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













July Interview Schedule:
7/3 Jean Stone A Vineyard Summer
7/10 Mark Bergin
7/17 Christin Brecher Murder's No Votive Confidence
7/24 Dianne Freeman A Ladies' Guide to Gossip
7/31 J. C. Kenney A Genuine Fix

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 7/6 V. M. Burns, 7/13 Joe Amiel,

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 7/20 Gloria Alden, 7/27 Kait Carson

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Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:


Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.


KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


"Where do you get your ideas?"

by Carla Damron, author of the Caleb Knowles Mystery Series

As a mystery writer, I’m often asked this question. It’s right there with, “How did you get your publisher?” and “Which way to the ladies’ room?” (That’s a question we authors used to get at book signings, back when there were these places called “bookstores”). I must confess though, I HATE to get the “where do you get your ideas” question.

I mean, it’s a reasonable query, and I don’t spite the asker of the question. But it makes me face something a little unpleasant about myself: I NEVER run out of murderous plots. I know plenty of people who need killing (by my pen). When I read in the newspaper about a chemical spill, I couldn’t help but mentally file it away under “Death by poison,” in the sick filing cabinet I have in my brain. I can’t walk through a hardware store without marveling at all the potential murder weapons. I once stood in front of a giant auger for a full ten minutes imagining a creepoid killer using it to bury bodies. (That thing had an eighteen-inch bit—who wouldn’t see its homicidal potential?)

And you don’t want to sit beside me on a plane. The poor guy who introduced himself to me and said he was an “environmental engineer” probably didn’t expect an hour of interrogation about what industrial solvents are the most lethal. When a friend described how his bone marrow treatment for leukemia actually altered his blood type, I sympathized, I celebrated his recovery— then pondered how a killer might exploit the change in blood type, especially if the police had old blood evidence on file. This is just how my mind works.

There are advantages to this little quirk of mine. When a good friend was horribly mistreated by a jerk on her job, I looked her in the eye and promised: “I will kill him in my next novel.” And I will—though it will be under a different name and gender. There is little I can offer my buddy who is going through a horrific divorce, but her ex and his mistress may add to the body count in some upcoming project. And that newspaper article about the coach who turned out to be a predator of little boys? Oh yeah. He’s going down.

Note: Fiction can be a very therapeutic outlet. (My husband says he feels safe as long as I keep writing.)

So the question “where do I get my ideas” isn’t one I struggle with. My problem is this: I have so many plots in my head, so many murders to write, I can’t possibly get to them all. I’m not a fast writer—it takes a year for me to complete a novel—so, if I’m to write every murder I have on my list, I need to live to be (have my calculator out, doing the math …) nine hundred and twelve years old.

I better start working out.

The next time I’m at a book signing, and a reader asks me where I get my ideas, I think I’ll smile politely and reply, “Been to any hardware stores lately?”

14 comments:

Michael Kelberer said...

Carla, I'm in the early concept stage of a novel and this post just made my morning. Not to mention got me out of my "Poor me, I can never think of anything interesting to write about" funk!
Michael Kelberer

Carla Damron said...

See, Michael! You just need to visit a hardware store!

Samuel Morton said...

How about a writers group where one of the more successful (read: published) writers harshly critiques a member who's not published. The unpublished writer then uses one of the author's previous plots to murder her?

Sam

Susan Craft said...

Great post, Carla. As always, you made me laugh and think. As a writer of historical fiction, I tell people that I get "vibes" (I'm a 60's girl)when I watch Rev War reenactors charging across a field, when I read an epitaph on a 1700s tombstone, or when in a Colonial era home illumined by a candle. Come to think of it, you could probably write a murder mystery in each of those places.

Sharon Wiley said...

Make it nine hundred and sixteen. I have a couple I need you to add. Hang on...nine hundred and eighteen...or twenty. Wait. Nine hundred and thirty six.

Carla Damron said...

I think I may have to be an alibi for a couple of you.

E. B. Davis said...

I, too, Carla, have more ideas than I can write. I think that the real problem is honing those ideas into stories with real beginnings, middles and ends. How those ideas are transformed is the art.

Warren Bull said...

I prefer to eavesdrop at restaurants.

Chris Bailey said...

I prefer, "Where do you get your ideas?" to "I have so many ideas. One day, I'm going to have to sit down a write a book."

As you so nicely put it, it takes most of us more than one day.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Just keep writing, Carla. I saw a plastic blue spider and thought of you this morning, or rather, I thought of Caleb Knowles and Spider Blue. Can a plastic spider be used as a weapon?

Gloria Alden said...

Love your blog, Carla. I also don't lack for ideas. There are so many places to get them. It's finding the time to get them all down into something that has like E.B. mentioned, a beginning, middle and end that works.

Anonymous said...

This is great, Carla! I had no idea you had such a villainous side! Now that I've read this, I think it's a good thing I don't have a horse anymore. Who knows the sorts of murder weapons I'd observe walking around the barn!

Anonymous said...

This year's most popular and scariest Halloween costume? Carla at Lowe's.

Unknown said...

Excellent, thought-provoking post. I don't usually imagine how to kill people, but ask me about any accident that could happen at any time, and I'm a wealth of ideas. Maybe we should get together.