar cane fields, and sod farms and sugar cane fields, broken only by the vintage roadside attraction.

I was passing the remains of the Finest Collection of Everglades Animals attraction when River of Dreams rotated into the play list. The line about packing the Camaro and chasing the sun struck home. The visual was amazing. The flat scenery faded into the background and I was in a red Camaro heading for points unknown. The draw was irresistible. Pack it up, take it on the road, never look back and live simply in the mountains in a home you build yourself. Yep, Little House on the Prairie meets rock and roll. Pa Ingles stuffing his family into the ox cart. Follow your dream. Do what you always wanted to do, but never did. Live the life you should be living, chuck the make-do life you have now. Took me a good ten miles and an alligator crossing the road chasing a gopher tortoise to break the spell and see the cane fields again.

Writing that pulls you that deeply into the story world is good writing. It’s not limited to lyrics, but having the complete experience does seem more common when listening than reading. Maybe it’s more an aural event than a visual one. On the other hand, maybe it’s just me. It often happens to me when I listen to an audio book. It’s also happened when I listen to replays of old radio shows. No matter how you experience it, it’s an amazing feeling when it happens. A sweet spot, a tipping point you can’t predict, only experience. You enter the story and it happens to you, not around you. Magic.

Unfortunately, no writing school teaches the technique. And it’s different for every reader because the real secret is a connection that the reader has with the story at that particular moment. I’ve heard River of Dreams a thousand times. I never wanted to pack up my Camaro before, but right at that moment, the lyrics fit my desires. It’s happened with books too. James Clavell’s Taipan and Nobel House send me to Hong Kong and have me living in Happy Valley. Somewhere I’ve never been. Recently Krista Davis’s The Diva Wraps It Up had me standing on the streets of Old Town in a snowfall. It was refreshing. Especially because it was ninety-five degrees in my real world. There is a fullness to these stories and scenes that completely encompasses me. I want to live in those moments in those books.

What about you? Do you have books that you slip into like a second skin? Are they books you read repeatedly, or are they books that hold an appeal for a certain aspect and time of your life?


Jim Jackson said...

I do not reread books any more. I used to, but then I realized that there were too many new ideas to explore to “waste” time on rereading something I enjoyed. The same goes for movies BUT NOT FOR MUSIC. I can and do listen to the same music again and again and again.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I remember being drawn in to different books during my life. I loved the Boxcar Children. The concept of living without adults in a boxcar was very appealing.

In an opposition, later the Little House books drew me into the lifestyle in that period and the warm family dynamics. In my youth, I've read many classics, like Steinbeck, Wouke, Vonnegut, Kesey.

As an adult, I've loved Martha Grimes, Robert Parker, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, etc. I'm not sure what it is that draws me in, but I think the essence is good writing, seeing nothing on the page that takes me out of a story. I'm not sure what draws my in these days, but they are very different books.

Alyssa Maxwell (who I'm interviewing for WWK) drew me into the turn of the 20th century world of the Vanderbilts in Rhode Island. Her historical mysteries let me run away to a different time, place, and value set.

Karen MacInerney's urban werewolf series I found fascinating. Unfortunately, she only has written three, the last one written in 2009 so I doubt there will be another. Fortunately, I like her other two series as well.

I've never reread books. The suspense is part of the appeal.

Kait said...

@James Ah, perhaps you haven't had a book speak to your heart yet. I have passages of various books marked that I return to again and again. Each speaks to a different emotion or need. Some are short, like passages of THE LITTLE PRINCE others longer such as NOBEL HOUSE where the use of the word 'perfect' pulls me in and encourages me to try harder.

Kait said...

@EB, That's it exactly, the drawing in. Perfect. It's a sense beyond enjoyment, a deeper chord. You explained it better than I.

Warren Bull said...

Unlike my esteemed colleagues, I do reread a few special books. Carolyn Hart's Letter From Home and a short story collection by Damon Runyon still hold magic for me. Years pass before a second read. The books don't change but I get older and appreciate things I did not notice the last time through.

KM Rockwood said...

Weldon Hill's Rafe is the book I've read the most. Every few years I pull it out and reread it. Usually on a rainy winter weekend when I've got a cold. It's like comfort food. Morgan Llywelyn's books about Ireland and Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy transport me completely, and I've reread them.

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, I do reread some books like To Kill a Mockingbird and various ones of Jane Langton's Homer Kelly series. Often a reread of a book is because it becomes one of my book clubs' picks so I want to refresh my memory.

I don't listen to books on tape, however, I am a faithful listener of Prairie Home Companion and feel I know the little town of Lake Wobegon and the people who live there. Also, when I had a cassette player in my car, my brother-in-law sent me a take of Sarah Orne Jewett short stories, who I had read in a book, bnad they came even more alive listening to them.

Music I listen too much more than TV because I can listen while reading in the evening and only stop my reading when a special song plays.

Kait said...

Thank you Warren, KM and Gloria. Sometimes books become friends. And as Warren mentioned, we find different meaning in them as we enter different phases of our lives.

Shari Randall said...

I think you are right about the aural experience, E.B. We're all children sitting around a campfire, the world dropping away as the story teller spins the tale….
Music does this for me all the time, and books on tape, The real magic is the writer who tip us into the other world with just words on the page.
Thanks Kathleen - I'd forgotten the Mary Stewart books - they are magic. Time to reread.

Kait said...

Hi Shari, well said!

Bookie said...

I really enjoyed this blog page! You caught something I have been moaning about in some newer reads...no sweet spot I guess. I do reread some books when I have time...like Madeleine L'Engle and and older, rarely thought of now Gladys Taber.

Susan Santangelo said...

When I get a spare minute, I am re-reading the Eleanor Roosevelt mysteries, written by her son Elliott in the 1980s. I got hooked on the PBS series about the Roosevelt family, and remembered I owned several of the books. When I'm reading one of them, I'm transported back to pre-World War 2. Delightful books!

Kara Cerise said...

I reread Dianne Day's Fremont Jones historical mystery series when I want to take a break from the modern world. Her writing draws me in to a different time and place. Sadly, we lost this talented writer last year which makes her books even more special.

Shari Randall said...

Yikes, Kait, my fingers went on autopilot and typed E.B. when I was thinking Kait. Wonderful blog!

Kait said...

@Bookie, Susan and Kara - Isn't it wonderful to connect with them again. There is something so satisfying. I too like the Elliot Roosevelt books and the Margaret Truman ones too. Bookie, glad you enjoy the posts.

Kait said...

@Shari - I do the same myself. No worries!

Ellis Vidler said...

There are a few books that, as you said, speak to my heart. I read them several times, usually years apart, but I can't let go of them and passages come back at odd moments. They carry me to the time and place, and I am there.
I think you were right that it (the book, music, movie--whatever) has to connect personally. It's wonderful when it happens, and I hate to come back to the real world. Nice post, Kait.

Polly Iyer said...

I rarely reread books. The last was Robert Crais's L.A. Requiem. I reread it for the characterization of one of the main characters. He was well-drawn, and I thought I could learn something about creating a character that so captures a reader. As far as being transported to another place--I'm not sure any book has taken me away, so to speak. I'll have to think about that.

Kait said...

Polly, I'm surprised. Your books always put me right in the time and place! I can still walk from window to window in the California house on Threads. You definitely write the sweet spot.

Kait said...

Thanks Ellis. It's it a wonderful feeling.