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

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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.


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Writers Who Kill by A. M. Potter

Thank you, Writers Who Kill, for inviting me to your blog. Writers who kill? That’s me. Don’t call the FBI or, in my case, the RCMP. I’m a Canuck. All right. Now, why do we do it, why do we kill people? The reasons are personal, of course, and individual. Fear not, I’m not going to delve into the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). You don’t want to look inside my mind. Just ask my wife. So, forget about me.

Let’s look at things from the reader’s side of the knife. That’s what really matters: why readers read, not why authors write. I’m not referring to sales and book marketing mantras – find your tribe, expand your SM footprint, etc - although the marketing gurus say everything hinges on sales. A lot does, I’ll admit. However, more universally, everything hinges on readers, including those who borrow from libraries or share your work twenty times. 

Why do readers read writers who kill? Why do so many people read crime/mystery fiction? Why do so many watch crime/mystery creations? Think contemporary cozies, historical ones, true crime, CSI spinoffs, law and order procedurals, etc. I’m not complaining. It’s great. We crime writers have a large audience. I’d say the number of crime/mystery novels published annually is second only to that of romance novels.

Why are crime/mystery stories such a big part of our current cultural milieu? People must get something out of the genre.

Of course, there’s the voyeur element. “Look, he's bloodier than buffalo guts.” “Hey, her head’s half there. That incision looks like shark teeth.” 

Secondly, crime fiction can transport the reader to another world. A good author pushes readers’ boundaries, nudging them toward an existence far removed from their own.

Thirdly, crime fiction can have a social or even ethical underpinning. Personally, I like to embed – very deeply, I don’t preach to readers – an ethical conundrum in my stories. In my first novel, Bay of Blood, a world-renowned painter is not murdered because of envy or money – the usual tropes – but because of past failings, shall we say. In my current work-in-progress, the main murderee is killed because of his renunciation of money, his anti-greed. My novels are police procedurals. They deliver detective work, forensic skill, and plenty of dead ends and red herrings. The reader rides a wave of doubt as they try to identify the perps. That’s what crime readers want: a challenging ride, an intricate yet plausible mind teaser. Yet, at the same time, they can find a deeply buried ethical message. For me, all novels - even whodunits - should have an existential core.

I’m not a psychologist or mind reader. However, I’m going to take a stab at answering why people find murder mysteries so fascinating. Violent unexpected death is horrendous. People cannot or do not want to face it directly. One way of handling murder, one way of coming to terms with the worst of all human crimes, is to watch someone solve it. “Look, they caught the bastard.”
Perhaps crime fiction is soothing. It conquers evil, and somehow puts the world in a positive light. Good guys win, bad guys go to jail. On the flip side, I could be barking up the wrong tree. Maybe people just want blood and guts.


A.M. Potter writes detective fiction, which he calls North Noir, aka Canuck Noir. You know what he says? “Leave your Scandinavian Noir in the sauna. It’s time for North Noir.” On the bio side, he grew up in Nova Scotia and Boston. He's traveled the world, working dozens of jobs. Like any good detective, he knows both sides of the thin blue line. He's used numerous aliases (for non-nefarious purposes, of course). You’ll have to take his word on that.
Author of the Detective Eva Naslund Series | First book: Bay of Blood, Black Opal Books, March 2019


Jim Jackson said...

Good luck with your debut novel.

I am confused a bit by how a police procedural can be "noir" - perhaps you could expand on that?

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

congratulations on your debut! I read (and write) mysteries for the puzzle-solving aspect, which usually includes a body.

Grace Topping said...

Interesting post, A.M. I read traditional mysteries because I enjoy following an amateur sleuth trying to solve the puzzle of who did it. Good luck with your writing.

Kait said...

Thanks for visiting, A.M. Interesting post. I read and write murder mysteries because I like following the twists and turns and then to see it all come right in the end - unlike the real world.

Best of luck and congratulations on your debut.

Gloria Alden said...

Congratulations on your debut novel. Like Margaret I read and write mysteries for the puzzle solving aspect.

amp said...

Hi Jim. Sorry about my tardy reply. I was on the road. Right, it's confusing. According to one definition of crime noir, the protagonist can't be a cop, but has to be an amateur sleuth. I play with a different definition of noir, one that considers it to be tone or background. The narrative thrust of my books is police work and the main characters are police detectives, so I think of the books as police procedurals. However, I try to layer in hard-boiled noir elements like cynical characters. In the end, though, I aim for a police procedural. I want cops to solve a whodunit.