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

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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 has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Support System

Writing is a lonely business. You have to like sitting by yourself putting words down one after another, developing characters, working through problems with the twists and turns that will finally get you where you are going. I like the solitary aspects of the job. I am happy to spend a morning trying to decide what my protagonist is wearing, or if the bad guy should have facial hair.

While writing is something I do in solitary, it is not something I do alone. Read the acknowledgements of any novel to see how much help the author received from a wide range of experts.

The first thing I discovered when I was part way through my first manuscript was that Emily needed a gun. I found the perfect little hand gun in a pictorial catalog of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. It’s one thing to see a picture of a gun and quite another to handle and fire it. I mentioned it to someone I worked with and he brought me a variety of guns to handle and fire. Later when I needed the kind of gun a man, attempting to be manly, would buy: over priced, over decorated and too heavy. My expert found me the perfect gun. When a fellow writer wished to arm her detective, I invited them both to lunch at my home. He hauled out several weapons he thought would do.

Some of my characters are Quaker, but I am not, so when I needed something very specific, I called my local Meeting and asked if they had an historian. They did, but one Sunday after I attended meeting, most of those attending regaled me with stories and genealogical information. They even took me on a trip round the burial ground to find the graves of the actual people who appeared in my fictional rendition of their lives.

My most recent protagonist is an equine sports psychologist, who rides at the horse sports in which I have taken part. When I sat down to start another Hesta story, I found her client was a polo player. I know very little about polo. I have been to two matches, and read two works of fiction featuring the game, one when I was in Junior High.

So I went on line and found the local polo club, and emailed the man who teaches the juniors.

I am always a bit anxious when I contact someone I don’t know. No one has ever driven me away with whips and scorpions, but I have heard some deafening silence. He wrote back within the day with heaps of information. The only things he knows about me are that I am from the area and I claim to be a writer.

The world is full of wonderful people ready to help.


Pauline Alldred said...

That's true. Many experts are willing to share their knowledge. They prefer that a writer ask for details and get it right rather than wing it and portray their area of expertise in the wrong light.

However, I find I enter into a half-hour argument with myself before I contact an expert. I'm asking a complete stranger for help. Why would they answer me?

Kara Cerise said...

It can be SO difficult to reach out to an unknown person (sometimes even a friend) for information! Thank you for reminding us that there are wonderful people ready to help.

Warren Bull said...

I agree that people are immensely helpful. I think few people get asked about their work and they are likely to feel flattered when someone really listens.

KB said...

The worst thing that ever happened to me when I contacted an expert was that they never replied. No one has ever said "Don't bother me you stupid writer" or even asked me to prove I was a writer.