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

Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

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.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH SARAH GLEN AND GWEN MAYO

Today I’m interviewing the publisher, Gwen Mayo, and editor, Sarah E. Glenn of Mystery and Horror, LLC. They have three anthologies out now: Strangely Funny, All Hallows Evil, and Undead of Winter. A fourth anthology, Mardi Gras Murder will be out soon. I submitted stories for the first two and was pleased to be accepted. I found the anthologies well edited and the stories in those anthologies all good reads. Welcome to Writers Who Kill, Gwen and Sarah.



Gwen and Sarah, what brought you together to form Mystery and Horror, LLC?

Sarah: We both had novels we were promoting in 2011 and we were going to the same conventions, so we’d begun discussing forming a corporation to simplify our taxes. But the deciding factor was co-ownership of each other’s work. Copyrights pass on to “family” and a same-sex partner didn’t count. Later, when Pill Hill Press closed its doors, we decided to try our hand at publishing. Pill Hill put out anthologies based on great themes like the ePocalypse: Emails at the End, and we wanted to be part of that void.

Gwen, on your website you write that you grew up in a large Irish family and you’re passionate about blending the colorful history of your native Kentucky with your love of mystery fiction.
Tell us more about your background and the book you wrote that combines these two loves.

They classify my book as Gilded Age. There isn’t much gilded about Kentucky in the late 19th century. But our history is littered with colorful characters, bloody conflicts, family feuds, political assassinations, secret societies, robber barons, and backroom deals. I say our history because my family was involved in all of it. The Mayos settled in Kentucky while it was still part of Virginia and crop up in state history in both good and bad ways. One of my mother’s great-grandmothers was Native American, so her family was already there.

I have always loved digging through the photographs and documents. There is a lot to dig through in our past. Both pairs of grandparents came from large families and carried on the tradition.  Dad had nine brothers and sisters and Mom had ten. I have 72 first cousins. I refuse to count beyond that point. I’m sure my generation is a disappointment to the tradition. My brothers, sisters and I have only produced eleven children and a dozen grandchildren.

My character comes from a different background: she is part of the wave of Irish immigrants who came through Canada to settle in Chicago. She and her brother were Pinkerton agents during the American Civil War. Her brother was killed investigating a group of Union Army payroll robberies, and she assumes his identity. Not a lot of people know about the female Pinkerton agents or the women who took on male identities during the war, so I pulled the two historical facts together to create Nessa Donnelly.

Sarah, you write that you love writing mystery and horror stories, often with a sidecar of humor. You also have a book out All This and Family, Too. Tell us about your background and the book you wrote.

Many would-be Kentucky authors are encouraged to write about their rural background; I grew up in the burbs with a family that essentially had its own library. Dad was a hillbilly who went to seminary. His favorite areas of study were music and Gnosticism. My mother was a Greek hillbilly who came to the USA as a teenager. She was a social worker and is still an activist for the downtrodden. I am afraid my own love of humanity is largely philosophical, and I know nothing of normalcy. All This and Family, Too is the story of a vampire who moves her family into a gated community to protect them from vampire hunters only to discover that the homeowners’ association is a much more challenging enemy.


You both belong to two Sisters in Crime chapters; The Ohio River Valley Chapter and the Speed City Indiana chapter, also. How do you manage to attend both chapters, especially since you now live in Tarpon Springs, Florida? By the way, I read the Indiana chapter’s anthology, Hoosier Hoops and Hijinks and enjoyed both of your short stories that were in it.

Sarah: I think we would be considered inactive by the Ohio River Valley chapter at the moment, although we did offer to publish their next anthology through MAHLLC if they were interested. In the last two years, we’ve interacted more with the Indiana chapter. We had to drop everything and move to Florida in 2012 when my father’s health took a serious plunge, and I’m very glad we still have contact with our friends in KY and IN via the Internet.

When did each of you begin writing, especially mysteries?

Sarah: I stated with fan fiction when I was very young. I wrote and drew stories inspired by The Black Stallion, Betty and Veronica and later, The X-Men. I moved from that to fan fiction set in Roger Zelazny’s Amber, and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series. Eventually, I began writing my own stories with my own characters. The investigative nature of my writing emerged on its own while I was writing my trunk story. I may finish it one day.

Gwen: I began telling stories before I could write. I’ve never been sure if I was a good storyteller or a bad one since the object of the tales was to put my sister to sleep. It worked every time. I had to start writing the stories down when she was about four and wanted me to tell the same ones over and over again. The trouble was I couldn’t remember what I told her the night before. Mystery writing was Sarah’s influence. I had always loved reading mystery, but hadn’t thought about writing until Sarah talked me into joining Sisters in Crime.

Who was the first mystery writer who turned you on to mysteries, and who are other mystery writers who have inspired you along the way or whose books you still love?

Sarah: Encyclopedia Brown, of course! I loved trying to solve the mystery before reading the answer. Authors I loved today include Robin Cook, Anne Perry and Louise Penny.

Gwen: The first mysteries I can remember reading were Edgar Allen Poe’s. The first I bought was Agatha Christie; eventually I bought all of hers. I think everyone who has the nerve to pour their heart into creating a book inspires me. As for the books I love, currently my favorites are mostly Anne Perry, Beverle Graves Myers, Catriona McPherson and Suzanne Adair. I also love Louise Penny, Cynthia Riggs, Molly MacRae and Blaize Clement.

Both of you have numerous stories published in anthologies and other places as well as at least one book. Which do you prefer writing and why?

Sarah: Short stories. I love reading them, and I’m an impatient writer.

Gwen: I’m in love with the short story. In my opinion a well-crafted short story is a true gem.  My Sisters in Crime encouraged me to write my first novel. They wanted to see more from the characters in my short stories. I suppose that’s a good thing, but I’ll never stop writing short fiction.

You both belong to the Guppies chapter of Sisters in Crime. Has that been helpful? How?

Sarah:  Very much so. The Guppies are great at supporting the writing of their members through encouragement, sharing suggestions and information, and mentoring by Polliwogs (Published While on Guppies). I post our calls for submissions to the Guppy list because I know I’ll get stories from people who have been working on becoming good authors and writing professionals.

Gwen:  YES! Guppies are a great group. The newsletters alone are worth the cost of membership. The Guppies are everything from cheerleaders to critique partners. I don’t say much on the list, but I value their support.

What conferences have you attended and do you find them worth the time and money?

Sarah:  I love Magna Cum Murder. We haven’t had the time or money to go the last two years, and it’s killing me. They’re always great fun and very educational.

Gwen:   I think conferences are worth the money. Writing is solitary work. We need conferences to meet readers, fans, and colleagues. I always come away with more enthusiasm for my work and new perspectives on the craft of writing. This year it wasn’t possible to attend Bouchercon, but we get there as often as we can. Magna Cum Murder is a favorite of ours. The Historical Novel Society conference was in Florida this year, so we got to attend it. One of these days I’m going to get to Left Coast Crime. My friends keep posting wonderful pictures from that event.

What are you working on now – alone and as a team?

Sarah:  Gwen has been pushing me to finish my sequel to All This and Family, Too. There are some short stories I’ve been messing with, one of which involves my detective from Fish Tales. Gwen has finished the sequel to Circle of Dishonor, and I think it’s a great follow-up.

Gwen:  Together we are working on a novel with Professor Pettijohn and the ladies from our short story Hoosier Hoops and Hijinks. The book is set here in Florida near the end of the land boom. We are calling it Murder on the Mullet Express. The professor is looking at a potential location for a winter home when an unfortunate chain of events leads to his being arrested for murder. Cornelia and Teddy must find the real killer.

If you could ask the genie in the bottle for one thing that didn’t include an obscene amount of money, what would you ask for?

Sarah:  Shucks, I could use that money. Other things I need: a muzzle to use on my Inner Editor when I’m writing, and I’m sure several other authors feel the same way.

Gwen:   That’s an easy one. I would ask for my daughter and her family to be closer to me. The hardest part of leaving Kentucky is the distance between me and them.





8 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Thanks for sharing on wwk. I agree that short stories are wonderful reading.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks for interviewing Gwen and Sarah, Gloria. I like finding out more about writers, and now--publishers. I also wanted to thank Gwen for asking me to judge the Derringers a few years ago. It was a good experience for me. I learned a lot from judging even if it was more work than I realized.

Shari Randall said...

Really enjoyable interview, Gloria. It seems the time is ripe for a renaissance for short stories - everyone's so busy, squeezing time for reading on a phone or tablet into their busy days.
Nice to learn about Gwen and Sarah - I wish them luck with all their ventures!

KM said...

How nice to hear from people who really sound like they are having fun with their writing, and supporting others who want to write.

Thank you Gloria, Gwen and Sarah.

Gloria Alden said...

It was fun interviewing Gwen and Sarah. I got to know them better and liked what I learned about them.

I agree, Warren and Shari, that short stories are fun to read and seem to be coming back.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Welcome Sarah and Gwen to WWK. Great to hear about your new venture. Thanks, Gloria, for a terrific interview.

Kara Cerise said...

Great interview Gloria, Gwen and Sarah.

Gwen, your character, Nessa Donnelly, sounds fascinating. I didn’t know there were female Pinkerton agents.

Sarah, I love the premise of your story about a vampire who finds a homeowner’s association more of a challenging enemy than vampire hunters.

Best of luck with all your ventures!

Sarah Glenn said...

Thank you all for the kind comments. Hoping this goes through; we tried commenting earlier and the Captcha was being difficult.

We really love short stories, and I've been enjoying Gloria's stories greatly.