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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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Characters on the Auction Block


A week ago my church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah, held its annual fundraising auction. I put on the block the ability to name one of my characters in my current WIP, Cabin Fever. I was willing to auction one male and one female character. Each sold for $100.

Then I got to thinking that maybe my publisher would let me change two character names in Bad Policy scheduled for a March 1, 2013 release. So I sent an email to Sheri Gormley, publisher of Barking Rain Press, and asked if it might be possible. I pointed out that from the auction buyers’ perspective it would give them more immediate gratification. From her perspective, it would guarantee at least two book sales J. Sheri agreed to do the necessary search and replace and so, as did the slave owners of an earlier time, I sold two characters down river and forced them to change their names.

I’ll withhold the new names since one person bought the character as a holiday present for a friend and on the off chance that person uses Google Alerts to scan for his name, I don’t want to spoil the gift.

I’ve lived with one of these characters for ten years. (He appeared in Ant Farm, my practice novel that saw its first draft in 2002.) The other character first got her name over eight years ago in the first draft of Bad Policy. I suspect I’ll think of these characters with their “creation” names for quite some time, and I’ll have to remind myself they took on new monikers.

I have always been a strong proponent of women keeping their own names upon marriage—not so much for the woman’s rights aspect; I didn’t want to have to learn new names. But if someone did choose to change their name (even when both parties of the couple went with a hyphenated name combining both of their birth surnames), I adapted to their preference. I’ll adjust with these characters, but it might take some time.

I think it will be easier to let go of the old names because I can replay in memory the excitement both my character buyers expressed when they talked about their opportunity to join my creative process.
If you are an author, have you sold a character? As a reader, have you bought one in a charity auction? I’m interested in others’ experiences.

~ Jim

P.S. Today is Veterans’ Day. Regardless of your stance on any of the wars we’ve fought during your lifetime, if you know a vet, please thank them for their service. And I encourage you to take a moment at 11:00, the time the WW I Armistice went into effect on this day in 1918, to send a positive thought to all those families who have lost a loved one in the service of our country.

~ J 

5 comments:

Claire said...

I think it's a bold move to rename characters in an already-published work, Jim. Hurrah for you for taking such a step. I know that with my current ms, renaming some of the setting/places was difficult when I was only half-way through!

claire

Paula Gail Benson said...

I was fortunate that an author friend used my name for a character in one of her novels. It has been a meaningful experience for me, bringing me closer to the author and connecting me to the series. I'm so glad you've found it beneficial, Jim.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Claire,

Well not quite so bold as you suggest. Bad Policy is currently being laid out for publication. It's scheduled for a 3/1/13 release. However, I did need to make sure I caught all the references and pick someone whose name was not per se integral to the plot.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

I would be leery of offering something I might not to be able to delivery. I never know ahead of time which of my works will be accepted for publication. You were in a great position to make the offer.

Gloria Alden said...

I sometimes include the names - at least the first name - of people I know, but I never make them a negative person. I included a cousin and her husband in a very minor walk-on spot in my third book. I haven't told her and thought I'd let it be a surprise when the book comes out, and she reads it.