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Who is the Best Female Villain?

It’s my favorite time of year and I wanted to do something Halloweeny (it’s an actual word, an adjective-who knew!) for this week’s poll. Naturally, I started think of the best villains. Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface . . . notice a theme here?

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The most common villains are from horror movies. If you do a Google search, you’ll also get plenty of other villains, from gangsters to terrorists, but they’re almost all male. If you search specifically for female villains, they’re mostly from fairy tale, Disney, super hero and comics movies.

What’s going on here? I don’t think we as a culture shy away from portraying women as villains, but it does seem that they aren’t taken as seriously as their male counterparts. So this week I’m asking who you think is the best (realistic) female villain. Feel free to add your own if your pick isn’t represented!

 

The results of last week’s polls:

Which situation would you least like to find yourself in?
* On the side of an empty stretch of highway miles from anything with a broken down vehicle and no cell reception. 45.45%  (5 votes)  
* Any location where I was isolated and by myself with no way to communicate with others. 45.45%  (5 votes)  
* Spending a night in a derelict house believed to be haunted, all by yourself but with a working cell phone. 9.09%  (1 votes)  
* A ski lodge cut off from communicating with the outside world by a blizzard. 0%  (0 votes)  

* An Island resort cut off from communicating with the mainland due to unknown circumstances. 0%  (0 votes) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ Introverts, Interaction, Networking & Community

Writers need to write.

It’s simple enough. Rather basic, really. No big surprise there. But when you look in greater detail at what successful writers do, there’s more to it than just writing (or writing well).

Writers need to network. They need a #WritingCommunity.

Image result for lone wolfWait. What? But aren’t we all shy? Lone wolves doing our own thing, fearful of leaving our safe writing spots and interaction and (gasp) conversation. With other people?!?!

I’m what you’d call a severe introvert. I wouldn’t say I’m shy, I’ve seemed to have outgrown that throughout the years, but I’m horrible at small talk. Bad at starting conversations with strangers. I’ve read that people like being asked questions about themselves, but I can’t seem to do that, either. Sometimes, when people ask me questions, it feels like the Inquisition. It seems cruel to do that to someone else.

Isn’t this the way you’re supposed to be as a writer?

Image result for writer's digest conventionThen what are all the conventions about? Big gatherings of people – who write – all across America, held for the purpose of meeting, talking, networking. How does this work, exactly? And how do we learn to step out of our comfort zone to join the chaos  nightmare  fun?

Are there enough writers who are extroverts? Do they carry the conversation for all of us, or are they the only ones getting networking done? I need a large dose of courage, stat!

Next month I’m attending my first conference. Just me and several hundred strangers. That’s not uncomfortable at all. Gulp. 😨

I’ve read up on what I’m supposed to do. I’ve checked Twitter to see who’s posting and what’s trending about the event. In this case, very little indeed. So there’s really no one to follow, no one to ‘pre-meet’ before the event from behind the safety of an electronic device, no way to integrate myself into a ‘social’ group beforehand. Unless I make it happen.

Twitter is the #1 recommendation I’ve seen for introverts trying to prepare for writer events. Since tweeting takes very little effort, I’m going to try building my ‘pack’, see if anyone connects with me if I try throwing myself out there. If anyone reading this is going to the 2018 New England Crime Bake, (and is not opposed to a little pre-conference convo), send me an email (AuthorShannonHollinger@gmail.com) or a message in the comment section below.

If anyone’s been to some of these events before, and has some advice, I’d love to hear it!

Image result for lone wolfIn the meantime, I’m researching members of the panel, familiarizing myself with everyone and everything that I  can so I don’t get struck mum and wind up regretting that I didn’t say a word to anyone the entire time. This lone wolf is ready for action, prepared for stranger danger and ready to say some words! (I think hope am!)

 

 

Poll: Which Scenario Do You Find More Unsettling?

For this week’s poll, I’d like to know which of the following scenarios you’d find more unsettling – as in, which would you least like to find yourself in?

The results of last week’s poll were split 25% for each option. While I loved all the books, and found them all eerie and suspenseful, I chose Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. To me, the pages of that book ooze with sinister suspense. I’ve reread it several times, and have never been disappointed!

#Thriller in the Woods #Book Signing and #Author Event

thrillerinwoods1-e1539282021408.jpgI’m fortunate enough to live in an area with an incredible indie bookstore and some fantastic local authors who are kind enough to indulge the local readership with awesome events.

When I heard that White Birch Books was sponsoring “Thriller in the Woods: A Night of Conversation with Lisa Gardner and Lisa Unger,” I knew I couldn’t miss it.

Lisa Gardner launches her book tour in North Conway, NH each year. She’s a great speaker, super personable, and pens thrillers guaranteed to keep you on the edge thrillerinwoods.jpgof your seat! I try to attend any event where she’s featured, because it’s sure to be a blast! This time, the event was held at Theater in the Woods, and she brought a friend!!!

Lisa Gardner and Lisa Unger are both internationally best selling authors. They both write suspenseful thrillers. They’re both named Lisa. Put them in a room together and let the adventure begin!

thrillerinwoods2The event was in celebration of the release of Lisa Unger’s newest novel, Under My Skin, and the paperback release of Lisa Gardner’s novel, Look For Me.

The two authors had an incredibly interesting discussion touching on everything from their different writing processes, where they get their ideas, how they perform their research, how they got their start, and so much more!

Both women are wonderfully dynamic, and the conversation flowed with the natural ease of two old friends having a casual chat. I really enjoy attending book signings and author talks, and have met my fair share of bestselling authors in the process – I cannot stress how genuinely friendly and engaging these ladies are! If you get the chance to see either of them speak, do it! You won’t regret it! #TeamLisa

 

 

 

Poll: Which book did you find more suspenseful?

For this week’s poll, I’d love to know which of the following popular, mid-twentieth century novels you found most suspenseful. If you haven’t read them, no worries, I want to know that, too!

You may notice that all have been made into movies, some multiple times – because the movies vary so widely in style (ie. The Haunting of Hill House aka The Haunting 1963 vs 1999 versions vs 2018 TV series), please don’t base your vote on a film version.

 

Update from the last poll:

poll results 1

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas ~ #YA #Mystery #BookReview

40670509It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA book, and after my love affair with the Pretty Little Liars series, I was read for a ‘little’ something, and monsters turned out to be that thing.

This book deals with the usual teenage angst of family issues, feeling like you don’t belong, not fitting in, and feeling like you have to compromise yourself to satisfy the demands of peer pressure, among other issues, yet it takes it one step further with a murder, which creates a mystery.

The plots seems plausible enough. The writing is good, the characters well-developed, and the suspense keeps the pages turning. There was enough angst to satisfy my YA craving. It was good, but not quite everything I was hoping for. (I think my standards for this one may have been impossibly high.) 4 stars.