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

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door

October Guest Bloggers

10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean

WWK Weekend Bloggers

10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mozark Press Author and Publisher--Linda Fisher

 As owner of Mozark Press, Linda Fisher wanted to keep her company small by publishing 1-5 books per year. But those few publications have garnered many awards for fiction and nonfiction. The first time I heard about Ms. Fisher, she was soliciting stories for the first Shaker of Margaritas anthology, A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas, which won the Show-Me Book Award bestowed by the Missouri Writers Guild. Since that volume was published, two more in the anthology series have been released, A Shaker of Margaritas: Cougars on the Prowl, which came in second place for Best Anthology also awarded by the Missouri Writers Guild, and newly published, A Shaker of Margaritas: Bad Hair Day. I’m proud that I can say that my short stories have appeared in all three volumes. Please welcome Linda Fisher to WWK.  E. B. Davis  

Your writing has won awards for many years. In 2010 a nonfiction book you developed from your blog, Early Onset Blog: Essays from an Online Journal (2009), won the coveted Ozarks Writers League’s (OWL) Best Book of the Year Award. Why did you write the blog and turn it into a book?

The blog was part of my healing process after my husband, Jim, died. I kept a journal on tape during the five years he was in a nursing home. After his death, I spent months transcribing the tapes. I always began the recording with the date and when I listened back, I could tell if it had been a good day or a bad day by the tone of my voice during the routine part. The really strange thing I discovered was that I relayed entire incidences that I had forgotten, and some that were almost like they had happened to someone else.
I wanted to write Jim's memoir, but the volume of the transcribed journal was overwhelming and too emotionally distressing in parts. Anyway, I've used the blog to tell parts of Jim's story. Sometimes I return to the journal when I have trouble remembering details.
The blog is also my way of helping other caregivers or family members who are thrust into the world of dementia. It is scary and heartbreaking. I think if I can share some of my experiences or the knowledge that I've had years to learn, it can help someone who is just beginning their Alzheimer’s journey. I know how much time and effort I spent just learning about the disease and trying to find solutions to the myriad of problems that arose each day. Sometimes, caregivers   need to know someone truly understands what they are going through and is just willing to listen to their fears and emotions.
Because of my involvement with the Alzheimer's Association and going to the public policy forum each year, I've had an opportunity to meet other caregivers and people with dementia that I would never have known otherwise. Jim's dementia was tragic, but it also completely changed my life. I learned the value of volunteering and it propelled me to start the blog and take my desire to write to a new level. I'll never forget the fear I felt when I posted that first blog entry. I wasn't sure I was ready, or even wanted, to share our story with the world. It is a decision that I never regretted.
I don't want the blog to be depressing or technical, so I try to balance it with a little humor from time to time. I include stories about family, because Alzheimer's is a disease that affects the entire family. People like to know that they can survive the years of caregiving and the sadness of watching a loved one with Alzheimer's and find life still worth living. Love of family and friends, and their support, are an important part of that process.
I kept coming across people who didn't have Internet access and came up with the idea of printing the blog in book form. I use the blog book as part of my corporate sponsorship for the Walk to End Alzheimer's. I give a monetary donation and bring about a hundred books to the walk to give to the participants.
The Ozark Writers' League Book of the Year award for Essays From an Online Journal, from my first year of blog posts, came as a complete surprise to me. I had won a few other writing awards and was pretty excited about that, but when I won Book of the Year, I fairly skipped and hopped forward like I was afraid they would find they had made a mistake.
Of course, there's more of Jim's story that lives in my heart that was never taped or written.

When did you first start writing fiction?

I first started writing fiction when I was in high school. We could submit stories and poetry to a student publication. . I’ve always loved to write and in college had plans to write the great American novel. I started many and finished none. Of course, I was writing longhand or using my Underwood manual typewriter.  My re-entry into fiction began with a short story contest sponsored by a local bookstore in 2006.  I wrote “New Identity” and won first place with some great prizes! That inspired me to join a writers’ guild.

What prompted taking the next step from writing to publishing?

I began Mozark Press in 2010 when I decided to start the Margarita series. When I joined the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers’ Guild, I learned about self-publishing. I solicited stories for Alzheimer’s Anthology of Unconditional Love, and with the backing of the Mid-Missouri Chapter and Sandy Jaffe of Book Source, I managed to get it published and distributed in the Midwest. That success spurred me to publish my blogs in book form. Then, I became involved with publishing Well Versed, the Columbia Chapter’s literary journal, and realized that I enjoyed reading and editing stories.

Was there an event or other prompt that spurred the first anthology?

I remember exactly when the idea for the Shaker series hit me. I was on my way to my sister’s house and used the driving time for heavy thinking. It seemed to me that so few outlets existed for fiction stories. I thought instead of Chicken Soup or a Cup of Comfort, fiction should be something like “a shaker of margaritas.”  I liked the idea so much that I decided to run with it.

How do you create the concept for each anthology?

The names of the anthologies come to me in odd moments—usually when I’m in the shower.

The anthologies celebrate some aspect of being female. What are you looking for when you read submissions? Do male authors submit stories?

I look for a well-written, intriguing story that fits the criteria I’ve set for the anthology. I’ve had males submit to every book, and some have been chosen.

Which sales volume is greater, eBooks or print?

The print versions have sold best so far. I think there are so many e-books that unless someone specifically looks for a book, they won’t come across it.

Will Mozark Press expand? Are you hiring?

I plan to retire from my day job next summer so we’ll see! I hope to have more time to write too. I doubt if I could hire someone for the amount I make per hour at the current time. I have a business partner who creates the covers and helps me with all things technical. 

Bonus: Do you prefer beach or mountains, and why?

Mountains! I love the Rockies and have many happy memories of campouts at Moraine Park. Jim and I made annual journeys each year to the Estes Park area. I have a video of Jim playing his guitar and singing, “Colorado.” The song lyrics speculate that if God doesn’t live in Colorado that’s where he spends most of his time. Colorado was a part of heaven on earth for us because that was the one place we recharged our mental batteries each year. On one of our trips, we were on a hike and Jim said, “This is where I want my ashes scattered.” After he passed away, my sons, my mom and I went to that exact spot and scattered his ashes. The cover of my latest blog book, My Recollections, Our Memories, is a picture taken in Colorado with an image of Jim holding his video camera walking “on the clouds.” It looks to me like he is on his way to videotape heaven.  

The Shaker of Margarita series is available at Amazon and is available on Kindle. Linda's other publications are available at this Amazon site. or at Barnes & Nobel.


Jim Jackson said...


It is wonderful how you turned a time of trouble into ones of joy by sharing with others. Thanks to E.B. and you for the interview.

We at WWK were lamenting about how the use of silence for deep thinking time is going the way of the passenger pigeon. Your examples of finding the inspiration for the Margarita series during a long car ride and coming up with individual names in the shower are great illustrations of why quiet time is so important.

Best of luck with publishing and writing.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Learning from our losses and our wins leads to wisdom. Linda's perspective has to come from some hard learning. Thanks for the interview, Linda. I think that the third volume in the Shaker of Margarita series is the best.

Kaye George said...

I think your blog and your book are a great service, Linda. Alzheimers runs in my family (whether they say it does or not!) and I fully expect to get it. What a gift your blog and book are! I'll check them out today.

Best of luck with the Margarita anthologies, too! I've picked them up because E.B. had stories in them, so it's a good thing you picked her. :)

E. B. Davis said...

Now that made me smile--thanks, Kaye.

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, what you have done with your experience with Alzheimers must have helped many people - both those with it and their caregivers. I always planned on writing a memoir of my oldest son's death from cancer at eighteen, but prograstinated too long. I thought it might help other bereaved parents.

May your writing continue to inspire and Mozark Press grow. Both are needed.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

What a touching tribute to your husband, Linda. Just love the idea of him walking on clouds toward heaven. How very wonderful that in doing something most likely therapeutic for yourself, you've done something wonderful for others.

Thanks for the heads up on this writer and publisher, E.B.

Paula Gail Benson said...

E.B., thanks for a wonderful interview. Linda, thanks for your encouragement to caregivers. I had the privilege of being caregiver for my mother, and know how important support can be. The Shaker series is delightful. I wish you both success with the latest volume.

carla said...

Powerful message here. THANK YOU.

Linda Fisher said...

Thank you, Jim. I cherish the quiet times when I can clear my mind and let the creative juices flow

Linda Fisher said...

Kaye, I appreciate the kind comments. The good news is that later onset Alzheimer's is not directly hereditary. It can run in families because of certain genes that increase your chance of developing Alzheimer's. Just keep your mind and body active and maintain a healthy diet.

Linda Fisher said...

Gloria, It is never too late to write the memoir!

Linda Fisher said...

Donnell,Just had an experience yesterday that reinforces Jim on the clouds. My brother Donnie died Wednesday and just as I was posting his obituary on Facebook my iPod shuffle started playing "Silver Wings." Of the hundreds of songs on the iPod, a song randomly came up that we played at Jim's services.

Linda Fisher said...

Thank you, Paula. I love reading the stories when they come in. Good news for mystery writers...the next book in the series will be "That Mysterious Woman." Guess the genre?

Linda Fisher said...

Thank you, Carla!

Linda Fisher said...

E.B., Thank you so much for putting together this interview. I appreciate your support. I so appreciate you sharing your delightful stories with the Shaker readers. One of the authors proofread all the stories and she said that she enjoyed yours the most! I wanted to pass that compliment on to you.

E. B. Davis said...

I'm sorry to hear about your brother's death, Linda, so thanks for taking the time to stop by at a difficult time. I'm so flattered by the compliment you passed on. It surely does help to have positive feedback. Thank you, and for the interview too!