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 July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

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.


Monday, March 11, 2013

How Not To Write A Novel

Everything including the kitchen sink
It isn’t as though it caught us by surprise. We planned this, welcomed this, and I thought I’d prepared. After twenty-eight years in our house, we decided to remodel the upstairs bathrooms and our kitchen.

The 1980s were alive and well there. The casts of Charlie’s Angels, Cagney & Lacey, Cheers and The Cosby Show could have looked natural having coffee together in between shoots in my kitchen, except that by 2013 it was beat.

The finish on the hardwood floors had turned to gum—the sticky finish attracted dirt and looked dirty all by itself. The worn finish around the cabinets’ handles revealed the years of use. All of my appliances needed to be laid to rest. (Try estimating the age of your appliances. Check your receipts. Did you have to double your estimate? I did.)

When I started my new WIP the third week in January, I foresaw having interruptions, knew there would be inconveniences and anticipated temporary adjustments. I planned the new kitchen layout and bought the new cabinets in January knowing there would be a month lead-time. By the second week in February (and in my second chapter) the cabinets arrived, new tile was delivered, and contractors were notified. This week (my third chapter), the contractors descended.

The refrigerator looms at my side.
When my husband started his business in 1986, I did the paperwork on a card table in the basement. Ten years ago, we took our useless dining room and converted it into our office. He has one side, I have the other.

We moved a makeshift kitchen into our office, placing the microwave adjacent to my PC. (He has the toaster oven and coffee maker). The refrigerator loomed on my side. I wrote in the morning before they arrived at 7 a.m.
The carpenter used his drill with screwdriver attachment to unscrew cabinets. When some of the larger cabinets posed a problem, he took his reciprocating saw to them, making a magician sawing a lady in half—child’s play. They went into the dumpster, conveniently placed on my driveway—yes by our prescription.

Once the cabinets were gone and the space stripped to studs, the electrician drilled auger-size holes in the studs and floor through which he pulled new wire. With a hole attachment on his drill, my drywall ceiling became a polka dot mosaic for recessed lighting.

Coiled and ready to deafen
The plumber scared me, cutting off the water supply, hacking pipes and welding new ones to accommodate the new kitchen layout.

 Every workman left debris. Our shop vac monster took care of the mess, but it further deafened me.  

The floor refinisher…Pounding pummeled my brain. I tried to finish the third chapter. He invaded my office.

Invaded and assaulted by noise assassin
I left my main character still in a car on her way to a party where she will meet up with a murderer. I gave up, left the house and went to the gym. I will think and take notes on ideas that occur to me—at Starbucks. I will pray for silence and solitude. It’s all necessary—an idea I supported. Ah, but the agony.


James Montgomery Jackson said...

I’ve done a couple of kitchen remodels. In the end both were major improvements over what was there before. When we did a major redo, it took bloody forever. I learned the lesson of making sure the contractors had enough skin in the game that it was a priority for them to finish up.

Best advice: this too shall pass.

~ Jim

Paula Gail Benson said...

Hope you'll soon be enjoying the finished products of your remodeling and first draft!

E. B. Davis said...

It's hard because we are in the business, Jim. We do not represent repeat business. The contractors are charging professional rates, but when they show up pulling away from commercial jobs, we feel as though they are doing us a favor.

The reality is--after a month of planning and three weeks execution, we are probably doing this as quickly as can be expected. But washing cooking utensils and pots and pans in the powder room sink--expletive!

Now I know how important it is to have a faucet swivel. Those little things you never think about.

E. B. Davis said...

So far, it does look nice. But what I didn't anticipate is how much the new construction would negatively impact the rest of the house. Saw dust is everywhere even though we cordoned off the rooms with plastic sheeting.

Our rugs look trashed. The contractors forget that they are working in a home. (They are used to new construction in which no one lives--yet.) I've been freezing because they forget about doors! I don't know how many times I've felt a draft and found doors hanging wide open in 40 degree temperatures.

I'm starting to rant so I'll stop. Ahhh.....

Gloria Alden said...

Oh, E.B. I don't know how you're putting up with it. When my home over 20 years ago now was gutted and remodeled, I wasn't living in it most of the time. But when I did move in, my kitchen wasn't in yet. The cupboards were in boxes in the living room. My son built in the framework for them and installed the sink and plumbing. I had a carpenter install my bookcases and trim downstairs, but he did that upstairs. I was still teaching then so wasn't home when much of it was done. I remember being a stay-at-home mom with a crawling baby when my husband gutted our old kitchen and remodeled it. Horrible black soot invaded the whole house even with drapes over the kitchen doorway.

Kaye George said...

I hope the remodel is done well before your first draft! There are a lot of conditions hard for writing first drafts. This is a major one!

E. B. Davis said...

I keep telling myself, Gloria, that we are doing this really fast--but it doesn't feel that way. At least the carpenter doesn't have a radio on all day so I have that to be thankful for. I thought the kitchen would be over by Thursday of this week. The electrician just told me that he'll be back to put in the wall plugs--after the tile is finished, which could be two weeks since the tile guy only works for us on the weekends. Oye!

E. B. Davis said...

I worked this morning, Kaye, on edits to the first three chapters. I'm satisfied with what I've done so I mapped out pivotal chapter #4, which should end the first act. As long as I keep moving in a forward direction, I'll be happy. It's when I can't keep the momentum going since the renovation interferes that I despair.

Warren Bull said...

Life versus writing is still a struggle for me.

Alyx Morgan said...

Sorry to hear your life/house is in such disarray. Hopefully it will look beautiful when it's all done. Can't wait to see those photos. :o)

E. B. Davis said...

I wish it wasn't, Warren.

E. B. Davis said...

I know I have to keep the end in sight. I should have taken before pictures, but I didn't. I suppose throughout the years we have photos of the kitchen, but not recent ones, which make the after pictures all the better. I'll have to look for some before pictures. Thanks, Alyx.

Polly Iyer said...

Every since I started writing, my house has taken a back seat. I need a new stove--ours has been in the house since 1952 when it was built. It's a big stove, two ovens, and I will miss it, but replacing it with a smaller stove will entail building something to take up the extra space. So I turn my back to it, turn a blind eye. Our last kitchen renovation was done in 1981. It still looks okay, except for the stove. I don't look forward to doing it again. You've just convinced me. Just concentrate on how great it will look when you're all finished.

E. B. Davis said...

If you ever want to sell your house, Polly, renovating the kitchen is your best bet. It's been proven that you will get your money back when you sell, and many buyers not make an offer if they know that they will have to renovate as soon as they buy.

Good luck on the books. The workmen didn't leave until 6 p.m. last night. One threw out the filters for my microwave, and another installed my spice rack so that the cabinet door won't close. A bit of dismay here.

E. B. Davis said...

PS, Polly. Make the cooktop and the ovens separate. You can have double wall ovens and use the extra space for a separate cooktop. That is the custom look a lot of people like. My kitchen isn't big enough for that so I replaced my old range with a new one.