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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of June!

June 6 Maggie Toussaint, Confound It

June 13 Nicole J. Burton, Swimming Up the Sun

June 20 Julie Mulhern, Shadow Dancing

June 27 Abby L. Vandiver, Debut author, Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies

Our June Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 6/2--Joanne Guidoccio, 6/9 Julie Mulhern, 6/16--Margaret S. Hamilton, 6/23--Kait Carson, and 6/30--Edith Maxwell.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

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.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Writer’s Most Important Quality by Peg Cochran

A writer must possess many different qualities—an imagination, story-telling ability, love for language, basic understanding of grammar, etc. Frankly, I think a writer’s most important quality has to be perseverance! A “don’t quit” mentality. 

I started writing when I was around seven years old and discovered Nancy Drew. Bingo, I knew immediately that I wanted to grow up and write mystery novels. I read a lot of romance during high school (those endless nights when I didn’t have a date), so my first book was a romance. It was an awful lot like my knitting—full of holes and with no end in sight! I managed to finish a manuscript back in the Draconian days of typewriters and carbon paper…enough said. I sent it off with high hopes to Harlequin from whence, after a period of many months, it came winging back with a polite form letter.

I wrote a few more romances, stopped writing for awhile and then, in 1996, got serious about my writing and began a mystery set in a NYC art gallery (is it any surprise that I was managing a NYC art gallery at the time?) I wrote while commuting back and forth to work (3 plus hours per day) on the bus. Longhand. In a notebook. In a word, it was grueling. But I finished it and acquired a second-hand computer so I could produce a manuscript. That made the rounds of agents (I can still remember the thud as it hit the floor in my foyer flying through the mail slot.) But lo and behold, I finally got a NY agent! I was convinced I was on my way to fame and fortune…not. That manuscript and two others made the rounds with no success although with enough kind words to keep me going.

I took a break from writing, but I couldn’t stay away. I produced a young adult manuscript, which got me another agent and another round of editorial rejections. Then I went back to my first love—mysteries. I wrote CONFESSION IS MURDER—a book written completely in the voice of my middle-aged NJ heroine complete with double negatives and lots of bad grammar. I knew I was taking a risk (secretly I felt a little like William Faulkner when it came to “voice”.) A wonderful NY agent agreed to take it on, but again, after lots of nice comments, it remained unsold. 

At the time I was circulating that book, I was also hawking another young adult novel and a cozy mystery. In a two-year, period I racked up 400 rejections. Talk about perseverance!

Then the door opened. An online-writing buddy told me about a “work for hire” with Berkley Prime Crime—basically an editor had an idea for a series and they wanted a writer. I auditioned for the job and got it. The contract came along with the agent who had sent out the message looking for writers. MY agent now.

After working with the editor for awhile (she is a dream), I got up the nerve to send her the cozy that I’d written on my own. Barely a few weeks later, my agent was calling to tell me I had another contract and another series.

I never gave up belief in CONFESSION IS MURDER so I hired an artist to design a cover, spent many hours sweating over the formatting and got it up on Amazon. It has done quite well, and I’ve had wonderful comments from readers.

My original cozy, ALLERGIC TO DEATH, first in the Gourmet De-Lite series, debuts in August, and the “work for hire,” MURDER UNMENTIONABLE, first in the Sweet Nothings Vintage Lingerie series, debuts a month later in September.

So, in two words (if you count the contraction as one word)…DON’T QUIT!


James Montgomery Jackson said...

I agree that for many the difference between being an author and being a published author comes down to perseverance.

You must work through the struggles of making your manuscript the best you can and then knock on doors. Except for a few fortunates, no one is going to open a door to us unless we first knock.

Congrats and good luck with both of your series.

~ Jim

Linda Rodriguez said...

I forget who was the famous author who said, "The difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is perseverance." Fine interview!

george bang said...

Meg, I needed that! I am 10 chapters into my alternative history and have bogged down; lost my nerve. Thanks for the attaboy.

E. B. Davis said...

Perseverance is important, and its hard when you first start out. You don't have confidence in your abilities. Writers have to persevere without positive feedback from anyone. It's very hard!

I read Confession Is Murder, Peg, and I liked it. Strong voice. Thanks for blogging for us.

Anita Page said...

Peg, an inspiring story. Good for you for believing in yourself and in your work.

Warren Bull said...

You gave the best advice possible to any aspiring author. Thanks for blogging for us.

Alyx Morgan said...

Congratulations, Peg! You're definitely a poster child for perseverance! :o)

Gloria Alden said...

Wonderful blog, Peg. You are totally awesome for not giving up. It shows what the most important attribute a writer can have is perseverance.

Peg Cochran said...

Thanks for having me blog! Seriously, a writer on a list I'm on said "don't give up five minutes before a miracle." That thought stuck with me! And since being a writer is the only thing I've ever wanted to be (okay, a ballet dancer but I got over that), I honestly couldn't give up!