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

Our July author interviews: Ellen Byerrum (7/5), Day of the Dark anthology authors (7/12 and 7/19), and Nancy Cole Silverman (7/26).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in July: 7/1--Fran Stewart, and 7/8--Nancy Cole Silverman. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 7/15--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/22--Kait Carson, and 7/29--E. B. Davis.

“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.”

In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

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. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

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 October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.


Friday, July 21, 2017

How To Fly Through the Airport  by Warren Bull

Getting to my recent cruise in the Baltic Sea my wife and I breezed through the US airport. In Holland we squeezed into a mob of people and then trudged along a serpentine path with long line of travelers waiting to go through immigration. Back in the United States we went back into a line. Fortunately the US Customs agents were great. It reminded me about the programs designed for travelers who want to get through airports in the United States without having to perform a partial striptease and wait anxiously, like a character in a Hitchcock film, while the departure time gets closer and closer as the seconds slip away.

Global Entry: It’s the most expensive program, at $100 for five years, but it comes with the best benefits, i.e. you can avoid the long lines at passport control and customs when entering the United States. You can also use TSA PreCheck, Nexus, and Sentri (all explained below). The process of applying for Global Entry, which is administered by US Customs and Border Protection, also tends to be faster than the other programs.

Who’s eligible: US citizens and permanent residents, and citizens of Germany, the Netherlands, Panama, South Korea, and Mexico. But only Americans can get the PreCheck benefits.

TSA PreCheck: TSA stands for the Transportation Security Administration, the people who screen you and your carry-on baggage. PreCheck gives you access to a special TSA security line in most US airports on flights operated by most US airlines. (check the link given below for details.) That line is generally shorter, faster, and you don’t have to remove your shoes or take anything out of your bag. Be prepared to put your call phone in the carry on luggage that gets scanned. It costs $85 for five years, slightly less than Global Entry but without the other benefits. Applying for PreCheck also tends to take longer.
Who’s eligible: US citizens and permanent residents.

Nexus: If you want to save money and aren’t in a rush give this option serious consideration. It costs just $50 for five years and comes with all the same benefits as Global Entry and PreCheck. On the down side, the application process tends to take several months and can only be completed in a few cities near the US-Canada border. Nexus is designed to expedite crossing onto either side, with special lanes for cars and special kiosks at passport control in both US and Canadian airports while Global Entry only works when you cross into the United States.
Who’s eligible: US and Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Sentri: This program expedites crossing from Mexico into the US. It’s similar to Nexus, including the Global Entry, PreCheck, and Nexus benefits, but costs more (roughly $122.25 for five years).
Who’s eligible: US citizens and permanent residents.

For Global Entry you apply on the Global Online Enrollment System. If you haven’t created a GOES account before—and you probably haven’t—then that’s the first thing to do. Once you have an account, log in. The process will take about one hour unless you type as badly as I do.  You can apply for several of the programs listed above. Make sure to select “Global Entry” when filling out your application. The form is lengthy and should take you about a half hour to complete. Most of the questions are straightforward, if you have your passport and driver’s license on hand and a decent memory. The trickiest part requires you to detail your employment and residency history for the past five years.

After completing the questions you will be asked for credit card or bank account information to pay $100. There is no refund if you’re rejected. But the fee covers you for five years, if you are approved. Some credit cards, generally those designed for frequent fliers and corporate travelers, will refund your Global Entry or PreCheck fee.

Speaking of rejection, the government says it will reject anyone who has been convicted of a crime, has violated customs or immigration regulations, or is under investigation by law enforcement. You will also be rejected if you provide false information on your application, so spend some time getting that right. Of course, customs and border control agents also have discretion to reject anyone they declare isn’t a “low risk.”

The time it take for your application to be reviewed can generally be measured in days and not weeks. You will receive an email when your application is reviewed and have to log back into GOES to read the message. If everything went well, it will say that you have been conditionally approved, pending an in-person interview.

Then you schedule an interview at one of available offices. The website give you the locations possible.

Wait times vary widely by location. Some locations will accept walk-ins from people who were conditionally approved online. To save yourself a needless trip, try searching online for people’s experience with that specific enrollment center.

The interview is easy. You may be asked a few basic questions about how you travel, your employment status, etc. But you wouldn’t have gotten this far in the process if you weren’t already destined for a rubber stamp.

At the end of the interview, if you’re approved, the officer is required to take your fingerprints. You cannot enroll without completing this step.

At the end of the interview point, enjoy the benefits of PreCheck. While waiting for the invention of the transporter or the magical creation of floo powder, one of these options should help you avoid long lines.