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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

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.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Consumed by the Election

by Linda Rodriguez

My husband told me last night, “It's hard not to be consumed by this election. Every day there's some new outrageous thing, and it's become so clear that the stakes are higher than they've ever been.”

I had to agree, but I don't know if I want to go through the next four months with some new outrage dominating the news every day. I wistfully long for the days when I knew which candidate I wanted, but didn't have to fear that, if the other candidate won, we'd be facing Kristallnacht and/or Dr. Strangelove.

Fortunately, I only face it all at night because I'm busy writing the ending to my book during the day with the internet off. Believe me, living in a world that's under attack by aliens that can even destroy Earth's gods to take their power, let alone puny mortals, is a much happier place to be than the real world I come back to in the evenings.

In my book, I've had to go back in time to 1812 to New Madrid, Missouri, a place and a time that was full of naturals horrors and wars. The New Madrid Earthquake that everyone talks about was actually three (or perhaps four, depending on which modern expert you choose) of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in the United States—and over 2,000 other earthquakes in a four-month period. The ground quite literally never stopped shaking, making even walking difficult. Huge rifts opened up and stayed for a century until dredging finally destroyed them. Eerie lights, explosions, and rumbling thunder came from the ground beneath. New lakes, swamps, and sunken lands were formed. Small volcanoes of salt, coal, tar and mud littered the landscape. The earth underneath the bed of the Mississippi River was shoved upward with such force that waterfalls formed in the middle of the river where there had been none before, and the river appeared to change direction and run upstream on two different occasions. The few towns that had been established were mostly or completely destroyed, and the biggest earthquakes were felt in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C., where American leaders were dealing with the frightening lead-up to the War of 1812 against Britain.

Meanwhile, fifty miles from New Madrid, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the great warrior and strategist, Tecumseh, was meeting with his Shawnee and Delaware allies that might have helped him defeat the American colonists and stop the course of Manifest Destiny, confining the new country to the Eastern seaboard with an unprecedented alliance of independent Native nations defending the western two-thirds of the continent. While Tecumseh was there, American soldiers would attack his home settlement and burn it to the ground, leading to a series of events that would eventually destroy his burgeoning movement to hold back the destructive tidal wave of white settlement.

Dealing with this period in history reminds me that there have been troubled times before this, that there have been dangerous threats that were avoided or overcome and dangerous threats that were almost averted but occurred despite the best efforts—and people still managed to have lives and survive. I suppose we always think the times we're living in are the toughest and most dangerous.

I can't swear off the political news, so I suppose I'll continue to hear about each day's new disaster or outrage every evening. Fortunately, I'll still have the world of my book to exist within all day, and that should help me view it all with some little perspective. The sky is always falling, but somehow we manage to muddle through anyway.


Jim Jackson said...

I recall the palpable fear of adults during the Cuban missile crisis, which occurred just as I was turning twelve-years old. We lived in an area that would have been subject to a nuclear strike--and in retrospect, should war have come, my end would have been blindingly quick.

I worried for our country during the late 1960s as many inner cities burned and our nation became ensnared in the deepening morass of the Vietnam war, but I never feared for our country. Of course I was young and convinced my generation could make it better.

Now I do fear for the country.

Maybe it is just that I am now at the age when old men worry about their country, but I think it is more than that. I listen with disgust, horror, and fear as the rantings of an angry rich white man resonates with a considerable portion of the US population, mirroring similar situations in many other countries around the world.

In the KKK revival of the 1920s, the organization expanded their hate of blacks to include Catholics, Jews, and foreigners. The anger started with lower economic class whites who were being economically squeezed, but rapidly spread and was accepted by large portions of the middle and upper classes in many areas of the country. They were a political force and controlled several states. Eventually, their excesses brought their decline, but not before many were hurt and killed, politics changed from an engagement with the world toward isolationism, all eventually contributing to the Great Depression and a second World War.

I am afraid how the hate embroiling the world currently can come to any good.

I think maybe I should start writing about New Madrid in 1812 and earthquakes; maybe I would feel better.

Margaret Turkevich said...

For months, I've been convinced that we would boil over into another summer of 1968. Thankfully, that hasn't happened.

I live in Ohio, just up the road from John Boehner's home town. This election has elicited more racial prejudice, economic class frustration and hatred than any other. I work out at the village rec center and hear it all, on a daily basis.

I'll be walking the dogs or in my writing cave until the election, the land phone line unplugged.

Grace Topping said...

Linda, thank you of a thought-provoking blog. I find what's going on in our country so distressing that I admit to becoming an ostrich, avoiding the news and even going to the extent of having my husband wear headphones so I don't have to listen. In past years I've not been in favor of some candidates but felt I could live with either one. This year, I am truly fearful of the outcome. My husband and I have traveled extensively all over the world, and it was embarrassing when people from other countries asked us what in the world was going on in the U.S.

Your mention of the horrendous earthquake in Missouri brought to mind that most people don't realize the threat of earthquake on the East Coast--a major fault line runs along the Appalachian Mountains.. My friends laughed when I said that we carry earthquake insurance on our home--that is until we had an earthquake that damaged the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument. I couldn't replace a good lamp for the cost of the insurance. The cost is worth it to me.

Warren Bull said...

I believe large groups of Americans perceive two radically different ideas of what this country is about.It reminds me of the pre-Civil War differences between north and south.

KM Rockwood said...

I'm with Jim on reaching an age when we realize that our generation (or the following ones) are not going to make the world an ideal place to live.

But I think we are making progress. Yes, a lot of anger and resentment and prejudice are being expressed, but I think it's always been there, just people didn't feel free to say it. When it's out in the open, we have a better chance of dealing with it.

Things may have a way to go in this country,a long way, but we're living better than 99% of the people who have ever lived, with longer lifespans, better health, more people with a commitment to work to improve conditions for everyone.

We may have to bottom out before we can seriously rebuild. I just hope that doesn't include electing a president who seems to have no idea what it means to be a public servant.

As for our past, as Linda notes, things weren't always peaches and cream. We've made some progress on a lot of fronts.

"The good old days, formerly known as these trying times."

Anonymous said...

Jim reminds me of standing in my backyard scanning the sky for Cuban missiles. I also watched the sky when flights resumed after 9/11, and just having watched Trumbo, I shrink from the hate bubbling up for so many.
Perspective is appreciated, and the example of survival . . . King Solomon's ring, quoted by Lincoln, "This too shall pass."
Hugs, love, and strength to us all. <3

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, what a thoughtful blog. I don't remember ever hearing of the Missouri earthquakes. As for not wanting to listen to the news until after the election, I feel that way, too, however, I feel I need to listen to NPR first thing in the morning and then in the evening because even though it seems at least 90% of the news is about the hateful angry white man, Jim mentioned, I think it's better for people to know how outrageous he is. What upsets me is that so many people follow his hateful rhetoric spewing hate and prejudice and still he gets away with it. He tells so many lies and yet his followers either believe him or don't care if he's lying. It does make me wonder if those followers only follow the commentators who feel the same way he does and don't listen to rational commentators. Another thing that bothers me is that he has conservative Christians following him, when everything he spouts off is counter to any faith, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other.

Shari Randall said...

My daughter who lives in the UK is tired of fielding questions about our election. She's relieved when people assume she's Canadian.
The Atlantic magazine had a fascinating article about how we got to this point in our history. It's called "How American Politics Went Insane." After reading it, I totally understand how your story of disaster is a refuge!

Polly Iyer said...

Nice post, Linda. Comparisons with difficult times in history, in our personal histories, tend to put things in perspective.

Though I'm sick of the politics, I'm also masochistically drawn to reading everything about what's going on. I also feel strongly about posting things I find important. If it reaches one person and explains how destructive a country "ruled" by he who should not be mentioned would be, I've contributed to a little piece of sanity. My opinion is irrelevant, but informative, fact-filled articles available for scrutiny aren't.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Jim, I also can remember those days--and even earlier when we taught in grade school to get under our flimsy desks as protection against atomic warfare, which always seemed imminent. So, like a lot of folks who recall those horrors, the sound of someone asking "Why can't I use nuclear weapons right from the start?" just brings up goosebumps of terror.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Grace, I can't avoid the news, much as I want to. I just put it off until I've finished a day's work. And as for the earthquake fault lines, yes, people forget about all but the California one, and now fracking is setting them off again. We really don't want to experience earthquakes like the ones that happened in the 1800s. The New Madrid quakes devastated and completely changed the entire geography of a four-state area and did damage much further than that. With the population numbers there now, it would be a disaster such as we've never seen.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Margaret, we could very well have another summer of 1968, but folks are working hard in those communities to keep that from happening, to channel the anger into votes, to develop healthier ways for police and communities to interact, etc. The question is always, will there be one killing too many that touches it off before changes can be made?

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren, we're certainly a highly polarized society right now. And when I hear threats of bloodshed in the streets if the fascist doesn't win, I do worry.

Linda Rodriguez said...

KM, I truly hope we don't have to bottom out first, because I think bottoming out would destroy a lot of lives. Let's hope we can solve these problems without that.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Mary, I have Trumbo queued up on Amazon and haven't been able to watch it because of all the awful that's happening in realtime right now. We've come close in the past, but always drawn back in time. I hope this time will be remembered as one of those times when we came close but pulled back in the nick of time.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, yes, I can't not listen to it. I have to know what's going on, and I try to pass things on to my friends on Twitter and Facebook, so they'll also know what's going on. There's so much obfuscation and so many outright lies--and even after they're proven to be lies, people still choose to believe them and keep them going.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Shari, I have a number of friends in other countries, and they are aghast at what's going on in this nation. I don't envy your daughter. I do, however, believe in the fundamental goodness of the American people, and I hope we're going to show it by defeating the orange wannabe dictator soundly.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Polly, yes, I try to avoid putting much opinion out there and try to share solid, fact-filled, analytical articles, mostly because truth and the facts are in short supply right now. So we'll continue our quixotic little battles with the corporate media/billionaire-funded windmills.

Kait said...

Good post, Linda. I have sworn off politics for this election. It's simply too volatile for my taste ad I'm enough of a lightening rod without chiming in on my political thoughts which tend to span both camps but I haven't figured out who a good mashup candidate might be.

Somewhere in my distant past, I have a degree in history and I loved reading about your book set in 1812. Truly it was a violent, disturbing, and romantic era wrapped in the pain and turmoil of current events. I concede that the romance may have come later in hindsight. What is that Chinese saying? Pray that you live in interesting times?

Linda Rodriguez said...

Kait, you might be interested in an article in the Martha's Vineyard newspaper interviewing both David McCullough and Evan Thomas. It was fascinating to see the way these eminent historians and presidential biographers viewed the current election campaign. You might want to look it up and read it.