The Winter Not-So Blues: Reading, Writing, and Photographs

Sexy Suspense

Off The Grid will be touring around in February and the first part of March on a review tour.

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Come join the party at The Romance Reviews for a chance to win great giveaways including books and gift certificates, play games and meet authors. The Grand Prize is a $100 gift card.

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On the homefront, January was filled with books and writing. The sun is rising earlier and setting later. But there is still much writing to be done and many books to be read. The weekends are for reading the paper, omfort food, and shoveling snow. It is for digging in and perserving against harsh conditions. At least, in my neck of the woods. Although to be fair, the conditions have been rather pleasant for January.

Over my Saturday morning cup of tea I open the Weekender section of my local paper and head to the Books page. I check out the best sellers in hardcover and paperback. Then I read the article of the week which is usually an interview with an author. I love learning where other writers get their ideas, what their process looks like, and I love it when they share their opinions. On occasion they are forced to defend their writing.

One such interesting article stayed with me. It was an interview with Val McDermid, a crime novelist who addressed the notion of female crime novelists and the voilent subject matter of their books. Or more to the point, the suggestion that because she is female, it is somehow wrong for her to write about such matters. These questions arose, perhaps in part, due to the backlash against the overwhelming number of faceless female victims in books in which their only role is to be beaten, violated, and then hacked to pieces.

What I found interesting, however, was her perspective on the psychology of females writing crime fiction.

“It’s because of the way society conditions us growing up. We’re told that there are bad men out there who will hurt us given half the chance. We are brought up to imagine our victimhood even before it happens to us. I don’t think there is a woman alive who hasn’t walked down a street late at night and heard footsteps, who hasn’t immediately thought about the terrible things that can happen to her. So when we come to this subject (violence), we have  imagined it already. We have lived it in our heads. Men don’t grow up with that sense of themselves in the world.”

I know know I have walked and listened and wondered. Now I’m wondering how much my gender affects my writing, perhaps not when it comes to my vicitms but when it comes to the villains in my story. To this point, they are one hundred percent male. All dominant personalities in positions of power with violent tendancies. Not that women can’t be all those things. But maybe the things I’ve been conditioned to fear and protect myself against manifest themselves in these characters. Something to think about…and maybe think about mixing it up a little!

How about you? Any book recommendations with regards to crime fiction? Have you read any books with a fascinating female villain?

TheSkeletonRoad

Set in McDermid’s hometown of Edinburgh, The Skeleton Road centres on a Cold Case investigation. A skeleton is discovered, hidden at the top of a soon-to-be renovated Gothic building. Detective Karen Pirie is tasked with identifying the decades-old bones and soon finds herself unearthing a series of past conflicts, false identities and secrets that have long been buried.

This month I’m happy to be visiting the Laughing Ladies Literary Book Club who’ve chosen OFF THE GRID for their January read. I’ve had a blast oming up with discussion questions and anticipating more questions about the characters and the setting and the inspiration behind the book. I’m also hard at work writing the third book in my Aspen Lake Series. Mike and Grace’s is coming along. For me, the hard part of writing is getting down the first draft. I love revising. Taking the bare bones of a story and turning it into something someone might want to read someday.

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I love taking photos. I’m not very good at it and definitely fall in the amateur department. But I decided to take part in a photo challenge this year. You can read more about it here. There is a prompts to help you out every day. Here’s a sampling of mine and you can find me on Instagram @karyngoodauthor.

Prompt: Circle So...me in a circle.

Prompt: Circle
So…me in a circle.

Prompt: Morning My desk!

Prompt: Morning
My desk!

Hope the weather is being kind to you. And if you’re being subjected to nasty weather and storms I hope you have plenty of good books to keep you entertained.

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