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

WWK--Better than ever--Look for the return of blogs by Linda Rodriguez! She's back--on 1/4. Watch for our new blogger Tammy Euliano--debuting on 1/17

January Interviews

1/06 Sherry Harris, Absence of Alice

1/13 Jane Willan, Abide with Me

1/20 Kelly Brakenhoff, Dead of Winter Break

1/27 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones

Saturday WWK Bloggers

1/02 V. M. Burns

1/09 Jennifer J. Chow

1/23 Kait Carson

Guest Blogs

1/16 Shea E. Butler

1/30 Gray Basnight


Congratulations to Jennifer J. Chow for garnering a 2021 Lefty Nomination for Best Humorous Mystery Novel. We're crossing our fingers for Jennifer!

Congratulations to two WWK writers. Paula Gail Benson's "Reputation or Soul" and Keenan Powell's "Miss Millie Munz" have been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.

KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!

Margaret S. Hamilton's "Dealing at the Dump" will appear in Cozy Villages of Death Fall 2020.

Margaret S. Hamilton's "Black Market Baby" and Debra H. Goldstein's "Forensic Magic" will appear in Masthead: Best New England Crime Stories Fall 2020.

Two new books for WWK members: Jennifer J. Chow's Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines (look for the interview on WWK on 11/11) and Judy Penz Sheluk's Where There's A Will. Both books will be released on November 10.

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.

Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!

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

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

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.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Speaking of Setting

By Shari Randall

I’ve just returned from Bouchercon, the World Mystery Conference in Dallas, Texas. While there I danced the Cotton Eyed Joe on the same floor as Sandra Brown, saw James Patterson, enjoyed catching up with old friends, had tea presided over by Princess Diana’s chef, and sat on a panel called The Perfect Setting. 

This is the second time I’ve been on a panel discussing setting. Conference planners putting me on a setting panel makes perfect sense to me. The New England setting of my Lobster Shack mystery series is specific. Say “New England” and we all picture Angela Lansbury riding a bike along the waterfront of Cabot Cove. We can see weathered buildings hung with colorful buoys, white churches with tall columns framed by oaks and maples ablaze with orange and garnet leaves. We can hear the ocean, seabirds, and laconic locals. 

I always learn so much from panels and this one was no different. Our moderator, SJ Rozan, provided new insight by talking about the emotional setting of a book, the way the characters react to and interact with the physical location of a story. She pointed out that a setting has not just a physical dimension but also an emotional one. Think of visiting an ice cream parlor. Most of us have good memories of sharing this simple treat with parents or grandparents. This nostalgia is evoked by the setting.

Another thing I learned is that I envy authors who have maps and floor plans in their books. How I delight in seeing an artist’s vision of the setting of a book: Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings, Nether Monkslip in G. M. Malliet’s Max Tudor series, the Art Deco floor plan for one of the stately homes in Agatha Christie’s novels. When I was ten years old, I pondered for hours the floor plan of the train in Murder on the Orient Express.

One of my dreams is having a map in one of my books.

What settings do you enjoy in the books you read? 


Annette said...

I love books with vivid settings. They take me to places I've never been to or, as is the case with Anne and Tony Hillerman's series, back to real places I've visited and miss.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I love maps in books. Currently re-reading Martin Walker's Bruno, Chief of Police series set in the Dordogne. Landscape, historic buildings, ancient cave paintings, and FOOD: truffles and cheeses and wine.

KM Rockwood said...

Setting can be a major character in books. Some authors can evoke a vivid setting with just a few details.

Kait said...

I love maps, being able to follow along with the characters as they encounter significant places in the book, is a huge help. But then, in real life I love maps, too. Settings are significant. MM Kaye has forever influenced my idea of India.

carla said...

I'm always intrigued by the emotional dimension to setting--communicating not just where the character is, but what that means to them. How they feel there.

Warren Bull said...

It is always fun to read books set in places I have been so I can think "I've been there."

Shari Randall said...

Hi Annette, I know what you mean about the Hillermans. My fascination with their area was definitely piqued by their books.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Margaret,
That's another one for my TBR pile!

Hi KM, I wish I could do that!

Hi Kait, Oh, I haven't read those books in ages. We really can travel with books, right? Good writers bring us there.

Hi Carla, This was a new way to approach setting for me. That's why I love conferences and other get togethers with authors. It was good to hear SJ put into words something that I had a very fuzzy understanding about. But when she explained emotional setting, it was a real lightbulb moment.

Hi Warren, so true. There are so many places I'll never get to except in the pages of a book.