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

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

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.

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 June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

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.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Starting a New Book

I print out all my written work to save.

Last week I edited my last chapter of book eight in my Catherine Jewell mystery series – Amaryllis for Phyllis. I still need to reformat it into book size, do more editing and change a few things while I wait for my step-granddaughter to create the cover for it. I have already put in the beginning pages – title page, the page listing my previous books, the third page for dedication and acknowledgements, and a page of characters in my book leaving out those who aren’t as important. My readers like having a list of the characters with a short bit on who they are. When this is posted, I’ll probably already have some chapters in the book form.
Groundhogs can be quite annoying.

I have started writing notes and ideas for my next book. Each of my books reflects a month starting with June. My new book will reflect February. I need to come up with a title for it, but that may take some time. There’s Groundhog’s Day in February, but I can’t see how that would work in a title or even in a mystery. The Murder of Punxsutawney Phil? My mysteries don’t take place in Pennsylvania and animals can never be killed in cozies.

Of course, there’s Valentine’s Day, too, and I’m playing with that thought. I’m planning a Valentine’s Day dinner for a charity at a local restaurant. Could someone be murdered there? How?  There would be lots of people there which could provide more possible suspects.

I can’t see how Lincoln’s birthday would fit in, either, or Washington’s birthday, although I have a character named Lincoln –Linc for short. Almost every one of my titles has a flower in it which goes along with the month my book takes place in. The flowers can’t be one flowering during the month and would have to be one from a greenhouse.

As for the murder, I’ve used a garden fork, a shovel, poison, guns, an axe, a large candleholder, the antlers of a deer, and a few other ways I can’t think of right now, especially since I’ve used various methods in my short stories, too.  I like to introduce myself to people as the little, old, white-haired woman who murders people. You should see the raised eyebrows with that introduction.

I’m making a list of returning characters and some new ones I’ll bring in, and working on who will be the victim, and who the murderer will be. I have a vague idea about how the person will be murdered, but haven’t quite figured out the details yet. I write bios for each new character I bring in, and some returning characters are going to play a more important part than they have in previous books. One has been a character of interest. He’s a bit of a recluse with problems. I don’t write much of a bio for the victim or the murderer since they will never return. And, of course, my two main characters, Catherine Jewell and Police Chief John MacDougal will be back with major parts, too.
The Davis  family first appeared in this book.

I had planned to take a break from writing another Catherine Jewell mystery and return to working on a middle-grade book I’ve started, but then the night I started the reformatting of Amaryllis for Phyllis, I lay awake with the first chapter of the next Catherine Jewell mystery popping into my head and the voice of an adorable little girl, Hannah Davis, who readers of my books have loved. So what else can I do but start the new book?

Anyone who can help me with the title, I’d appreciate any suggestions. Or a new way to murder someone I haven’t used yet. I guess it wouldn’t matter if I use something I’ve used before if it was done in a different way. I do have a wonderful book on poisons. 

Happy Groundhog’s Day

If you’re a writer, how do you go about starting new books?

If you’re a reader what kinds of murder do you not like to read about?


Jim Jackson said...

Congratulations on nearing the completing of book eight & I love your pictures.

When starting a new novel, I have the inciting incident in mind before I start and book and after that the characters take the story where they will.

~ Jim

Ann G said...

I love the idea of a Valentine's murder for February - not so good at thinking of titles, though. What flowers are seasonal? I'm afraid I don't know.

The return of favourite characters is the best part of a cozy series and I'm looking forward to reading more about the Davis family - especially Hannah and Teddy.

I'm currently dilly-dallying over starting a new novel. Mine usually begin with a "What if?" question, or they might be sparked by an idea for a specific character.

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, that's what I've done. I am bringing in two characters that I've had who will play important roles in this book. One will be a suspect in the murder. I just have to figure out which one of the two new characters will be murdered and how it will be done.

Ann, I think the Davis family was a real plus for my books when I brought them in, especially Hannah and Teddy. It's why I wrote two short stories using Hannah and Teddy. I'll probably write more with them and Caleb, their ghost friend and put it into an anthology eventually.

I hope you stop dilly-dallying over this new novel. I miss reading your work.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Congratulations on your latest book! In Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery Arboretum winter aconite (bulbs with yellow flowers, not wolfsbane), crocus sieberii, and snowdrops are all in bloom February 15th-25th.

My short stories germinate from a vivid image, my novels are set in a building undergoing renovation and the plot and characters grow from the setting.

KM Rockwood said...

I admire your dedication. Your series is coming along quite nicely.

I have a few projects going, and always have trouble deciding which one to work on. There are so many ideas swirling around in my head--it's the actually getting them down that gives me grief!

Warren Bull said...

Kudos for keeping your series going. The covers are gorgeous. When I start a new book, like you and Jim, I have a piece of the writing in mind.

Gloria Alden said...

Thanks, Margaret. It's warmer in Cincinnati, then up here. Even at my sister's house 50 miles south of me the forsythia comes out at least a week or more than where I live. I'm concedering the flowers you mentioned for my March book. How many novels have you written about this building undergoing renovation. It's good to have a setting that is familiar to readers.

KM, I'm behind on this book only because of all that has gone on over the past 8 to 10 months.
I am a little concerned that starting the new book while still reformatting the last book and doing a final editing might get me confused.

Thanks, Warren. I have to give my step-granddaughter credit for that. Even though sometimes I have to wait and wait for them and my daughter - her stepmother - thinks I should give up and get someone else, I won't. I love her work too much.

Shari Randall said...

What wonderful satisfaction you must feel when you look at all your books! A Valentine's Day setting for the new one sounds full of possibility.
Isn't it hard to just decide on one idea to work on? I always have so many going through my mind.

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, yes it is, especially when I look at my beautiful covers.

I have a middle-grade historical/ghost book I started based on the history of Hiram, Ohio where I taught. I want to get back to it, but then there's this latest book wanting to get written as well as my weekly blog. Like you, I have so many ideas going through my mind.
Also, I want to get back to writing some poetry. I haven't written a new poem in months.

Julie Tollefson said...

Book 8 - What a sense of accomplishment!

Regarding the question of how to murder your next victim, I was at a writers' workshop once when Nancy Pickard said something that made a huge impression on me. She said something like she was at a point in her writing career where she didn't really care how the victim died, she just wanted them dead so she could get on with her story. She said it much more eloquently, though.

Gloria Alden said...

Julie, Nancy Pickard spoke at an event my local SinC writers put on, too. She was fantastic. What she said made sense. I probably have used poison a little more often than anything else, but it's hard to remember since I write short stories, too.

As for getting 8 books done - actually 9 if you consider my middle-grade book - it's because the little town I've created and the characters in it seem to be a part of my life. And I run into people who keep asking when is your next book coming out. As for murdering someone, I actually sometimes get teary eyed doing it.