If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, 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.

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 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.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Short Stuff by Kait Carson

When I first started writing, the concept of Kait Carson writer meant one thing. Kait Carson, novelist. Somehow, in my fevered writer’s brain, I expected to have a novel spring full blown from my typewriter (yes, that long ago) like Athena from Zeus’s skull. Join me in raucous laughter.

Instead, it took closer to ten years to write the first book that was publishable, and we’d moved from typewriters (my trusty Selectric II sits beside me on the floor, I still use it) to a Compaq computer with the very modern five-and-a-half-inch floppy disk and ultimately my HP laptop. So, what was I doing in the meantime? Writing short.

No that wasn’t selling either, but I was learning my craft, polishing my skill, hooking up with editors, discovering all about head hopping (and why it’s a major no no) and generally, how to write a story someone would want to read. In those ten years, I outlined and wrote Zoned for Murder, only back then, it was a romance with a mystery twist. Not quite ready for prime time. That’s when I discovered Sisters in Crime and Guppies. It’s also when I discovered the Trues and short story writing for profit.

While Zoned for Murder was being cut from five hundred pages to three hundred and decisions were being made, I was learning to write short. And selling. To the True Confessions, True Story, and True Romance Magazines. Confidence builders. Yes, definitely. Craft builders, most definitely. If you can tell a story in five thousand words you can tell a story in ninety thousand words. In fact, I often write a short, not for publication, but for an outline of sorts, to see if the story has legs. If it holds my interest through the five to seven thousand words it takes to tell the short, it’s a go. If I finish it and say, “Meh,” well, I either put it aside and see if I can salvage it for an anthology (a story without novel legs need not be a bad short—it may just be complete in short form) or it goes into the dreaded File 13.

What’s the point of all of this? This is the first time in the past four years that I am not contracted for a new novel. I’m not looking at it as being at loose ends. Instead, I’m looking at it as an opportunity to get back in touch with my short story roots. Writing shorts is fun. They begin and end in the same day, writing wise. The polishing can take longer than a day, but the writing can happen in one sitting. That makes them enormously fun to write. Their shorter arc brings quicker resolution and their shorter length often brings quicker responses from editors and publishers. On a good day, I can write three or four shorts, often with the same characters, polish and submit them, and feel as if I have accomplished quite a lot. It’s a good day’s work, and the variety holds my interest too.

On the novel front, I’m working on the next Catherine Swope novel, and I’m loving where the outline is taking me. I’m getting excited to start writing later next month when I have a good grasp of the story. In the meantime, I’m working on a couple of Woman’s World mysteries (I’m proud to announce I’ve just sold one) and I’m working on two or three True Story shorts that yes, are based on true stories.

Writers, what do you do between novels? Readers, are you surprised that novelists often moonlight?

Kait will be at Booth 34 the Venice Book Fair today. If you are in the Venice, Florida area, please stop by. She will be there between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Members of the Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime will be manning (or sistering) the tent during the event from 9 to 3. We hope to see you there.


Jim Jackson said...


I rarely write short stories -- BUT -- in between the last and next Seamus McCree novels, I have a novella and short story (with our Tina Whittle) published in the meantime. Sometimes those stories just need a different way to get out!

~ Jim

KM Rockwood said...

I love short stories! Both reading them and writing them.

I can't say as I've ever made much money with them, like you do,only a little here and there, but I have had a fair number published. I like to respond to submissions calls for themed anthologies, etc, since it establishes a starting point. And I enjoy sharing my writing with an audience. I aim at one short story a month, regardless of whether I am working on a longer work or not (I'm almost always working on something longer.)

Margaret Turkevich said...

I submitted three stories in January and swore I wouldn't write another one until I finished revisions on a longer work.

But I'm getting itchy, waiting for the next anthology prompt, thinking of setting and characters.

Shari Randall said...

I love short stories - writing and reading them. But I am amazed at your speed - three or four a day?? Wow! The last short story I did took a year of moments stolen from time I should have been working on the novel. But the story wouldn't let me go and I'm so happy that my anthology editor liked it as much as I did. Plus being in an anthology is social and fun - a nice change for us reclusive writer types.

Warren Bull said...

I mostly write short stories, although not as quickly as you do. For me short stories fit a lot of a-day-in-the-life ideas. And I don't make money no matter what I write.

Tina said...

Like Jim said, we have a story out that we co-wrote, and his Wolf's Echo Press has an anthology with our novellas. I did A LOT of extra writing for the novel I'm working on (the sixth in a series) but it was mainly character exploration that won't end up in the finished product. But it did make a nice little story that my readers say they enjoyed, and the process proved helpful to me as a writer.

Kait said...

@Jim Be careful, they can be addictive. Well said that sometimes stories just need a different way to get out!

@KM, I admire your dedication. I try for one a month, it's always on my to do list, but alas, it never happens except when I'm between books. Since my watchword is discipline this year, I'm going to take a leaf from your book. Are you on a list for themes anthologies? I would love to find a way to learn of them earlier than I do (usually when I see something on a list that reads, submissions are closing tomorrow!

@Margaret - I tried to warn Jim, you've reinforced the warning. Shorts are addictive! I love reading yours. They have fantastic atmosphere!

@Shari - the speed came from the days when I was writing for the Trues on a regular basis as part of my income. Yep, three or four a day. Depending on the deadline, I'll set them aside for a day or two, or three, then polish and submit. Since the stories were always so different, it was fun. Most of my novel characters had starring roles in one or another True magazine. Anthology shorts take longer for some reason. I don't know why. I think because they are to a set topic, and often because they are mysteries, so the story has a lot to do. They take me a good two to three months to get to the point where I feel they are ready for prime time.

@Warren - making money at writing is relative. I'm not sure I've ever broken even, but the checks are nice :).

@Tina The Wolf's Echo novella has stories from my favorite writers. It's on my Kindle TBR and I want a goodly chunk of time to sit and read (with no interruptions, PLEASE - you listening Karma gods!), I am really looking forward to it. What you are describing doing with your outtakes - yep - exactly. Recycling at it's best. And it's a lovely bonus for your readers.

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, I've written a lot of short stories with at least 7 published or more published. I only write them towards a theme suggested for an anthology and once to a Love is Murder contest with no theme I sent in my short story "Cheating on Your Wife Can Get You Killed" which won the contest and was published in Crime Spree Magazine. Sometimes I also write poems.

Usually when I finish one novel, I start on a new one in my series although this latest one took me longer to write because so much was going on in my life this past year that kept me from writing much, but after finishing my latest book a month ago and while waiting for my
step-granddaughter to come through with a cover, I managed to get my next book half finished.
I can get more writing done in the winter when I'm not busy in the gardens or mowing the lawn, etc.

Grace Topping said...

Kait, I admire your hard work, especially since I know you work long hours at your job. You inspire me!