If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.
WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.
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, "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.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Dale Deserves a Good Death
Dale is probably dead. In my novel-in-progress (insert fresh level of hell), Dale has been missing for only a few weeks. In reality, however, he’s been missing and presumed dead for five years. It’s not that Dale doesn’t deserve more attention. He does, and I think of him often. It’s just that it took four and a half years and three major edits to figure out why he’s dead (or probably dead) and how it happened (if it happened). Sound familiar?
The idea and motivation for Black Mountain Light surprised me. I am often a poet first, non-fiction essayist second, and short story writer third. An aspiring novelist is somewhere in betwixt all the competing genre warfare that is my mental distraction of writing. It is this chaotic juggling of projects that both blesses and curses the mind.
Part NaNoWriMo self-dare, part enviro-political rant, part faintly-disguised memoir, the first rush of writing was blissful and carefree and novel. As the story unfolded over endless café marathons (of course), it was clear that someone was going to die. When it ended up being Dale, the main character’s newly met cousin, I was glad to have figured out who it was going to be. It was easy at first to commit those lines and possibly strike a character from existence in the midst of a long, involved story, but I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. More importantly, I didn’t realize what I was getting my characters into.
Having him go missing granted me time for consideration, didn’t it? As you might expect, that was a mistake, hoping that the answers for “how and why” would eventually come to me in my delay. A few did, but in disappointing ways. It was probably this frustration that forced me to push and pull the story from the back burner so often over the last few years.
I’m sorry, Dale, but other projects got in the way. Or, I let them get in the way. Yes, I fully understand that if you’re going to “fully commit” to your side of the deal that you deserve a decent, believable cause for suddenly going missing. Something unique. As little cliché as possible. Some perfect falling of tragic dominos. Something frustrating and conflict-ridden. Properly motivated. All the good stuff. A well-earned shedding of blood. Where I fled in avoidance of your situation was other writing. Things that felt easier. Less like an impossible literary Rubik’s Cube that your situation was becoming.
Luckily, it was in my retreat to other projects that led me to a satisfying plot hinge. The novel was originally birthed from a non-fiction piece I’d written, entitled “Looking for ghosts, finding mountaintop removal.” By the time I was finishing a draft of the novel, my mind was too far removed from my original inspiration. I finally revisited that piece with some edits. The emotion I’d felt six years ago, the energy driving me, was obviously different, rooted in real experiences and frustration of the time. This reexamination helped me better empathize with Dale’s life, which he deserves. The “how and why” became clear to me.
If I can suggest to fellow writers anything useful from this continuing experience, it would be to challenge yourself to juggle a few projects at a time. While wrestling a number of writing projects may feel chaotic, don’t be too quick to dismiss your bouncing around as a form of energetic, but ultimately lazy, avoidance. Epiphany may be waiting in that intimidating mix of writing genres vying for your attention. A line from a poem may scream a novel’s worth of back-story. A novel project might be better served as a handful of short stories. A piece of flash fiction might seed volumes of stories. In my case, a personal non-fiction piece morphed into a novel I simply must complete. Dale deserves better.
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Teaser for Black Mountain Light. Alder Henry is pulled between a fatherless post-modern Appalachian life and an obsession with the alluring folkloric mysteries of the mountain home he barely knows. Alder stumbles upon the depressed coal town of Zenith, Virginia, when tracking details of the elusive "Black Mountain Lights" phenomenon along the border of Virginia and Kentucky. What he discovers is an odd community suffering a slow cultural death at the hands of unrestrained mountaintop removal mining practices. His unwitting journey leads him on a path of pains in self-discovery, of meaningful love, blind violence, and family reconnection.