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.


Friday, July 26, 2013

What's Your Slogan?


The slogan for Hallmark Cards is,” When you Care Enough to send the Very Best.”
As a writer I’ve long believed that slogan needs only minor changes to apply to what I do.  “When I Care Enough about my Writing to Steal from the Very Best.”

I recently read The Dream of Scipio by Iaian Pears. It is a very good book. I recommend it highly along with his, An instance of the Finger Post, that may be the best historical mystery I have ever read. 
At the time I had been contemplating responding to a call for short stories in an upcoming anthology. I wanted to submit in part because I really like the editor.  I like getting published and I also like getting paid. However, after I read the description of what the editor wanted, I had no idea how to combine elements that seemed contradictory to me.

It happened that Delta Airlines unexpectedly provided me with a block of time, i.e., a five-hour wait in an airport with little to do during the delay.  My ninety-year old mother was with me. She was a trooper and a good sport throughout.  As I read through The Dream of Scipio at a leisurely pace between strolls through the concourse, I was able to enjoy the book, the author’s style and the author’s writing techniques. Had the flight left on time, I don’t know if I would have noticed the mechanics of the book.

I was able to suss out one approach Pears used fairly frequently that added to my enjoyment of the book.  In brief, the author wrote about what might have happened as well as what did happen. Later I tried to use it in my short story. It worked for about half a page, but it was not enough by itself to provide sufficient structure for an entire short story. As Stephen King has said, a story requires two or three moving parts.  One idea does not lead to a story.  In continuing to read The Dream of Scipio after my first attempt to structure my story, I also noticed variations of the method. They reminded me of a jazz musician playing riffs to vary the melody before returning to the underlying stream of music.  When I incorporated the variations, I was able to provide a skeleton for the short story that was not unduly repetitive but was structurally supportive of the theme of the work.
I certainly do not mean my short story uses everything Pears was able to employ in The Dream of Scipio. Pears’ novel goes back and forth in time. He writes beautifully about three protagonists living in different historical periods that never overlap.  Yet their lives are tied together in ways the characters do not realize. 

My story? We’ll have to wait to see if it gets accepted.

Do you have a personal writing slogan?


Gayle Carline said...

I suppose, "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" is out, even for a mystery writer.

Gloria Alden said...

Interesting blog, Warren. I'm trying to think of only one slogan. Maybe Look for new experiences to broaden your life. That's one of those things I do. Good luck on selling that story.

E. B. Davis said...

Maybe this is off topic, but I've noticed that some authors utilizing the third person POV lapse into omniscient voice, talking about the character as if there is a narrator, telling the reader about the character. These are mainstream published authors so I'm questioning my objection to the use of this technique. Am I being too critical?

I've read two books recently that have very little descriptions of the main character. I liked that absence. I'm going back into my script and revising.

If I had a slogan it would probably be "less is more."

Warren Bull said...

Gayle, I think Johnny Cash had that one.

Warren Bull said...


Thanks for the good wishes.

Warren Bull said...


Good one

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I don't have a slogan. Then again, I'm not exactly a "brand" either.
I agree with you about short stories. Just having an interesting character, for instance, doesn't equate to a story. Plot line is crucial as is setting.

Sarah Henning said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure I have a slogan as a writer. Maybe just, "Bon Appetit." ... I want readers to sink their teeth in and enjoy.

Linda Rodriguez said...

I don't know what my slogan would be, Warren. Maybe EB's "Less is more," but only after I've put in lots of "More is best." I like to pack a book with all the good stuff I can and then compress and cut until it shines. But I'm not a fan of minimalism.

I guess I'd find the same problem with just about any slogan. Maybe mine is "I have to find my own way." ;-)

lisekimhorton said...

Great question (and insightful post). I have a "slogan" which is part of my brand and I attempt to always use vocabulary and phrasing in my promo, etc., that enhances it. As an author of erotic romance, my website "tag" and my slogan is: Feed Your Passion.

Nike Chillemi said...

I enjoyed reading how you structured your story. Isn't the craft of writing interesting, intriguing, and taxing?

A shout out to your mother. Two years ago I flew out to CA went to visit my 90 year old aunt for her b'day. I found she's a trooper too, and an avid reader.

I have two slogans. I sometimes combine them.

Writing literature that reads like pulp fiction.

I like my bad guys really bad and my good guys smarter and better.

Shari Randall said...

I like to think of Elmore Leonard: "Skip the boring parts."

Darden North said...

Warren, my slogan is "Finally, a doctor whose writing you can read."

Lois Browne said...

'Making Murder Pay'

It's aspirational....

Bobbi Chukran, Author of Mysterious Stories & Award-Winning Playwright said...

Hi Warren, Maybe mine would be, Write what I like to read--something entertaining, funny and memorable.

bobbi c.

JackBludis said...

By way of Mick Jagger:

I can't always get what I want, but if I try, sometimes, I get what I need.

Toby Speed said...

Hi, Warren. Thoughtful post. Ever since I went to a branding workshop at the New England Crime Bake I've been trying to come up with a slogan. The closest I've come is the one I'm now using on Twitter, "mystery writer with her head in the clouds." It reminds me to access that daydreaming, receptive part of me to all story to flow through, and also alludes to aviation and my love of the sky.

Kaye George said...

I have this taped on my printer: If you're a writer, you write.

My personal slogan has to be: What a long, strange trip it's been.