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


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


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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Thursday, January 6, 2011

RESEARCH, AGENTS, AND TIME

Blizzard winds blew down the last of the tall, skinny pine trees planted as a hedge eighty years ago beside the house opposite mine. No one was hurt but a chimney died. The tree and the man who planted it survived approximately the same length of time. Not all states remain as long. Since I spend many days gardening, by September I have freckles and a patchwork tan. Now, I look as though I’m a vampire’s favorite meal break. Is the popularity of vampires due partly to their eternal existence?

Since I received an E-nook for Chrtn_171hourglassistmas, I’ve spent more time wondering how soon digital books will replace paper ones. Crowded bookcases and the piles of books and magazines in my house made me fear that I might one day appear on a TV show about hoarders, alienated from their families, who crawl through narrow spaces in search of a bed or toilet. I recall purchasing and carrying two hundred pounds of books at the beginning of each semester. What a joy to download these books instead. The younger generation is hooked almost from birth into apps and keyboards so how long will they want to turn pages and save places in traditional books?

During the last two weeks, I’ve been doing my homework on agents before submitting my novel. After two or three days, the task turned into an interesting learning project. I was reminded of why I pursued an MA in Literature despite people telling me a degree in engineering or business would earn me more money. I saw the genuine interest of several agents in their clients and in fiction. One woman, who graduated at the same time I did, took a job at Little Brown. To think I might have gone the editor-agent route and today have my own slush pile.

clip_image003I learned agents might list mystery as one of the genres that interest them but the mysteries they agent are set in science fiction worlds or are urban fantasies. I was surprised how many writers disappeared after one book, and marveled at the writer who published on his web site that anyone wishing to turn his books into a TV series or a movie should contact his agent. Anyone wishing to make my work into a movie can call me any time. I’ll even let them know the best times to reach me.

All the research reminded me of theses I had to produce, except what I now sought was at my fingertips thanks to the digital age. For my MS degree, I did a meta-analysis of cardiac rehab programs reported in journals stocked in five university libraries. I physically visited each library and destroyed trees by the ton with photo copies of articles I lugged home to read at 3 A.M.

My thesis on American Realism involved carrying books and copying copious amounts of scholarly criticism. Reading the books was fun but scholarly criticism lacked meaning for me. The professor grading my thesis worked hard at teaching me how to write scholarly articles. These articles rely much on third person passive. For example, enthusiasm and emotion needs to be lacking if the article is to be taken seriously. It was information like this that convinced me I wasn’t destined for a life in academia. At the time, I published poems, all of them free verse.

The professor was his own piece of American realism. He looked like a Viking raised on American steaks. He came from a family of farmers living in the Midwest. I guess he had to work hard at changing his inner image from physical strength and hard work to high intellectual achievement. He drove a pencil instead of a tractor and had to diet to keep his weight down because he spent so much time sitting. I’m sure there are people, including family members, who think I should spend less time trying to sell my imaginary worlds and more time solving concrete problems. Thank you to all those who brought information closer and turned weeks of research into days.


7 comments:

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Very interesting post. As an author myself, you touched on numerous topics that matter to me.
I would most certainly like to interest an agent in my writing but haven't done so yet. I've found it easier to get publishers than agents.

Jacqueline Seewald
TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS, Five Star/Gale hardcover, Thorndike Press large print
STACY'S SONG, YA coming of age novel from L&L Dreamspell

Pauline Alldred said...

I've been advised to try independent publishers while I'm submitting to agents.

E. B. Davis said...

On the last book I queried, I stupidly gave an exclusive to an agent. Later, I heard her talk at a local writers' workshop. She didn't recommend giving agents exclusives. My jaw dropped, and then I waited three months without a response from her. I had to start bugging her to get a rejection. Won't bother querying her again. I felt like a mouse being baited by an experienced cat!

Warren Bull said...

What if we chose surgeons like we chose authors?
"Oh, You're a cardiac specialist? Would you please take that knife cut off a slice from that ham? Thank you. That's all. Leave your number and if we're interested we'll give you a call. Next please."

E. B. Davis said...

Supply and demand (Where's Jim-he blogged on this subject.). There are so many writers and few agents willing to take a risk on new authors. And yet-they all say they want new authors. Of course, they're all looking for that one new book for the big bucks. Small press is the way to go at the moment and now that ebooks are outselling paper, small press has few limitations, except promotion, but the how much promotion will a new author receive anyway?

Pauline Alldred said...

Ebooks and paperbacks are what people can afford in this economy. Even if a bestselling author comes out in hardback, many readers will wait for the paperback or the ebook. Agents and big name publishers have to make money but more than one person has said they need to update and look more at their markets. Even if car companies get bailed out, I doubt whether anyone will do that for publishers.

Many new authors are taking the initiative and promoting themselves. Their readers will decide whether to buy more of what they write.

Maggie Toussaint said...

You asked about my method for selecting an agent. I look around at books like mine and see who reps them. I contact those agents. Sometimes I get a request for a full, sometimes I get nothing. I listen out on various loops for who signs with someone (they must be acquiring!) or who to stay away from. I'd love to get a top agent because no matter what everyone says, the top agents seem to get placements of their projects, or at least they get a lot more placements than the rest of the pack.

Mostly that's my agent selection strategy: listen, respond, and tear my hair out.

I wish you luck with your search.

Maggie
On The Nickel coming March 2011