Starting on 11/28 WWK presents original short stories by some of our authors. Here's our lineup:

11/28 Debra H. Goldstein, "Thanksgiving in Moderation"

12/5 Annette Dashofy, "Las Posadas--A New Mexico Christmas"

12/12 Warren Bull, "The Thanksgiving War"

12/19 KM Rockwood, "The Gift of Peace"

12/26 Paula Gail Benson, "The Lost Week of the Year"


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














November Interviews
11/6 Barbara Ross, Nogged Off
11/13 Lena Gregory, Scone Cold Killer
11/20 Lois Winston, Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide
11/27 V. M Burns, Bookmarked For Murder

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
11/2 V. M. Burns
11/9 Heather Redmond
11/16 Arlene Kay

WWK Bloggers: 11/23 Kait Carson

*************************************************************************

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:


Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.


Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

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!

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 was released on June 18th.


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. It is now also available in audio.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Murderous Geeks by Maddi Davidson


We, the sisters who make up Maddi Davidson, are often asked how we ended up writing information technology murder mysteries. Simple! Both of us worked in IT and decided that the information technology sector was under-served––or perhaps, under-server-ed––as a medium for parody. Who doesn’t have at least one bizarre technology experience, e.g., the computer says that your water bill was $47,298 last month and computers are never wrong, right? This actually happened to one of us, who happens to know that she did not take a 28-day shower. Fortunately, her local utility mavens were even more skeptical of computers than we are and corrected the bill.
Many users of technology are as enamored of technologists as they are of other professional “ists,” like proctologists. In fact, the average computer upgrade feels just exactly like…oh never mind. Encounters with IT can inspire anxiety headaches as large as the RMS Titanic and inspire rampant murderous thoughts involving chain saws––energy efficient saws, as it is so important to be an eco-friendly homicidal maniac! In short, homicide and technology go together like rap music and really good earplugs. We believe our stories provide a public service: dispatching a purveyor of technology allows our readers the opportunity to experience a frisson of schadenfreude, a fancy term for “boy, he/she sure had that coming!”
The technology field is rife with dramatic (not to mention humorous) possibilities, and we are not just talking about companies that track your every move online, collect as much information as they can, and then complain about a government invasion of privacy. So many companies and organizations have used technology to “improve service” (e.g., removing real people so you can go online and take 285 steps and a couple of Valium to complete a transaction) that the average user has more than 78 passwords. Okay, we made that number up, but it’s still a lot. Companies and organizations demand you sign in and choose a password, even for mundane activities such as reading a newspaper online that really, you don’t want to pay for but can stomach 10 articles a month, maybe, if it doesn’t contain too many stories on the Kardashians. And you can’t necessarily use the passwords you want: you must use capitals, lower case, numbers, and characters. Only a Mensa member can remember &8jauOhcraponit,seriously? as a password. So, technology itself is a character in our books, even if it’s a character nobody would mind killing off.
Another element in our stories is the location in which the action occurs: San Francisco and its environs for our first two books, and Hawai’i for our third. Both have a strong sense of place, and that adds verisimilitude to a story––verisimilitude being a fancy word for “making sure you don’t get caught out having Van Ness cross Franklin Street when everybody in San Francisco knows they parallel each other, you failure-to-fact-check doofus.” One of us lives in San Francisco and knows that, however many the charms of the city, some of the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up weirdness is more amusing than anything we can invent. Having a character perplexed by the parse tree of recycling bins is both accurate and farcical: “recycle” and “trash” have long since been replaced by “paper,” “plastic,” “glass,” “batteries,” and “compost.” Although, you may only be able to recycle plastic up to category 5; oh wait, we digress.  
We are often asked how we write together when we live thousands of miles apart. Microsoft Word and track changes is the short answer. Additionally, we share the same demented sense of humor from growing up together. We each appreciate the other’s strengths. One of us is the structural engineer: outlining plot, putting the framing up, and ensuring soundness of what we are building. The other one is more the interior decorator: filling in the home, adding a pop of color here and there. The entire plot may rise or fall on whether we have granite countertops! Or, maybe we mixed the metaphor too much. When we have questions about whether something works, whoever feels the strongest “wins.” Yet, both of us respect pacing: whatever we write has to advance the story, not our egos. Especially in a murder mystery, you want your reader turning the next page eagerly to find out whodunnit, not wondering whether the character is a refugee from a Henry James novel, wandering around contemplating the meaning of life.
Above all, we try to have fun with our writing. We have no Tolstoyian aspirations. Or Mother Gooseian aspirations, either. What we hope is that our readers will have a good laugh. A merry heart, as it says in Proverbs, doeth good like medicine. We hope so. 

Maddi Davidson is the pen name for two sisters, Mary Ann Davidson and Diane Davidson. Residing on opposite coasts of the US, the sisters have spent too many years inflicting “new and improved” information technology solutions on dubious users. Their short story “Heartfelt” will appear in Mystery Times 2015, to be published in April by Buddhapuss Ink. Another short story, “Whiteout,” will appear in Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warnings in 2016. In addition, they’ve published three novels in the Miss-Information Technology Mystery Series, available through Amazon: Outsourcing Murder, Denial of Service, and With Murder You Get Sushi. More information is available on their website: maddidavidson.com

5 comments:

Gloria Alden said...

As someone who often gets frustrated over computer problems, I'm sure I would enjoy this series, especially those that take place in San Francisco a place I visit at least once or twice a year when I visit my daughter.

Shari Randall said...

When I'm on hold and the robot tells me "Your call is important to us" I could just self-combust with the irony/baldfaced falsehood of it. You ladies are on to something with the murderousness that technology drives us to! I am looking forward to reading your books.

Kara Cerise said...

Your books sound fun. I think technology and murderous thoughts go together very well. I use spreadsheets to keep all my passwords straight. My husband, who works for the government, is required to change his passwords every 30 days.

San Francisco and Hawaii are two of my favorite places!

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks for guesting on WWK, Maddi (both of you). Stop by again and let us know what your characters are up to.

KM Rockwood said...

What a fun blog! I definitely have to check out the books! I can envision a Kafkaesque experience in the making.

As a technofeeb (I think that's a definite subdivision of electronic idiot) I am ready to tear my hair out over what should be the simplest things.