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

January Interviews: Mary Miley (1/4), Micki Browning (1/11), Mary Lawrence (1/18), Nupur Tustin (1/25), and Tony Healey (1/28).

January Saturday Guest Bloggers: 1/7-Nancy Herriman and 1/14-Sharon Marchisello. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 1/21 Margaret S. Hamilton, and blogging on 1/31, E. B. Davis.

Margaret S. Hamilton was one of ten finalist in the Southern Writers Magazine's short story contest for "Once A Kappa," which was published in their Summer 2016 issue.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Sourthern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

Jim Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Writing Metaphor in 750 Pieces

by Julie Tollefson

Last weekend, while we waited for Ice-pocalypse (a no-show at our house in the end), my husband pulled out a jigsaw puzzle. We put on music, opened bottles of our favorite local brew, and began piecing those 750 tiny bits into an idyllic rural scene.

And that’s when I learned something new about my husband of 25 years. We have completely different approaches to solving puzzles.

He examines each piece and tries to determine where it fits in the big picture. “Is this part of the turkey, do you think? It’s got to be the turkey, right?” I glance at the piece he waves in front of me, but if it’s part of a turkey, it’s not a part I can identify. Instead, I search for shapes and colors, my focus so completely on these details that when we step away for the night, I’m surprised to see a picture taking shape. (I shouldn’t be. That’s the goal, after all. Sky, trees, and a bit of turkey—nice!)

Sometimes (often?), my approach to writing closely resembles my puzzle methodology. I concentrate so totally on developing a scene or a bit of dialog or a character’s actions that I lose the bigger narrative picture. I have to metaphorically step back and take stock of where the story is and where it needs to go.

The details are important, very important, but they are part of a whole and each one has to work hard to fit into that whole.

Things that make a gloomy day less gloomy.
Oh, and one other classic lesson reinforced during Ice-pocalypse weekend applies to both puzzles and writing: Sometimes, you just have to step away (maybe read a good book by the fire, sip a good whiskey) and come back to the problem with fresh eyes.

What's the most surprising thing you've learned recently? How do you spend your time when Mother Nature threatens?