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

Our July author interviews: Ellen Byerrum (7/5), Day of the Dark anthology authors (7/12 and 7/19), and Nancy Cole Silverman (7/26).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in July: 7/1--Fran Stewart, and 7/8--Nancy Cole Silverman. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 7/15--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/22--Kait Carson, and 7/29--E. B. Davis.


“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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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Why I Write Poetry

Today's Salad Bowl Saturdays guest blogger contacted me when we at WWK first solicited guest bloggers. John Brantingham's blog offers a different perspective from most of our bloggers: besides writing fiction, he writes poetry. Not only that, but in my research about John for this paragraph I discovered that last month he became a bone marrow transplant donor. In addition to any questions you might have about his current book, Mann of War, you might ask about his donor experience.

~ Jim
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I started out my professional life as a fiction writer, and that’s how I’ve always thought of myself. This statement always surprises people. I am much more well-known as a poet.

Why am I more well-known as a poet? Publishing poetry is easier than publishing fiction. I don’t think my poet friends like to hear that, but it’s true. With open mics all over the country and feature readings as well, it’s also a lot easier to get your name out there as a poet.

That’s a nice fringe benefit, but it’s not why I write poetry.

I write poetry because I love to write poetry. That’s truly the only reason anyone should do it for a long time, and I’ve been doing it now for more than twenty years. I think, though, that every fiction writer should learn how to write poetry and should practice it at least a little for the same reason that all writers should learn the rules of grammar. Learning to write poetry gives a writer control over sentence and style, and I’d go farther. Writers should learn to write formal poetry.

I had the same problem a lot of writers have when they begin. My sentences rambled with interesting sounding but empty phrases. Sadly, I often still have that problem, but I’ve gotten much better because I write formal poetry.

I can’t ramble when I write a sonnet. Every syllable counts. Connotation matters. Denotation matters. Sound matters. Syllable intensity matters. Word history matters. The habits I foster to write poetry don’t disappear when I turn to prose. Those habits are a part of me now, and I don’t forget them any more than a baseball player forgets muscle memory.

I’m a great believer in formal education. I’m a community college professor and have seen the way that education changes people’s lives, but I am a completely self-taught poet. Learning to write poetry taught me more about fiction than several degrees and years studying fiction ever did.

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John Brantingham is the author of Mann of War (Oak Tree Press) among others. He teaches at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, and his blog can be found at johnbrantingham.blogspot.com.

6 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

John,

Thanks for joining us on Salad Bowl Saturday. It's been years since I wrote poetry, but I found Flash Fiction had a similar salubrious effect for me. It forced me to consider the importance of each and every word -- sometime difficult to keep in mind with a novel of 90,000 words.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I agree with Jim. Testing your ability to use the fewest words is a good exercise for any writer.

So--did donating bone marrow hurt? Can't imagine it didn't. I hope the outcome for the recipient was positive.

Thanks for blogging with us.

Paula Gail Benson said...

John,
Thank you for your insight. I appreciate your words about supporting formal education and using structure to enhance your writing capabilities. Like E.B., I would like to hear about your donor experience. Again, thanks,
Paula

Gloria Alden said...

John, I also write poetry. In fact, I started writing it before I turned to books and short stories. I still write poetry, and agree it is easier to get a poem published than a book or short story. I've never tried sonnets, although I enjoy sonnets by Shakespeare and other poets. Maybe I should try my hand at writing one. It would be a good challenge.

John Brantingham said...

Hi Everyone,

The bone marrow thing wasn't too bad at all. Everyone should do it! I was a little sick for a week and that was about it. I still did my work everyday except for the actual donation day.

Thank you so much for including me on such a wonderful site!

John Brantingham said...

The sonnet thing isn't difficult at all. You just have to approach it with a different set of expectations. Rather than starting off knowing what you're going to say, you have to allow the form to draw the ideas out of you.