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

WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

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. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! 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 August, 2018.

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.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

KM Rockwood interviews a "character"

Today on Salad Bowl Saturday author KM Rockwood interviews the main character, Jesse Damon, from Steeled for Murder and the most recent release Fostering Death--that is until Jesse takes charge...

KM has graciously offered to give away one book (e-book or physical) for every ten people who comment on this blog (up to a maximum of five books). We'll keep this open through the Sunday night.  I'll have my partner, Jan, do a random drawing of the winners. To be clear, 0-9 people comment on this blog means no book give away; 10-19 means KM gives away one book; 20-29 means two, etc. Bring your friends, and lets see how many books KM presents to our readers.

~ Jim

Jesse, thank you for coming to talk with us today. Why do you think the author chose to write a series of books about you? 
Hadn't thought about it. Maybe 'cause you don't hear much from people who live on the edge of society like I do. You know, kind of give us a voice. And Mr. Ramirez, my parole officer, told me he thought it would be a good idea if I came. Your PO says he thinks something's a good idea, you do it if you’re smart.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Ain't much to tell. I picked up a murder conviction when I was sixteen. What you might call a defining moment. So I was locked up for almost twenty years. Now I'm just trying to make it on parole. Not be one of those statistics who was returned to prison. But y'know, they don't make it easy.

How old are you?
Thirty six.

Where do you live? What is it about the area that drew you there?
Rothsburg. That's a small city in western Maryland, up in the hills. Used to have a lot of heavy industry in town, but now the state prison complex is the biggest employer. When I was gonna be released, I got an okay job in one of the factories still open. They get a tax break for hiring parolees. So I just stayed. No reason to go anywhere else.

What do you wish people would know about you?
Not much. Just wish everybody'd leave me alone.

Have we seen you before?
A couple short stories. Nothing you've prob'ly ever seen.

Will you be seeing more of you, or are you stepping out of the limelight?
I'd like to step out of the limelight. But y'know, when you already got a murder conviction under your belt, every time somebody gets killed, they think maybe you done it and come looking for you. There was the time I decided to go to pay my last respects to my foster mother. Big mistake. Turns out she’d been murdered. And of course they thought I did it. That’s in Fostering Death, which was released in August. And then my sometimes girlfriend, Kelly, got beaten up and raped. First they thought I did it, then when that got straightened out and the SOB who did do it was found dead, they thought I killed him. That’s in Buried Biker, which is due out in late December.

What is your perfect evening?
Sometimes I hang out with this lady Kelly who works in the same steel factory I do, same midnight to eight shift. She's got these two kids. Some weekends we go to her place, fix supper. I help the kids with their homework, watch TV, maybe read to them. Makes me feel like a regular guy, not just an ex-con. Then sometimes, after they're asleep, if Kelly's not been hitting the bottle too bad, we go to bed. As close to perfect as I can think of.

Do you feel you were portrayed fairly?
It is what it is. Ain't nothing fair or unfair about it.

Tell us about Kelly. What drew you to her?
She don't treat me different than anybody else is the main thing. And she's all woman. I mean she's built. She works hard, like I do, so she's strong as an ox. And she got curves in all the right places. Long dark hair--I love to get my hands in it. She's the only woman I ever slept with.

What really pushes your buttons?
People who act like they don't trust me or are afraid of me. You don't got to like me. Just leave me alone. And I'm not gonna kill you.

What's your biggest turn on?
When I get to the door of my basement apartment have a key in my own hand to unlock it. I don't got to wait for someone on a control panel to hit the door to open it. And no CO's standing there, watching to make sure I don't mess up. Sometimes I just go out and walk, mile after mile, just cause I can.

Biggest turn off?
Parole. I got to report every week. I got to watch where I go and what I do. They can yank me in any time they feel like it, don't need no warrant or even probable cause. It sure beats being locked up, though. And for a while I was on home detention--that was worse than just parole, had to be in the apartment most of the time I wasn't working. And a lot more expensive, too.

Perfect day?
Any day I'm not locked up.

Biggest fear?
That I'm gonna get my parole violated. Prob'ly for something stupid or something I didn't do. I know damn well I only got the one shot. If I get sent back to prison, with all the backup time I got, I'll never see the street again in this life.

Why should readers be interested in your story?
I dunno. Why’d you wanna write about me anyhow?

The folks who are living on the edge of society, struggling to make it even though they’ve already got a few strikes in the wrong direction—they don’t show up much in books, except as stereotyped bad guys. But we’re all people, with complicated lives and feelings and hopes. I’d like to think that maybe a few readers will stop to consider what it feels like to be trying to make it when  the cards are stacked against you. And maybe give the benefit of the doubt or be a little kinder to people who are having a hard time.

You been asking me questions, but you haven’t told us much about you. Tell me what readers are gonna want to know most about you. 
I've been around enough to know how things can turn against people, especially people who don’t have a whole lot going for them in the first place. When I write, I form characters from people and situations I know and turn them loose, with all their worries and problems and hopes.

I've worked that midnight to eight shift operating steel fabricating machinery and glass melters. After I was in an industrial accident (thank you, OSHA, for your safety standards or I’d be dead) and that type of physical work wasn't possible any more, I worked in other settings, including a state prison and several county lockups (as staff, not as an inmate.) The more I got to know some of the inmates working under my supervision, the more I realized “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” I was fortunate to have had the opportunities and the support I’d had. Not everybody’s been so lucky.

Thanks for letting me have the chance to talk, too, instead of just puttin’ words in my mouth. I got to get going now, but one last question. If someone did want to read about me, or some of your other stories, how could they find the stories?

Musa Publishing puts out the e-books. You can get them at their website, or  through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords. They’re also available at public libraries that obtain e-books from Overdrive. Dealing with the Demon is a book of short stories available through Amazon, and The Automatic Therapist is single short story, also on Amazon.


James Montgomery Jackson said...


Jesse is an interesting dude, and I'm glad to learn of him. Thanks for visiting Salad Bowl Saturday on WWK to tell us about him and a bit about yourself.

And thanks for your generous book giveaway offer. I have a feeling we should be having some happy readers.

~ Jim

Carla Damron said...

Loved his comment about the importance of having a key. Fascinating and real.

E. B. Davis said...

It sounds as if your setting is Cumberland, MD, where I happen to be spending the weekend. We drove past the Western Maryland Correction facility yesterday. At first, I thought we were passing by huge transformers because sunlight reflected off coils of wire--the wire spun around the entire complex about 10 or more feet high and curved inward and down at the top. Creepy!

Your books sound a bit like G. M. Ford, who uses those down and outs for observation since no one notices the homeless, etc., a clever idea that I like.

I'd like to win a copy of your book, but I like to start at the beginning of the series. I also like reading books where I know the setting. Thanks for blogging here.

janedougherty said...

Very good post, KM, you have a real gift for dialogue. Best of luck with this.

Kaye George said...

This is an angle I don't think I've seen done before. Great premise for a series! Good luck with it, and I hope I win a copy.

_ said...

I was introduced to Jesse in the first book in the series. Rockwood blew me away. I think she is one of the best authors I've read in a long time.
Great things will happen with this author. I'm a big fan.
Emma Lane

Gloria Alden said...

I love the voice of your protagonist, KM. It's good to read one from someone who's been down and out. If I win one of your books, I'd like it to be the first since I always like to start at the beginning of a series that peaks my interest.

Claire said...

Interesting angle, and one that hasn't been done to death. Reminds me a little of Morgue Drawer 4 (or something like that) where the story is told from the perspective of a dead man whose body is in the morgue. I enjoyed that book thoroughly and it sounds like I'd enjoy this series. Can't wait to pick it up.

Paula Gail Benson said...

KM, what terrific titles that mesh with and enhance Jesse's world. Your characters sound as if they give you a chance to explore how a parolee has the opportunity to rebuild a life. Thanks to you and Jesse for sharing your perspective.

Martin Bodenham said...

Interesting interview.

Warren Bull said...

The "voice" sounds authentic. I met a number of people like the protagonist.

Theresa de Valence said...

Sounds great!

Vonnie said...

Well, you already know I enjoy Jesse. And reading about people on the edge is so satisfying - a real slice of life. I love that Jesse's life is not perfect and never will be.

Just once I want his PO to give him a break though. How long is Jesse going to be on parole? I'm getting anxious his parole will be revoked by someone pulling his chain.

Kara Cerise said...

What a clever premise for a series! Jesse's voice sounds authentic.

Fran said...

Thanks for posting on this blog: I especially enjoyed hearing about why you write about characters like Jesse!
I've read both Jesse Damon books and enjoyed them!

Rhea Rhodan said...

I met Jesse in the first book of the series, Steeled for Murder. I loved it. Jesse and the other characters were so well-drawn. I thought about it long after I finished it. The next book in the series in on my TBR.

Barbara Shaffer said...

Neat format to interview the character and have that interaction with the author. Loved "Steeled for Murder" – KM managed to make Jesse relatable, which is important since this is a lifestyle about which I know very little.

KM said...

Thank you to everyone who read this!

E.B, you have a good geographic eye. Maryland has prisons in both Hagerstown and Cumberland. The Cumberland one is much newer (and more sparkly) All that razor wire does its job well-every once in a while, someone decides to challenge it and the results aren't pretty. Especially if the person panics.

The winners, of course, can chose whichever book they want in the formats in which it's available (I'm going to ask Jim to round up & choose two winners)

James Montgomery Jackson said...

We have winners:

Since I used to be a math guy, I eschewed the numbers in the hat routine and went to http://random.org

It generates random numbers for you so I asked it twice (since KM graciously rounded up the number of giveaways) and it came up with 17 & 7.

Counting from the top, that means Gloria Alden and Barbara Shaffer are our winners.

Since I don't have Barbara's email address, I'll post KM's here so y'all make the contact and arrange for your prize.

As payback, my suggestion is that if you like what you read, it would be a lovely gesture to post positive reviews on Amazon, B&N, etc.

Thanks to all for participating, and especially to KM.

~ Jim

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Oops here's KM's email address: