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

Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.


“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.

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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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

guest blog

Meet Leslie Wheeler, Author, and Coordinator of the Speakers Bureau for the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

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If you need a speaker for your organization, Leslie will be happy to help.

Writing Through Loss

When my husband died in the fall of 2005, I couldn’t write for several months. I didn’t go up to my third floor study, but stayed at his desk on the second floor, dealing with the “business” part of death. When I finally ventured to my study, it was to write the words I would speak at his memorial service. It felt wonderful to sit at my computer, engaging in an activity that’s so much a part of who I am. But I didn’t remain long. I was too overwhelmed by everything that needed to be done, including getting our son through his first year of high school without his father. Since I wasn’t writing, I stopped attending the weekly critique group, consisting of four Sisters in Crime and one Brother, which I’d participated in for more than a decade.

The only writing-related activities I could handle were book events, many of them arranged by the Sisters in Crime/New England Speakers’ Bureau. My second mystery novel, Murder at Gettysburg, had been published the previous spring, and I wanted to publicize it. As my husband’s condition worsened, I had to cancel some events, but others I went ahead with, though not without misgivings. Waiting for the audience to arrive at a Boston area library, while my husband was hospitalized, I thought to myself. “What on earth am I doing here? How am I going to get through this?” Surprisingly, the event turned out to be one of my best. I was able to really connect with my audience, and that connection was just what I needed. It took me out of myself and my own worries and reminded me, that despite present and future difficulties, I was and would continue to be a writer.

But I still wasn’t writing, although I had two partially completed manuscripts, one a stand-alone suspense novel, the other, the sequel to Murder at Gettysburg. I’d read through one, then the other, only to decide that each posed problems that seemed insurmountable in my fractured state of mind. Finally, I found a less daunting project. While my husband dozed through one of his last chemotherapy treatments, I’d jotted notes for a short story. After his death, I went back to those scribblings and slowly crafted “Skystalker,” which was eventually published in a Level Best Books’ anthology.

Writing that story helped. So did re-connecting with my critique group. Realizing that I was too stressed to get myself to meetings, they came to me. One November night, they showed up at my house with a potluck dinner. They not only brought all the food, but plastic and paper goods to save me the trouble of cleanup. A few days later, I attended the New England Crime Bake Conference, where I was again reminded how supportive the mystery writing community is, as both old friends and people I barely knew approached me with expressions of sympathy and concern.

But one thing was still missing: a novel-length project to get me through the months ahead. As I pondered which manuscript to go back to, it dawned on me that the series mystery, while rougher and less complete than the suspense novel, was the better choice. I’d started it when my husband was well enough for us to go on research trips as a family. We’d visited places like Mystic Seaport, which provided the inspiration for the fictional Spouters Point Maritime Museum in the novel. Thus the series mystery was associated with happier times than the suspense novel, which I’d worked on during the last, increasingly difficult, year of my husband’s life.

So in the early spring of 2006, I returned to the novel that became Murder at Spouters Point.

Now that book, dedicated to my husband, will be published in October, 2010, five years and one month, after his passing. To me, it’s a testimony to the power of the written word to help one through hard times, but also to the generosity of my fellow mystery writers who reached out to me at a time of need.

An award-winning author of books about American history and biographies, Leslie Wheeler now writes the Miranda Lewis “living history” mystery series. Titles include Murder at Plimoth Plantation and Murder at Gettysburg. The third book in the series, Murder at Spouters Point, will be published in October, 2010. Leslie’s stories have appeared in four anthologies published by Level Best Books: Windchill, Seasmoke, Still Waters, and Deadfall. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, serving as Speakers’ Bureau Coordinator for the New England Chapter. She is also a founding member of the New England Crime Bake Committee, and chair of the Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction Award Committee. Visit her website at www.lesliewheeler.com

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8 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

I think that people often throw themselves into work when under stress. When I was going through a stressful time, I started my first novel. The stress didn't help the effort, but it made me determined to finish it, which I did. I doubt if it will ever be published since it was my "practice" novel, but finishing that ms was an accomplishment I could control in a situation in which I had little control. Perhaps that is the reason people rely on work during stressful times.

Ramona said...

Leslie, I am sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your experiences here. I think people cope with grief in so many ways, and as a short story artist, I'm glad to know writing one brought comfort to you during such a hard time.

I am attending Crime Bake this November. I hope we can meet there!

Pat Remick said...

Leslie, congrats on your blog debut and thank you for so courageously sharing your story. And we're all so glad you're writing again!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Glad to hear that you are writing again. I enjoy both writing and reading mystery fiction. Wishing you every success with your new novel

MaxWriter said...

Thank you for sharing your journey, Leslie. And I'm glad, in a selfish way, that you are writing again, because I very much enjoy reading your work. I look forward to Spouter's Point.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Leslie,
Loss is tough, no matter how you cut it. I applaud your willingness to face each day with grace. Even when you believed you were just barely getting by emotionally, I was touched by the support from your writing community. God bless you, and wishing you excellent sales with your upcoming release. Great cover, BTW.
Maggie, a fellow Five Star author

leslie-wheeler said...

Thanks to everyone who left comments.
It's additional testimony to how supportive the mystery writing community is!

All best to you!

Leslie

AliasMo said...

Leslie, congratulations on the long-awaited Mystic/Spouters Point book! Sometimes grief can freeze you up at the keyboard, but I think the subconscious is still working at it and when the time is right, it's time to write again. I'm glad you stuck with it and I can't wait to read the result.
Mo