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

Our May author interviews: Marla Cooper-5/3, Rhys Bowen-5/10, Cindy Brown-5/17, Martha Reed-5/24, Sherry Harris--5/31.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in May--Paty Jager-5/6 and Maren Anderson-5/13. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 5/20--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 5/27--Kait Carson. E. B. Davis blogs this month on 5/30.


“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, February 5, 2013

Taking the Plunge



I’m calling this message “Taking the Plunge” for three reasons:

First, E.B. Davis brought the writers at WWK a challenge from Carolyn Mulford to answer a series of questions about our work in a blog hop called “The Next Big Thing.” Please see more information about E.B.’s writing on this site, and read about Carolyn’s soon to be published mystery novel, Show Me the Murder, by clicking on http://carolynmulford.com.

Second, on February 2 and 3, 2013, the Polar Plunge was held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a location close to E.B.’s heart.

And third, in this month of Polar Plunges, I’m taking my own plunge about which I am very excited: my first publication of a short story in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s online literary journal, the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable at http://bwgwritersroundtable.com.

I appreciate this opportunity to tell people a little about my story by answering these questions.

1. What is the title of your story?

Nectar of the Gods

2. Where did the idea come from for the story?

Two sources: (1) a business dinner/reception I attended where I learned a great deal about wines and mixed drinks; and (2) a sermon by Pastor John Derrick of Newberry College speculating on how the wine at the Canaan wedding feast might taste.

3. What genre does your story come under?

Literary or mainstream fiction with inspirational elements that hints at an unexpected romance.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Andie McDowell, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, or Reese Witherspoon for the wine buyer who grew up in the South, but holds her own with the New York wine vendors.

Dennis Quaid, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Firth, or Luke Wilson for the minister.  

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your story?

When a jaded wine buyer and engaging minister meet at a party, they come to appreciate how wine, like memories, is sweetest when savored and shared.

6. Is your story self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

Nectar of the Gods is the February 2013 featured story in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s online literary journal, the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable at http://bwgwritersroundtable.com. The issue also contains my “Top Ten List of Favorite Romantic Musicals,” short stories by Catcher Ames and Ralph Hieb, and an interview with Caridad Piniero.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft was written in a few hours; however, it was vetted over time by my writers’ group, and then stayed hidden away for more than year until I read that the Bethlehem Writers Group was accepting stories for February 2013 with the theme “Dead Valentine.”

8. What other stories would you compare this story to within your genre?

It would be lovely to be favorably compared with the short stories written by the other members of WWK.

In addition, I love the short stories written by Dana Cameron (http://www.danacameron.com) and Kaye George (http://www.kayegeorge.com), and hope my characters are as well drawn and intriguing as theirs.

Also this year, I have discovered two authors through my association with the Guppies chapter of Sisters in Crime, B.K. Stevens (http://www.bkstevensmysteries.com) and Carol L. Wright (http://www.carollwright.com). I would be most pleased if compared to their stories “Thea’s First Husband,” by B.K. Stevens and published by Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine in June 2012, and “A Christmas in Nantucket,” by Carol L. Wright and available on her website.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this story?

In 2010, the Kate Spade calendar had a funny saying for each month. This story reflected the January sentiment: "The effect of one cocktail was never enough to affect her fine taste in men."

10. What else about your story might pique the reader's interest?

My characters are displaced Southerners who make many references to their heritage.

I want to thank Carolyn and E.B. for asking us to participate in this blog hop.

Now, please enjoy with me the answers to the questions by fellow WWK member Gloria Alden, whose new novel is The Blue Rose.


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1. What is the working title of your book?

The Blue Rose

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

In the beginning, two sisters and I got together to brain storm ideas for a mystery. Since we’re all gardeners, we decided it would have a gardening theme. Within several months, I took over the writing. Which one of us had the idea for a blue rose? I don’t remember now.  By the way a true blue rose has never been propagated since all roses with blue in their name are really lavender.

3. What genre does your book come under?

Probably cozy would best fit it, but some might call it a traditional mystery.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I watch very little TV and don’t go to movies often. Plus, I don’t always remember names. So I Googled it and then I asked members of my book club, and came up with the name of Jennifer Aniston for Catherine Jewell. Meg Ryan might fit, too. Of course, they’d have to cut their hair short. For the man, the closest I could find was a picture of Anthony Michael Hall for John MacDougal, the police chief, because he looked to be about the right age and had light eyebrows and eyelashes. John is a red head with hair fading to gray. Both of my main characters are 40.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Since many of her friends and co-workers become suspects in the murder of Augustus Chatterton when they attend a reception that he’s throwing for the first blue rose he claims he propagated, Catherine Jewell, botanist for Elmwood Gardens, is drawn into the investigation to prove their innocence, although John MacDougal, the police chief of Portage Falls, believes there’s a strong chance the murderer is among them because each of them have secrets.

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

I self-published it under CreateSpace, Smashwords and Kindle. It came out right before Christmas, and I just had a very successful book launch for it. So far I’ve had many positive comments from those who have read it.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I don’t remember now since I started it so long ago. Since I was teaching full time, I think it had to be over a year at least. Then, of course, I was editing and revising it over the years, too,  as well as working on a sequel, Daylilies for Emily’s Garden.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

If you’re discussing a gardening theme, there’s Rosemary Harris, but her books take place in New England. Susan Wittig Albert’s books take place in Texas and Joyce and Jim Lavene wrote a gardening series that took place in North Carolina. Mine takes place in Northeast Ohio. As for style and voice, I have read literally thousands of mysteries, plus a wide variety of other books so who am I most like? Probably a little of every author I’ve ever read and enjoyed has influenced me in some way. Although I could never channel Jane Langton, who I admire greatly, some of the subtle humor in my book is probably because of her.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I started college in my early forties as a non-traditional student. While there I took many writing and literature classes in addition to the curriculum I followed for my degree in elementary education. My first English Professor, Vivian Pemberton, gave me much praise and we became friends. Plus getting positive comments in red on my papers from other professors on writing assignments, gave me the encouragement I needed to pursue a writing career in addition to my teaching career. I also loved writing so much I got a Master’s in English which further set me on this path. As for who or what inspired me to write this book, my sister, Elaine, thought we should write a gardening mystery since we both loved mysteries and gardening.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

People tell me that my characters are diverse, well defined and  a little quirky which they like. Also, everyone who has read it so far was surprised by the murderer.  I did leave clues (and some red herrings as well). I do have a wide variety of suspects each with a reason to want Augustus Chatterton dead. But why another person is also murdered, who has no connection to him, is puzzling. 

10 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

I've read your short story, Paula, and Gloria's novel, The Blue Rose. I liked both of them very much and hope that each of you publishes more of your work in the future.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, E.B.

I think Paula's story was excellent and I hope she writes and publishes more.

Cindy Blackburn said...

Your short story is excellent, Paula. I've never written a short story, but you inspire me! Thanks

Kara Cerise said...

I thought Nectar of the Gods was excellent, Paula! What is your process for writing the first draft of a short story? Do you create an outline or prefer to write spontaneously?

Gloria, I'm in the process of reading The Blue Rose and suspect everyone at this point. Did you always know who the murderer would be or did he/she change as you wrote your book?

I also hope you both continue to write and publish!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thank you so much, E.B., Gloria, Cindy, and Kara for your kind words. I'm so appreciative when a story can find its way to readers who enjoy it.

E.B., I appreciate so much all the help you've given me in the Guppy Short Story Critique group. You always have good suggestions and are an excellent short story writer.

Gloria, I'm looking forward to starting The Blue Rose. It has such an interesting premise. Reading your answers to the questions made me all the more eager to dive into your novel!

Cindy, you inspire me. With three Cueball Mysteries already published, I know you'll have a long, successful writing career.

Kara, thank you. I don't write from a structured outline, but with a short story, I know where I want it to begin and end, and who the principal players and their conflicts are. A lot of my short stories come from life incidents that I hear or observe, then expand upon by thinking about ramifications. One I'm working on now takes two different events and puts them together, which provides unique opportunities! I write spontaneously for the first draft. Sometimes, a conversation between characters might take an unexpected turn, but that hasn't yet caused me to change the course of the story. Beginnings have been subject to revision once I'm into the situation. The most important thing is to be true to the characters and their goals.

I hope that's a coherent answer.

How lovely to reach the end of a long work day and get to respond to such terrific questions and comments. Thank you all.

Kaye George said...

How lovely to see the mention you gave me, Paula! Congratulations on the publication!!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thanks, Kaye. I do love your short stories and appreciate so much your encouragement and support!

Gloria Alden said...

Kara, I knew from the beginning. I always write a bio of my murderer so I'll understand their thinking and why they went this way.

Paula, from what I've heard from people who finished it, they had a hard time figuring out who the murderer was even though they realized afterwards that I did leave clues - of course, lots of red herrings, too. :-)

Gloria Alden said...

Just thought of something else. Sometimes in writing the bio, I get to liking my murderer and hate to make them do it. :-)

Paula Gail Benson said...

Gloria, I'm glad to hear someone else has that problem! I guess it comes from trying to see the good in people!