8/4 Sherry Harris, A Time to Swill
8/11 Authors of The Fish That Got Away
8/18 Authors of Mutt Murders
8/25 Alyssa Maxwell, Murder at Wakehurst
8/21 Nancy Nau Sullivan
WWK Special Blogger
8/7 V. M. Burns-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
On Sunday, November 18, 2018, The Washington Post released its list of Best Books for 2018. Among them was Sujata Massey's audiobook of The Widows of Malabar Hill, narrated by Soneela Nankani of Recorded Books. I had the pleasure of interviewing Sujata when her book was first released. Since then, The Widows of Malabar Hill has garnered all kinds of accolades. It's a pleasure to present the interview again for those who may have missed it last year.
I first discovered Sujata Massey through her award-winning Rei Shimura mystery series set in Japan. Everyone around me seemed to be reading her books, starting with The Salaryman’s Wife, which won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for the Barry and Macavity Awards for Best First Mystery and the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original. She went on to win or be nominated for a number of other awards, including the Edgar. When I learned that she was writing a suspenseful historical fiction series set in 1920s India, I was delighted and contacted her to learn more about it.
Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on? Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X—meaning she probably couldn’t even read the document. The Farid widows live in full purdah—in strict seclusion, never leaving the women’s quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate, and realizes her instincts were correct when tensions escalate to murder. Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are in further danger.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Monday, November 19, 2018
Sunday, November 18, 2018
The way I find it easiest to understand the dichotomy of this pair is to answer this question:
Do you feel more comfortable after you’ve made a decision (J) or before the decision is made (P)?
Judging people (not to be confused with judgmental people, which this is not) are usually task oriented, put off play until work is done, make lists, are comfortable when decisions are made, and hate having the pressure of looming deadlines so will carefully schedule their work. Sometimes they focus on the goal so heavily they miss (or ignore) new information which could impact them.
Perceivers like to keep their options open. They often don’t make plans and will decide when they must (and sometimes they will miss out because they didn’t decide). They tend to work in bursts of energy, often becoming more energized as a deadline nears.
My better half, Jan, is a big-time J. I am normally a strong P with the distinction that when a decision needs to be made, I make it and move on. Until that point, my theory is why not collect as much data as you can? (Pure P thinking.) Jan, of course, is going crazy while I check out “just one more thing.”
One reason we read novels is to learn how characters act under stress. Stress can be physical (someone’s trying to kidnap me!) and those confrontations can rev our endorphins in sympathy with the character. But if the only stress is action-oriented, most readers soon become bored (unless we channel our inner teenage boy). Mental stress comes in all shapes and sizes and can hold our interest throughout a novel.
Jan and I are currently looking at a major decision, and I can attest to the building tension when a J and a P must jointly make a decision (assuming neither one is the type who rolls over and capitulates with “whatever you want, dear).
It’s also interesting to see what happens when the author forces a P character to make a decision before they can gather what the P thinks is enough data. After they have been forced to make it, how long will they rehash their decision before they accept it? What form does their regret take? What happens in their dreams?
Or consider the mental punishment of not allowing a J who has decided what should be done to enact it. Or what happens when against advice (probably from a P) that they should consider other information before deciding, they go ahead, only to discover they have made a huge error?
As an author, I find satisfaction in torturing my characters and seeing if they grow stronger or crumble under the stress. As a reader, I want to know what’s going to happen.
In real life, it’s not quite as enjoyable, but it’s easier for me to cope when I can reflect on everyone’s style and how that drives the way they see the world.