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

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity


September Guest Bloggers


9/19 Judy Alter


WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson













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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!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

How It All Started




How it all started 

Brett Battles’ novella, Becoming Quinn, is a prequel to the Jonathan Quinn novels.
Just before reading this novella, I read a really poorly written novel about the origin of an action hero. That author should read this author to see how clever and engrossing a back-story can be.  Battles started his story with a botched hit.  It was not at all clear who was targeted and why. 
The protagonist was a “cleaner” whose role was to make evidence of the murder disappear, leaving a false trail for the authorities.  When the situation deteriorated he had to act in haste, lacking enough time to double check his tasks and tie up every loose end.  Rookie Phoenix police officer Jake Oliver observed minor oddities in the crime scene, but his training officer assigned him to crowd control before he can share his observations with detectives.

Jake cannot shake the sense that the presumed story is somehow false.  With the help of another rookie policeman, he initiates a personal investigation that turns up other hints that the crime was not as obvious as it appeared.  When he finally tried to share what he has learned, the authorities were more interested in Jake’s failure to follow procedures than in what he has uncovered. 
The group that organized the assassination pressures the cleaner to eliminate Jake, but the cleaner has developed respect for the raw skills, intelligence and persistence of the untutored rookie. 
The cleaner and the rookie end up cooperating to face a common threat. Jake is presented with an opportunity he did not expect.

Anyone wanting to create a back-story for a character should read this book to see how well it can be done. What "origin stories" do you recommend?  

5 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

Body in the Big Apple by Katherine Hall Page was written as a prequel about five years after her first in series was released. Although this cozy series in no way resembles the dark tale of Jonathan Quinn, the prequel Page wrote fit her later books. It explained her MC's vocation and the ironic basis of her marriage. In the later stories, her MC felt out of place in the small New England town where they had settled. The prequel showed the MC's love of New York City, where she grew up. This book was a well done prequel that filled in the backstory.

Gloria Alden said...

Elizabeth George wrote a prequel to her Inspector Lynley series. I think it may have been "A Great Deliverance" since that is listed first now, at least in the paperback versions. I've read it, but it seems to be the only one of her books missing from my shelf so I probably lent it to someone and didn't get it back.

Kara Cerise said...

What an interesting book, Warren. I don't recall reading many prequels although I enjoy them.

I have heard there is a movie prequel being developed for Agatha Christie's Miss Marple as a 30-something crime solver.

E. B. Davis said...

Now that's one I'd like to see. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Kara. Miss Marple at age 30. That should be interesting.

Yolanda Renée said...

Writing a prequel for my Detective series now, great post, I'll check out some of these suggestions!