If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contactE. B. Davisat email@example.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 bepublished. 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'sshort 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's4th 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.
“His hair was
slicked straight down on his head with some
kind of gel and brushed back in
a style that made him look like
a pompous middle-aged gigolo
with a sixteen-year-old-face.”
as Gallagher Gray
in Crime (Kindle: Loc 84)
traditional, or paranormal? Katy Munger writes them all. Beware of her loaded
sentences because readers may find themselves targets of her accurate aim. The
constant visual snapshots give readers whiplash. All of the major book
retailers carry Katy’s books. Be on the lookout for her new Casey Jones novel.
For further developments and updates, you can find Katy on the Internet at http://www.katymunger.com/Welcome to WWK, Katy.E. B. Davis
Would you give our
readers a brief synopsis of your three series?
My first series, the Hubbert & Lil Series, is a cozy series with a dry sense of humor that often relies on dignified people getting into absurd situations. The humor is similar to the books of P.G. Wodehouse and Charlotte MacLeod. It features an 84-year old New Yorker named Auntie Lil who is sturdily built with an appalling appetite, remains quite active and is very opinionated. She is helped in her investigations by her buttoned-down 55-year old nephew, T.S. Hubbert, whose precise approach to life is diametrically opposed to that of his free-wheeling aunt. Each book takes place in a different neighborhood in New York City and every book features a full supporting cast of colorful characters.
My Casey Jones series is a far more edgy, sarcastic
series but it shares the elements of having a very distinct sense of place in
the big cast of guest characters in each novel. Casey Jones is an unlicensed,
no-nonsense private detective who hides 160 pounds of muscle with a bottle
blonde in-your-face femme fatale style. Underneath her wisecracking 100%
Southern exterior, there beats a 14-carat heart with a definite soft spot for
life’s losers. Her overstuffed business partner is Bobby D., a 360-pound
Lothario whose little black book is almost as big as his appetite. There’s lots
of action — think car chases, gun fire, sometimes insanely funny scenes and lots
of local color. The books are all set in North Carolina. The series is best
described as irreverent and frequently bawdy — but not without its insights
into human nature.
My most recent series, the Dead Detective series, is
a more introspective series. The protagonist, Kevin Fahey was an alcoholic, a
lousy father and husband — and an even worse detective when he was alive. Now
that he is dead, he finds himself trapped in a lonely plane between the living
and the dead, with nothing to do except visit his old life and seek redemption
in trying to correct some of the mistakes he made when he was alive. His fate
is to face the terrible mistakes he made in his life and, somehow, find a way
to move on to a better place. While this series has touches of humor here and
there to alleviate the tension, it can best be described as a cross between a
thriller, a paranormal and a police procedural. It sometimes crosses the line
into horror, and I often get letters from readers who like the psychological
aspects of my scarier scenes.
Your series are written under
different author names. Was that by your choice? How do you feel about author
was suggested to me that I write under different names, but ultimately it was
my choice to do so. I suspect the publisher wanted a new name in hopes of
upping my sales (stores often base their orders for your new book on how many
copies they have sold of your prior books). However, I wanted to use pen names
because each time I started a new series, it ended up using a very different
approach and tone from the series before it. I did not want readers of one series
to buy a book by me that was totally different from what they expected. I
thought different names would help. I think in the end, though, I ended up
shortchanging my most loyal readers and confusing people. From here on out, my
books will be under my real name only.
for author branding — if a writer becomes so popular that their name alone will
sell a book, then good for them. However, if they are so craven that they
actually hire other people to write their books and then put their name on it,
either openly or secretly, then shame on them. If your name is on a book, then
you need to have been the one to write it. When the branding of an author
becomes more important than the story, character development, and the quality
of the book – you're in trouble. I don't know why readers stand for it. But
ultimately, the whole concept of the author as a brand comes from reader
behavior. If you want the practice to stop, then you need to stop buying the
books of mega-authors just because of the author's name and do a little
research into whether it is any good before you put your money down.
Your three series feature very
different characters. What elements of yourself are portrayed in your main
think that all of my main characters carry a different banner of mine into
battle, so to speak. Auntie Lil is fearless about trying new things and sees
the humor in life around her. Casey Jones is sarcastic, secretly somewhat
judgmental, almost too independent, and has a fondness for the underdog. That
would be me. Kevin Fahey has a perspective on life that echoes mine — mainly,
that life is precious, that the very best moments are often the quietest ones,
and that it all goes by way too fast.
Your first series, Hubbert &
Lil: Partners In Crime, was set in New York City, which isn’t listed in your biography.
Had you worked there in the garment industry, or did you do a great job of
actually lived in New York City for 16 years as a young adult, including while
I was writing the Hubbert & Lil series. This was long enough to get to know
its different neighborhoods and to appreciate the unique character of each area.
I lived near the garment district and often walked through it, gaining an
appreciation for its bustle and uniqueness. In addition, Auntie Lil is also
based on a real person, now deceased, who was every bit as outgoing and
indomitable as the fictional Auntie Lil. She often told me stories of her days
in the garment industry. I also had a boyfriend at the time whose family was
from Long Island, allowing me to get a peek into the type of lifestyle that
ended up being crucial to at least one of the books. I tend to create my books
around places I have been and people from my actual life who have made an
impression on me, rather than choosing a locale or characters and then conducting
In one Casey Jones
book, you killed off a character by barbells, which gave me chills because I
weightlift. Does Casey’s lifestyle determine the MOs and plots?
would say definitely. For one thing, her lifestyle is a bit on the edge. She
feels comfortable hanging
out with people on the fringes of society, i.e., the
down-and-out and those who were often looked down on by others. That dovetails
well with her job as a PI, since traditionally PI's have been the ones to bring
justice to the disenfranchised. But it also has to do with her upbringing and
status as what we here in the South would call "poor white trash."
Happily for me, this creates some great opportunities for colorful character
development and lively plots. For
example, the Casey I am working on now involves strippers and motorcycle clubs.
You know that had to happen sometime.
Do you agree with the
characterization that the Casey Jones series is “tart noir”?
I definitely agree with the “noir" part of it, it's the idea that Casey is
a “tart” that I have trouble with. Tart seems to imply that there is some sort
of coquettishness or game-playing going on, and one of the things that I think
characterizes Casey is that she is very genuine and straightforward. She just
is who she is. She would no more tart it up for a man in order for him to like
her than she would put on an apron and start cooking meatloaf and mashed
potatoes. But I will say that starting "tart noir" was a good move
for me, both in terms of marketing and in terms of bringing me closer to some
wonderful fellow writers.You know,
publishers these days pretty much force writers into pigeon-holed marketing
slots. It's tough for those of us who don't fit into one of these slots
perfectly to come up with ways to describe our books. Tart noir came close, but
none of the authors I worked with as part of that movement could really be
perfectly described by that phrase. There was always more to all of us than
Kevin Fahey is a dead cop who is
on the path of redemption. How do you keep the reader sympathetic to Kevin when
he’s led a very flawed life?
first of all — let me just say that I hope I do keep them sympathetic to Kevin Fahey, because one of the
premises of that series is that everyone deserves a second chance. It's
possible some people have no sympathy for him. I hope not. I think empathy for
others is what binds us together. But I try to keep him sympathetic by making
him very aware of how he failed in his life, the price the people who loved him
had to pay for loving him, and a deep realization of what could have been if he
had only paid more attention to what he had. I also feature him in every book
as being incredibly concerned for others, and while the people he is concerned
for will vary by book, they are always very sympathetic — a young boy, a
pregnant woman, his own troubled son. I think what happens is that writers don't
consciously choose to make characters sympathetic so much as they care deeply
for certain characters and it shows in the choices they make when they're
writing about them. I love Kevin Fahey and I want him to find redemption. I
feel very sympathetic toward him. Life is not easy for the strongest of us,
much less the weakest. That probably shows in the way I write about him.
Which do you prefer writing, PI
or amateur sleuth?
It totally depends on my mood
and where I am in my life. I think though, that in the end, I prefer amateur
sleuth just because you can concentrate more on character development and the
situations they get into, and less on the acceptable procedures. It's also
tough to escape stereotypes when you're writing a PI novel. Honestly, I think
maybe we are looking at an endangered species there. PI novels almost seem like
a relic from the 50s and 60s to me. The internet is open to all, there’s a
world of information available to just about anyone through a keyboard, and
that makes PI's seem almost quaint.
How did you get started as a
writer? Did you get an agent?
always been a writer, from the day I was born. I wrote my way through my
childhood and majored in writing in college. However, both my parents really
wanted me to be a writer so naturally, given my oppositional nature, I first
entered an unrelated field. At age 30, and I'm not really sure why looking
back, I decided I would try my hand at writing a book. I wrote a first novel
that is in a drawer somewhere, thank god, as it would probably make me cringe
at this point. Then I wrote my first Auntie Lil as an exercise in character
development and to remind myself that writing should be fun. Probably because I
was more relaxed, that's the book that sold, starting me on a career as a crime
have had an agent from the start. There are a lot of complexities and nuances
involved in selling a book these days. Rule number one is that you absolutely
must send the book to the right editor. With so many editors specializing not
only in genre, but in sub-genres, it is way better to have an agent who can
make sure you're not wasting your time sending a book into the wrong editor.
Having said that, I understand that getting an agent these days can be every
bit as frustrating as trying to sell a book. In my opinion, it's worth the
Many authors think about self-publishing,
The rights to my first two series reverted back to me after a certain period of
time so I was able to bring them back as reprints using self-publishing. It is
a wonderful option for writers lucky enough to get their rights back because
you bring an existing reader base into that market with you. I also self-published
my sixth Casey Jones, Bad Moon On The Rise, primarily because I was at a point
in my life where I absolutely could not commit to meeting any kind of deadline.
I wrote the book on my own time frame, and then brought it out through
self-publishing as an experiment. I would characterize it as moderately
successful. I had neither the time nor the interest needed to properly market
it and let people know it was there. I'm actually hoping that a traditional
publisher will pick it up, one is looking at it now, because I don't think it
reached a fraction of its potential readership.
think self-publishing is a great option for a whole swath of writers who want
to get their book out, hold in their hands, and sell it to people in their
communities or local bookstores. And as I said before, it's fantastic for
writers who get their rights back to traditionally-published books. But for
people just starting out, the sheer number of titles now being self-published
creates an enormous challenge. How in the world can an unknown author break through
the millions of other self-published books, particularly if you're talking
about e-books? I know people have done it, but I really think that given the poor
quality of many of the self-published books being given away for free, or
virtually free, some of the techniques available to break out in
self-publishing will start to lose their effectiveness. I'm hoping there will
be some new marketing or promotional developments, or maybe a sort of hybrid
model will emerge that combines traditional and self-publishing in some way — I
see signs of that already — so that readers can confidently enjoy the lower
cost of self-published books and e-books with the assurance that it is also
what you will about traditional publishing, it set up some hurdles that writers
had to pass: first an agent had to deem it as high enough quality to sell, and
then an editor had to deemit as high enough
quality to publish as well. And that was a good thing. But then the scales
tipped and whether a book was good or not became outweighed by whether it would
sell enough copies to make a killing. If only that equation had stayed in
balance. Maybe self-publishing can find a way to bring back that balance. But
right now, the market is flooded with crap and that's not good for writers who
have the talent and commitment to create really good books. They just get lost
in the avalanche.
Since your first book was
published in 1991, there have been many changes in the publishing
the reading market. Overall, do you think these changes are better or worse for
think the changes have been for the worse within the traditional publishing
world. Publishers started buying too many titles, then just essentially
throwing them all against the wall to see which one would stick. The music
industry did the same thing. The power of advertising and marketing was used to
promote, quite successfully, some pretty mediocre books and series. That opened
the floodgates to more books that had been dumbed down or were copycats of
bestsellers. After that, the quality of writing became less and less important
and I think that, ultimately, that was bad for writers.
I think the emergence of self-publishing, through e-books and print-on demand,
has been very empowering for writers. I think it's great that there is now a
way for writers to reach their readers without a middleman. However, clearly
there are problems with breaking through the glut of self-published books. I'm
hoping someone smarter than I am comes up with ways to help readers navigate
available titles, or helps writers reach their audiences. And, honestly, in the
great grand scheme of things, the technology behind self-publishing is very,
very young. It's still evolving. I hope I live long enough to see where it ends
Your blog mentions a new Casey
Jones novel, finished but not yet published. Would you provide the book jacket
to our readers?
do have a Casey in progress, but it's nowhere near finished yet so I have not
tackled the issue of cover art. This one is going to be a challenge. It
features two strippers, both dwarfs, and a host of motorcycle gang members. How
I am going to come up with a cover that is provocative without being offensive
is still beyond me. Suggestions are certainly welcome. By the way, the idea of
dwarf strippers is not some overreaching Twin Peaks move on my part. Apparently
it is a thriving and popular subgenre of stripping. People never cease to amaze
Which do you prefer, beach or
that's a tough one. I love the beach in autumn and in the winter, when it's
cooler and often deserted. There is a sparseness and serenity to it during
those times that is fantastic for a writer mulling over a book. But I don't
like the beach in the summer, it's just too blazing hot, way too crowded and
I'm not a fan of sand in either my food or my body parts. So I guess I would
have to go with the mountains. Especially if it's a mountain with a lake where
you can fish, or paddle around on a raft, or lie in a hammock by the water's
edge reading under the shade of a tree on the edge of a nearby forest. And I do
love my log cabins with front porches and fireplaces. Throw in a hot tub and
I'm in heaven. Yup, I'm going to have to say mountains — and now I wish I was