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

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows.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

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.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Crystal Screen

Dare I look into the future of story-telling? My iPhone doesn’t have an app for that. Information on publishers, agents, Amazon, and large bookstores lands hourly in my mail box. No one knows for sure whether future generations will want to read fiction or buy books with covers and pages. I sit at my computer spinning tales without the certainty of a market for my stories. No wonder people who don’t write think writers are weird. I could point out that farmers plant crops that nature might kill and they raise livestock subject to premature death.

Bestselling authors with loyal followers can be sure people will buy their next book but, if it doesn’t meet expectations, these same authors could become yesterday’s news.

My grandchildren tune into technology almost from birth. I used to think my children could’ve been born with a phone attached to their ears. My grandchildren could’ve been born with access to the Internet. Does that mean they will look for stories and dramas that can be downloaded onto their PC’s? My daughter has a bookcase that contains her favorite books. She also has an eReader so she can download her favorite authors and books recommended by her friends at any time and in any place.

So, back to the future question. How long will printed books continue to be produced? Trees die so authors can give birth to books. Paper is not easy to store and will eventually disintegrate. I’m not writing as a young rebel seeking to distinguish her generation from those proceeding. I love holding a book in my hands and opening it to the first page. But, I have to ask myself, are books and bookcases fading into nostalgic anachronism?

I’m taking a course with C.J. Lyons, author of URGENT CARE, WARNING SIGNS, and LIFELINES, on escaping the slushpile with the right query and pitch. I continue to search for an agent and a publisher willing to take a risk on a new mystery writer. Agents have become the gatekeepers of the publishing world. How soon before people rebel against their power to decide what fiction reaches the public? Writers are already displaying their work on the Internet and letting the public decide what it is willing to pay for. Could I say for certain all these writers are not as good as writers selected by agents?

Sure, there are logistic problems such as how to direct the public to an author’s latest fiction offering. There could be an app for new fiction. Amazon doesn’t have to own the monopoly for writers who want to publish first chapters online. Groups of writers could team up to seek attention on the Internet. Agents, publishers and bookstore owners could create sites. This is America. New enterprises would find a way to make money.

I’ve met agents and publishers who love books. Most agents and publishers take up the profession because they’re interested in books. But the old publishing model isn’t working efficiently in today’s world. Writers are expected to have a business plan for promoting their books. It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to see writers starting out as entrepreneurs even as they sit down to type the first words of their first drafts.

I continue to follow traditional routes to obtain an agent and publisher. I can’t help noticing the process is not egalitarian. Famous people publish memoirs that might be less interesting than those of any Tom, Dick, or Harry. Some authors have connections while others write first and then seek in the dark to enter the publishing world.

There’s a lot of useless information on the internet and it’s up to the researcher to sift through the good and the bad. EReaders could help with this. Maybe, in the future, readers will sift through writing that hasn’t been prescreened by an authority, and decide what they want to read.

Pauline

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