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.


Monday, November 21, 2011

The Five Year Pay-Off

I pulled the envelope from the mailbox reading the name of the publisher and the address as I walked into the house. The envelope contained a check. I sat down at my desk and turned it over examining it. My first check—payment for writing fiction.

Calling myself a writer before I was published made me feel like a poser. Almost two years ago, a publisher printed my work, and the poser died. With the check in hand, I assessed my feelings. I felt more solid, as if my words were equal to other writers’ words, my stories just as good and my identity—a full-fledged bonafide paid fiction writer—authentic. An industry insider had validated my writing career pursuit. My dreams were not a Walter Mittyish farce.

Let Heaven’s saxophones wail.

Okay, I’ll admit that the check was only for twenty dollars, and I spent at least twenty hours perfecting my short story over weeks, bringing my pay to one dollar per hour, a rate that I once made babysitting forty-five years ago. But hey, it was better than nothing, and other writers assure me (much to my dismay) that twenty dollars for a short story is high praise and good pay.

I opened my printer and placed the check on the glass, pressed color copy and watched as a replica of the check emerged from the machine. Having had children who received many certificates over the years from sports, scouts and school, I now have an inventory of document frames in my basement. I went downstairs, grabbed one, washed it off, polishing the glass to a gleam, before I placed the copy in the frame and then hung it over my desk. 

When my husband came home, I showed him my check and the framed copy. He laughed. Damn it all. But twenty bucks are twenty bucks—enough to buy a tasty bottle of champagne.

You know what I did that night, and I didn’t share.


Pauline Alldred said...

Congratulations on the check. Writers need encouragement in today's climate. Sometimes, especially when trying a new direction, writers seem too focused on the criticism they receive.

Warren Bull said...

It is important to savor the good times. The years waiting and improving your skills led to your success.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Pauline and Warren-Shorts don't pay much, but I have to admit that at least I've gotten a lot of satisfaction out of writing them. And for those who haven't been published in the novel market, it's a great way to make progress. Getting a little check in the mail is nice too!

Gloria Alden said...

I'll be happy when I get paid for a published short story - one goes to a charity (The Guppy anthology, FISH TALES, and for the other I got 5 copies of the magazine. But I have received money for my poetry, the largest check $25.00 and the smallest $5.00 and a coupon for a Dairy Queen so I know the feeling of getting paid, anything at all. Gloria Alden

E. B. Davis said...

Hey-a coupon for Dairy Queen is a nice tip, Gloria! Glad to know that you also got paid, and I'm sure that you will in the short story market too. We all just have to keep plugging away.

Ricky Bush said...

I know how you feel and feel your glee. I wrote tons of blues articles and music reviews for years and got paid in contributor copies, or I got to keep the CD that I reviewed. One day, I received a check for an article that I'd written about a veteran blues harmonica player. I felt vindicated. Wasn't much of a check, but I was a paid writer.

E. B. Davis said...

It's great hearing everyone's story about finally getting paid. No, the compensation isn't much,it's what it symbolizes. It took Janet Evanovich decades before she started making real money. The rest is history. Thanks for dropping by Ricky.

Kaye George said...

My first check was for $7.50. I made a color copy of it! Congrats!!!

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Kaye. Was that for a short story?

Warren Bull said...

The last two acceptances I had paid $0.00. Of course you have to double that to get the "grand total."

E. B. Davis said...

In five shorts published, this one was the only one that paid. So, I empathize, Warren.