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 Karen Borelli.


“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, January 5, 2011

J. E. Seymour Interview

J.E. Seymour lives in a small town in seacoast NH and has had short stories published in three anthologies of crime fiction by New England writers; “Windchill,” “Deadfall,” and “Quarry;” in Thriller UK Magazine, and in numerous ezines, including Shots, Mouth Full of Bullets, Beat to a Pulp and Shred of Evidence. J.E.’s first novel, Lead Poisoning was released by Mainly Murder Press on November 1st, 2010. J.E. is the markets coordinator for the Short Mystery Fiction Society and a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Her website can be located at http://jeseymour.com/.

EBD: I finished your novel, Lead Poisoning, and I was devastated, sad, and thoughtful. Is that what you wanted your readers to feel?

JES: I was definitely going for thoughtful. I want people to think outside the box, to see the world as not just black and white, but shades of gray. It is a sad book, in the end, there are no happy endings for Kevin. I never really understood that I was writing Noir.

EBD: Your book provides commentary on the Vietnam War. Does the government take advantage of certain wayward youth?

JES: Well, times have changed. I’m not sure somebody like Kevin would even get into the Marines now. But… the military is still an option for a lot of kids without any way to pay for college, kids who need a way out. And that would be taking advantage of disadvantaged kids. Please don’t think that I am bashing the military or our troops. I fully support our troops and I think there are a lot of people who go into the military to serve their country, not as a job of last resort. But for Kevin, the military straightened him out; it did what it was supposed to do. He just fell back into his old life when he came home. I think the Vietnam War is certainly a touchstone for my generation, even though I’m on the young end of that generation. It’s something that shaped our lives.

EBD: You write so well that your words disappear. Did you want to be ruthless?

JES: Thank you! I strive to write so that nothing takes the reader out of the story. I find that annoying in my own reading, to have mistakes in research or POV that drag you out of that fictitious world. Ruthless? I know I worked very hard on this book, and my editor told me several times how clean it was. It needed very little in the way of editing. So yes, ruthless in my pursuit of good clean writing!

EBD: This isn’t a conventional mystery. It’s a portrait of a man, a killer, and yet also a husband and a father. He doesn’t seem so evil. You were sympathetic in your treatment of this killer. Why?

JES: Because I think everyone has good and bad in them. There’s a cliché for you! But really, this character came to me twenty-five years ago and he was a little scary. I had to come up with redeeming qualities. It wasn’t hard to find those qualities, because he really doesn’t want to be a bad guy. He does his best to live his life in the way he thinks is right. It is possible to have characters with no good in them at all, but they’re cardboard, caricatures. Real people are not like that. I’ve often asked myself if I’d be afraid of Kevin if I met him in a dark alley, and the answer is no. There’s no reason to be afraid of him. He’s not going to shoot random people. He’s not a psychopath. He does his job, that’s it. Now, if you threaten his kids or his freedom, that’s another story. Then you can be afraid.

EBD: I was interested how you portrayed the killer’s sons. In your research, did you find any evidence of criminal traits passed down to the next generation genetically or did the research show social conditioning determined criminal tendencies?

JES: To tell you the truth, I didn’t research that all that much. I know alcoholism is an inherited trait, and I know about the warrior gene, but I do think it’s a combination of nature and nurture, like everything else. I have three kids, and watching them grow up was a lot of my research.

EBD: How long have you written?

JES: I’ve been writing all my life. I put books together when I was nine years old, doing the illustrations and the writing and using a stapler to bind them. I’ve had teachers who always encouraged me, and I love making up stories. I never sent out fiction though, until about fifteen years ago. It took a long time for me to be willing to accept that there might be rejection, and there was an awful lot of it.

EBD: Is this your first published novel?

JES: Yes. I’ve had lots of short stories and a bit of non-fiction published. This book was rejected by 80 agents before I went to small presses. It doesn’t fit into standard categories.

EBD: How do you like your publisher? Can we know the terms of the contract?

JES: My publisher has been very supportive. It’s a small press, so there are limitations on what they do. I do all my own marketing aside from their website. I believe interested readers can obtain a copy of the contract directly from Mainly Murder Press. I know I got a copy of it before making the decision to sign with them. They are a standard royalty paying publisher.

EBD: Is there a sequel to this book?

JES: Sequel and prequels! This is the third novel I finished, so the other two are prequels. I hope to pitch the first one –STRESS FRACTURES– to my publisher next. They want to see a certain sales figure before they’ll consider another book from me. I also have the second one finished –FROSTBITE– and a fourth one nearly done –ARRHYTHMIA.

EBD: What are you doing to promote Lead Poisoning?

JES: I’m doing a lot of hand selling. Everywhere I go, I try to mention the book. I always have some on hand, and I’ve sold quite a few that way. I sold every one I had with me at a recent writer’s conference. I’m doing bookstore appearances, one in November (where they sold out of the thirty copies they had on hand,) two in January, one in February. I ‘m also a member of the Sisters in Crime New England speakers bureau, which puts me in local libraries. I sent out numerous review copies and have several nice reviews out there. I also have a website – http://jeseymour.com/ and a facebook page.

EBD: What’s next for J. E. Seymour?

JES: First a Kindle version of Lead Poisoning, then hopefully get STRESS FRACTURES published. Lots of short stories in the works, I just sent a Kevin story out to a Christmas Noir contest. He comes off a lot darker in that story, but it’s from earlier in his life. I have other characters I write about as well, mostly for short stories, but I hope to develop a novel out of one of those. Everyone keeps asking for a horsey novel, because horses are what I do in real life.

Thank you!

And thank you J.E. Seymour for visiting WWK. I got my copy of Lead Poisoning, an atypical mystery, exploring the life of a killer, from Amazon.  Pick up a copy. J.E.’s writing is a pleasure to read.

16 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Another excellent interview.

JoySeymour said...

Thanks for having me!

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Warren.

J.E.- Thanks for the interview. Have you started on the next book?

Ramona said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've had Lead Poisoning on my TBR stack since Crime Bake. This is such a good interview, I'm moving it to the top. Best of luck with the sequel!

(WWK: I've had trouble posting via Blogger the last couple of days. Frustrating!)

JoySeymour said...

E.B. - Stress Fractures is pretty much ready to go, just a couple of minor plot points to tweak. My publisher won't even look at it yet though. I spent the whole day yesterday trying to upload Lead Poisoning to kindle and gave up. Repeated formatting errors. (As far as I can tell, they're not on my end!) I will have two short stories up on Kindle by tonight, uploaded them last night.

E. B. Davis said...

Ramona-I look to see if there are any problem reports on Blogger.com. That certainly doesn't make me happy!

J. E.-I did an interview with Evelyn David before Christmas. They wrote a detailed report on uploading to various formats. Check it out. Don't know if it will help, but it might. I know every venue has its issues. Glad to know the next book is nearly ready.

Stacy Juba (who I interview later this month) has a facebook book marketing page that may help your sales. She's at www.stacyjuba.com. Talk to her about more Internet marketing. She also a SinC member.

E. B. Davis said...

Ramona-I checked and there haven't been any problem reports. However, I've had problems as well and when I sign out of google and back in, the problems seem to go away. So, perhaps this is a google issue and not a Blogger issue. Whatever ID you are using, try signing out and then in again. Hope it helps for WWK's sake!

Pauline Alldred said...

Very interesting interview. I have to read LEAD POISONING. There are so many questions about the Vietnam War and the men and women who fought in it that haven't been answered. I'm always fascinated by how authors develop their characters, especially the bad guys who don't receive as much attention as protagonists do in workshops. Good luck with your next book.

Rae Francoeur said...

This is an excellent interview. Great questions and interesting answers. Joy, I didn't know you made your own books when you were young. It would be fun for everyone in the writers group (when we can all get together again) to bring in one of their early works!
Rae

E. B. Davis said...

J.E. I think I saw a post about Kindle readers that scan the text and automatically put it into the correct format. Problem is that it is expensive to subscribe to. However, most publishers already subscribe. So is there anyway your publisher could post for you--even shorts since you are one of "their" authors and anything you self-publish would enhance their book sales?

Ricky Bush said...

Yeah, thanks for another great interview. I love reading about how authors are gettin' it done. Good luck Joy. Here's hoping that your publish kicks into gear and takes a look at your new project--soon.

JoySeymour said...

Sat down this afternoon and got Lead Poisoning up at Smashwords. Smashwords does all formats including mobi (kindle.) It was easier than kindle and it went up faster. I'm still waiting for the short stories I uploaded to kindle last night to show up there.

E. B. Davis said...

Congratulations, Joy, the more venues all the better for sales. I've downloaded shorts and anthologies from Smashwords with great success, so your fans will be glad you posted there. I've never had any problems with Smashwords and have even downloaded novels in pdf. (Okay-so I then printed them out double sided at home-you can't take the book out of the girl!)

Polly said...

Boy, this sounds like a terrific book. Right up my alley. It will be on my to-be-ordered list. Thanks, Elaine, for another great interview and to J.E. Seymour for writing the book.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks for dropping by Polly. Interviewing new authors has expanded my reading list. I love to see their techniques and plots. Enjoying them all, and J. E.'s book was flawlessly written.

jrlindermuth said...

Congratulations on the book. Enjoyed the interview.