Reblog: THE PLOT THICKENS! Or, Your Suspicions May Be True

[Today I’m reblogging mystery author Helen Currie Foster’s post for Ink-Stained Wretches—about how we’re influenced by our genes, our experiences, our parenting, our parents’ parenting . . . fascinating stuff—and how writers might use what science is uncovering on the topic.]


by Helen Currie Foster

Okay—Mom Genes is such a great title, it couldn’t not be used. But Abigail Tucker’s new book of that title doesn’t focus just on moms. Tucker, a New York Times best-selling science writer, dives deep into the burgeoning science examining parental behavior—genetic? hormonal? learned?

And you writers may find it a rich source for potential plots.

Moms will recognize Tucker’s description of the weird sensation of being kidnapped, of feeling like victims of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Not feeling quite yourself? In the first of a series of jaw-dropping recent research findings, Tucker reports, “Our children colonize our lungs, spleens, kidneys, thyroids, skin”—and brains. Far from being that familiar image of the one-way street, with mother’s blood, nutrients and even cells flowing into the fetus, the fetus also sends its own fetal cells into the mother. It’s “fetal microchimerism.” No wonder a burgeoning mom feels…she’s changed.

Tucker doesn’t dodge painful issues of maternal and paternal favoritism. “Some 80 percent of us allegedly … prefer one of our children to the others, and more than half of parents demonstrate so-called differential treatment toward various progeny.” The most striking predictor? “Moms appear to dote on their cutest kids.” Apparently “the components of infant attractiveness…are rigid and globally constant,” including big eyes, large forehead, small chin, and chubby cheeks. Tucker says this preference extends to nearly all baby mammals.

To read the rest of this post click here.

Legal Issues for Authors

Get caught with one’s proverbial pants down? Heaven forfend!

For the secret of keeping one’s suspenders taut, read on.

Sisters in Crime

Have you ever wondered if someone could steal your manuscript? Have you ever badmouthed someone in your book and wondered if they could sue you? Have you ever wondered if it’s safe to say your character drank a Coke or a Lone Star Beer?

Manning Wolfe Manning Wolfe

These are the questions that Manning Wolfe will cuss and discuss. She will also provide information on copyright, use of photos, ISBN’s, tax obligations, and more.  Lots of handouts will be given to allow a more in-depth study, and as a reminder of the tips she gives in her talk.  Don’t get caught with your proverbial pants down! Come out and learn the nuts and bolts of legal issues for authors!  Hope to see you there.

Manning Wolfe is a writer, attorney, and consultant residing in Austin. All of her education and career that has as its base the use of the written word, organization of ideas, and research.

Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas Chaptermeets monthly on…

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