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

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door

October Guest Bloggers

10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean

WWK Weekend Bloggers

10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Counting Cards

by Tina Whittle

It was one of those social media things making its rounds on Facebook—share ten things that most people don’t know about you. I mentioned the usual—like being attacked by baboons on an elementary school field trip—but it was the last item that sparked the most conversation.

Once upon a time, I was a semi-professional tarot card reader.

Tarot is often associated with fortune telling, but I practice intuitive tarot, using the cards to engage the subconscious knowing so that it emerges in sudden hunches and gut feelings. This kind of tarot reading can feel a bit like playing hide and seek—sometimes it seems the harder you look, the more elusive your quarry becomes—but this is where my work as a mystery novelist comes in handy. For just like creative writing, tarot is all about creating a narrative

Tarot gives the subconscious a set of pretty pictures to play with, which sometimes lures it out of its hidey-hole. It’s this aspect of reading the cards that I find both most challenging, and therefore, most rewarding. When a reading starts to take shape, it’s the same feeling that happens during my writing when a crucial bit of backstory plugs right into a plot hole, or a previously misunderstood character motivation suddenly shines with clarity. There’s this bright burst of “aha!” followed by an almost effortless falling into place.

Like a good book, each tarot spread has a narrative thread running through the middle, connecting each image to a central theme. My job is to help my clients figure out this narrative for themselves. I interpret the cards, ask questions, make comparisons. But the heavy lifting of the reading is done by the client, not by me. I’m more of a midwife, guiding and encouraging and explaining as the answer to the question on the table starts to become more apparent.

The tarot functions as a tool, a channel, a container for meaning. And most of the time, the answer that bubbles up in response to the seeking isn’t a surprise. My clients already know what they need to know—sometimes they simply need a place to put that knowledge.

As a mystery novelist, I’m often stuck behind a computer making up imaginary scenarios for imaginary people. Tarot pulls me into the real world again, into the company of real people. It keeps me authentic, and it grounds me in the greater human narrative. Even with my skill at making stuff up, I don’t think I could have made up a better second job for myself than reading tarot.

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Tina Whittle writes the Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver mysteries. The sixth book in this Atlanta-based series—Necessary Ends—is available now. Tina is a proud member of Sisters in Crime and has served as both a chapter officer and national board member. Visit her website to follow her on social media, sign up for her newsletter, or read additional scenes and short stories: www.tinawhittle.com.


Annette said...

Fascinating. I never realized what reading Tarot cards was really about. Thanks for enlightening me, Tina!

KM Rockwood said...

I've always been intrigued by tarot card readings, although I never have had one. Thank you for a very informative blog!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Time to dig out my deck of Tarot cards. So interesting!

Grace Topping said...

Interesting perspective on tarot card reading. Thanks, Tina.

Susan said...

Love your connection between story-telling and Tarot cards!

Tina said...

If you've never tried them, it's worth the experiment. You don't have to know a thing about the classical meanings -- just find a deck with images that appeals to you and then play with them. Ask a question and pull one. Pick the one that feels most like your character. Lay out a series and try to connect them with a story. It's fun and very useful to get the creative spark going!

Warren Bull said...

Interesting. Sounds like fun.

Kait said...

Love it! I had the Aquarian deck and it felt very at home. It was lost in a move, and now I think I will have to look for a replacement. The link you make between a reading and storytelling is spot on.