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

August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Suppose, hypothetically, I'm so sensitive to fleeting emotions that too much socialization is painful. Suppose my sensitivity makes me more aware of the emotions and motives of others so I write great character-driven novels. Then, I'd probably end up like Emily Dickinson, published after death, if at all. That's not one of my goals for my writing.

Suppose I enjoy writing because I can withdraw to a space of my own and work free of office politics and free of having to pay attention to information that bores me. Okay, so that gets the first draft done but I'd better learn about the politics of agents and publishing houses, and I'd better pay attention to what captures public attention.

If the energy that drives my writing comes from a desire for revenge or to express my anger without being arrested, then, no matter how well I disguise these desires, someone will ask me about them.

Writing is private but, if I want to make my work public, it seems I have to pay attention to a whole lot of rules. It's unlikely I'll get away with breaking every rule.

If I want an agent, I should include a hook within the first one or two pages. My protagonist needs to be larger than life. I should write line after line of brilliant prose in a unique voice. Okay, did that!

Do I have an internet presence? Can I name specific groups who'll be interested in my work? For instance, if my main character is a landscaper, gardeners will be interested. If my protagonist is a cook, anyone who cooks at home or for a living could be interested. Some writers feature cats. Some writers become known for the area about which they write whether it's a city or a state. What groups do I belong to--a doctor has colleagues, a member of Sisters in Crime has a network of reader-writers.

When a my writing is accepted for publication, the importance of being out there and having a recognizable name becomes even more vital. Can I get a copy to a reviewer--preferably one who's going to give me a great review? Now is the time to remind all the groups I've been cultivating that they want to buy my book.

Once my book is published, I'll stagger from bookstore to bookstore with copies that I'll sign for whoever shows up to listen to me talk about something I've worked on for one, five, ten years. Writers have bookmarks and postcards printed to advertise their work. Writers with a book that features a landscaper protagonist might hand out a bag containing a miniature set of garden tools. Any publicity is good publicity. Maybe I could arrange to participate in a sex scandal or a messy divorce--just kidding.

I've known midlist authors who do research and put a tremendous effort into the writing of their novels who are dropped by their publishers because they don't sell enough copies. They're never going to be bestsellers like John Grisham. So how can I increase the number of people reading my books?

I could make myself a brand. Janet Evanovich has Stephanie Plum. (Evanovich if a memorable last name). Agatha Christie had Hercule Poirot and Miss Marples. I learned in a business class for medical personnel that brands come from companies that meet expectations. A customer goes to McDonalds expecting a cheeseburger and that's what they get with the taste they recognize from the thousands of other cheeseburgers they've consumed. From a medical standpoint, I guess that means if I go into hospital to have my appendix out, that's what I expect. I don't want a savvy resident to recognize that I have a brain tumor and remove that as well. It is possible for a business person to exceed expectations but that's tricky. Consumers know the brand and they're not sure if change is good. For many people food just doesn't taste the same without the triglycerides.

I don't like the idea of becoming a salesperson. I'd probably have a problem selling water to someone lost in the desert. However, I've heard of authors of several published books talk about taking over their product. They decide how their latest book is to be published and they resurrect all their books that are out of print. Then, they market their books to loyal readers and to new readers they catch at conferences, bookstores, through the web, and by any other means that draws attention to their name and product. They are entrepreneurs.

To be an entrepreneur, that's something I wouldn't mind achieving. Entrepreneurs have moved society from banging out hieroglyphics on pieces of stone to printing to downloading on kindle. I just hope I can keep up with where story-telling is going.


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