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

Our June author interviews: Fish Out of Water Authors--6/7, Susan Van Kirk--6/14, Renee Patrick--6/21, and Joanne Guidoccio--6/28.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in June: 6/3--Geoffrey Mehl, 6/10--Joan Leotta. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 6/17--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 6/24--Kait Carson.


“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.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In a Funk

Many are the stories of talented artists, including writers, who produce wonderful work but are not discovered until after their (often premature) death. Van Gough is a classic example. Now revered, during Van Gough’s lifetime he sold only one painting before he shot himself. John Kennedy Toole, whose Confederacy of Dunces won the 1981Pulitzer Prize 11 years after his suicide, is a 20th century example. With so many called to try to provide the world with their artistic works and so few chosen, it’s not surprising artists are often in a funk, although few are driven to commit suicide.

While artist communities provide peer-to-peer support, regardless of what they say, deep down most artists want public recognition (with the possible exception of academics for whom peer acknowledgement may be sufficient). Recognition comes only after the artist has sold his work.

Now, lest you try to read between the lines that this blog post is a silent cry for help before I do myself in, let me assure you it’s not. I am in a funk, but I’m not even close to slitting my wrists. I sent out my first fifteen queries for Bad Policy and received six “no thanks” and nine silence-is-not-golden responses.

I know preservation is the key, so I’m rewriting the query and will send out the next batch soon. In the meantime, I’m editing Cabin Fever—the next in the series—and working on my next non-fiction project and also the first draft of a novel in a new series. I have plenty on my plate, but my enthusiasm for any of these projects is currently a bit low.

As I reflect on this writing business forty plus years after torturing my lab rat in Psychology 101, I do recognize the power of intermittent random reinforcement. I trained my rat to pound away on his little lever to “earn” a few drops of water. At first he got regular positive feedback. Five lever hits and a drop of water would appear. Then I trained him to do more and more work before he got his positive reinforcement. Finally, I hooked him with the all powerful random intermittent reinforcement. The poor rat became a nervous wreck; his fur became patchy and he tried all sorts of aberrant behaviors because he thought perhaps it was them that triggered his water reward. But through it all he pounded on his lever.

I think I generated some bad karma getting my A in Psych 101 through rat torture, and this query business is payback time. Really, when you think of it, aren’t writers going through the query process pretty similar to that rat of mine? Every once in a while an agent asks for a partial or says something nice (or has a new twist on the query rejection that you interpret as a bit of a pat on the back). In the meantime you work away, hoping for a miracle.

Well, on that positive note, I have some more keys on my keyboard to pound. Never know when someone might send me an encouraging note.

~ Jim

3 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

Yes, I remember marketing A TRAVEL GUIDE TO MURDER two years ago--rejection is hard to accept--but only if you accept it as rejection. I look at it as creating my backlist and having manuscripts on hand for the time when marketing that high concept break-through book will be so all consuming that I'll have little time to write.

Janet Evanovich is the perfect example. She's dusted off every manuscript she's ever written and now they're all best sellers. She finally created her brand. Those who scoff are jealous.

If this one doesn't sell, the next one will. And then, by having this book to pop out, you'll have time to market and taste success without scrambling.

Keep querying and tweaking your letter, it only takes one acceptance, and only succumb to meloncholy if you can use the mood in your writing. Otherwise, it's a waste.

I know, consoling words are easy, but that doesn't mean they are any less true.

Warren Bull said...

When I met with a fourth grade class and told them it took seven years to go from idea to published novel, Abraham Lincoln for the Defense, one student asked, "Why didn't you quit?" I answered, "I did quit. Several times. I just started back every time after I quit.

Pauline Alldred said...

I hate that low enthusiasm time when I wonder whether I should spend my time more profitably. I hate the days when I decide anything I had published was a fluke,proof that even editors and publishers make mistakes, and that my present writing is trite and boring.

But then I force myself to open my WIP and before I know it, I'm immersed in an imaginary world. Besides, if I wasn't writing, I could be doing something harmful, criminal, or fattening.