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

June Interviews

6/3 Gretchen Archer, Double Trouble
6/10 Kaye George, Deadly Sweet Tooth
6/17 Annette Dashofy, Til Death
6/24 Adam Meyer

Saturday Guest Bloggers

6/6 Mary Keliikoa
6/13 William Ade
6/20 Liz Milliron

WWK Bloggers:

6/27 Kait Carson
6/30 WWK Writers--What We're Reading Now


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!

WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel, and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination! All are winners but without Agatha Teapots. Onto 20121!

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!


Friday, November 8, 2013

An Instance of the Guidelines Post and Book Giveaway

An Instance of the Guidelines Post and Book Giveaway

When Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads put out submission guidelines for The Killer Wore Cranberry: Room For Thirds, I was intrigued.  The first two Thanksgiving anthologies had done very well.  Jay has published two of my books.  He actively promotes publications to a worldwide audience.  Untreed Reads editor, K.D. Sullivan, had done such a wonderful job with my work that my books ended up sounding more like I had written them than my initial submissions did.   If you’ve ever had a truly outstanding editor, you know what I mean. 

The only problem was that in the guidelines Jay made it clear he wanted a story that used a food associated with Thanksgiving as the murder “weapon” and the story had to be funny. I had no idea on earth of how to do that. One person killing another person has never struck me as particularly humorous. 

I immediately started writing... something else.  But the idea of combining such disparate elements as murder and humor was percolating quietly in my mind.  While visiting my mother, I picked up The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears.  He is the author of An Instance of the Fingerpost, which may well be the best historical novel I have ever read.  The Dream of Scipio is a wonderful complex novel set in three time periods with themes that hold the book together.  I recommend it highly. 

Ordinarily I would have just read and enjoyed the book. I might have written a review for WWK.  However, thanks to Delta Airlines, I had five hours with very little to do  at a so-called “departure gate” inside the airport terminal in Provo, Utah.  So I savored the book in small bites in between walking the floor and talking with my mother. 

I also had time to analyze some of the techniques Pears used.  I don’t mean to over-simplify but I recognized one technique as the author describing in some detail what would have happened but did not happen due to trivial events.  It occurred to me that I could use a similar method to help me construct an amusing homicide. 

As Steven King has written, it takes two or three “moving parts” to create a short story.  I had one but, an idea plus one usable technique is not enough scaffolding to support a story.  I started writing. I created something resembling a puffed up outline. 

Then I noticed Pears also had a tight sequence of events for each major character, interrupted at intervals by the tightly knit plot involving a different character and time. When I added that to the other piece plus the idea and the guidelines, I was able to write an actual short story. 

Of course, I didn’t know how successful I had been for some time.  Now, you can read the story and see for yourself.  The Killer Wore Cranberry: Room For Thirds is now available at the Untreed Reads store.  You can even buy all three for a special price at http://store.untreedreads.com/

Also, thanks to the generosity of Untreed Reads I can offer a free copy to someone chosen at random who leaves a comment and a working email address.  

Has reading a particular book or author effected your writing?  


Jim Jackson said...

Isn’t it interesting how writers combine elements they stumble across into their own unique work. All stories have been told before, but never in just the same way. Congratulations on another publication success.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I loved the first volume and need to buy the second and third anthologies. I wrote a short for the second, but it wasn't picked for inclusion. Maybe next time, but congratulations to you, Warren, for your humorous short.

Shari Randall said...

Congratulations on your story being chosen for the anthology! Who's the cute little (and hungry) model?

Warren Bull said...

James, I agree.

Warren Bull said...

E.B., Thanks. You know how hard it is to combine humor and murder

Warren Bull said...

Shari, I don't know. I downloaded the photo, legally, from a website

Anonymous said...

Ah, a free book giveaway! As someone who can't begin to afford to buy all the books I'd like, and then can't manage to read the ones I do have in a timely fashion, I can't resist an opportunity to possibly add to the "stack."

And I love short stories.

Thanks for the post--it serves as a reminder to not only enjoy what we read, but to take a minute to uncover why it works for us.

e-mail, just in case I win:

Christine Finlayson said...

The Killer Wore Cranberry, Room for Thirds -- What a fantastic title! You can just tell the stories inside will be entertaining, and I'm intrigued by your "story behind the story."

Gloria Alden said...

It sounds like a fun read, Warren, and congratulations for being chosen for it. However, I don't have an e-reader so I probably won't have an opportunity to read your story.

Kara Cerise said...

Congratulations on your story being chosen, Warren! The anthology sounds like fun and I look forward to reading it.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

I actually own all three books so I'd prefer you give the free copy to one of the other commentators; however, I want you to know how much I appreciate the point you made in this post. I've been struggling with two stories -- both have good base ideas, but aren't working to my satisfaction, but thanks to your post, I think I see the missing element. Debra