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

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

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 has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Never Ask Your Mother for a Review

I wrote my first novel on my lunch hours. Every day I took my lunch to an empty office and wrote on the computer there. The finished novel was too short. The characters were undeveloped. There was no sub plot. The murder was implausible. The good things about it were the setting, and the fact that I finished it. I still have a copy somewhere.

I chose mystery because my mother had hundreds of mystery books, and I read them avidly each time I visited. I met Sherlock Holmes when I was in high school and I couldn’t resist. I read all the cannon except Valley of Fear. I couldn’t stand Conan Doyle’s take on the Molly McGuires.

I worked my early stories around other people’s characters, not fan fiction exactly. I would take another author’s creation and change the name, but little else. No one ever recognized them because no one ever read them.

When my mother suffered a prolonged illness I made the eight hour train trip in each direction once a month. I used that time to create my own cast of characters. I put them together in small groups and they began to interact. I wrote in long hand on yellow pads; the handwriting varies in response to the smoothness of the rails.

My mother was in a hospital across the street from the Cambridge Public Library. I would visit her for half an hour, do two hours of research in the library, and go back for a second short visit. I added the historical background to the characters as they interacted on the page.

By the time my mother was moved to a nursing home I had the bones of a novel. There was a lot wrong with it. No murder for one thing. I knew I would have to add a murder if I was going to sell it.

But I had enough to put in a red binder and give to her before she died. To my knowledge she never read it.

I have reworked it a number of times since I bound it up in red. There is a murder, more police procedure, more complex characters. Members of the cast have appeared in print in short stories.

It took me a while to realize that I had written it to please myself, not her. It was enough to have given her the red binder. She didn’t have to read it or to comment on it. She died before any of my short stories were published.

She never knew how she inspired me. Or perhaps she did.


Warren Bull said...

That is true inspiration.

Kara Cerise said...

Very touching and inspirational! My mother was an avid reader, too, and encouraged me to write.

E. B. Davis said...

My daughter shocked me last night. Neither of my kids have been readers, disappointing me greatly. Of course I'm a reader, but my husband is too. She read a book that I recommended and then started going through and pulling books from my shelves to take back to school with her next month. Wow!

My mother talked about Daphne du Maurier. I had no idea who the author was until much later, and I laughed when I realized what genre this erudite woman picked for pleasure. I've never told my sister, who isn't a reader. Some fun much be kept among readers.

I'm glad of your mother's influence. My mother knew I could write. But didn't know that I wanted to write full-time before she died. She wouldn't be at all shocked. What I want to know? Is it nurture or nature?

Your writing is a nice tribute to your mom.