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


February Interviews













2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar


Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson

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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 (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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."


Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.


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


Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!


KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.


Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.


Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.



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!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Let’s Shock Writer’s Block!

What's your opinion about writer's block. I have one to be sure and you'll read my thoughts in the comments. Salad Bowl Saturdays is pleased to welcome Lala Corriere to share her thoughts. I'll be interested in the reactions from both our writer and reader friends.

~ Jim
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You’ve heard the wails, whimpers, and whines. Writers scurrying into their caves, or their spas and retreats, or home to Mommy, just to heal the wounds of a numb mind. Trust me on this. You may find a sense of quiet and peace, a deep-tissue massage, and your mother’s home cooking, but you won’t find your muse.

It happens to all of us. Maybe. Just maybe, you haven’t lost your muse at all.

Sure. I get stuck on storylines. I get stuck on plot scenes, and sagging middles.

My little tricks might work for you.

First, give up all notions of such a thing as writer’s block. Make it non-existent. Zap! But once you deny writer’s block, it’s time to fill-up that void with your Think Tank.

This is my encouragement. Become a supreme eavesdropper. That’s it. People are amazing, crazy, kind, and nefarious. People are three-dimensional beings, and sometimes, I think, SIX.

A good writer is an expert in the art of observation.

Even if you are unsure of your plot, what about your characters? Who are they? Who do you want to resonate and spend time with for the next many months, or even a year? Will they be shopping at Neiman Marcus or the thrift store? Coffee houses or pubs? No better people-watching than at an airport. Hospitals? The Ritz Carlton? Denny’s, or Ruth’s Chris for steaks, or a quirky vegan restaurant?

Go there. Spy, my ace detectives! Caveat… no back alleys. Use your imagination on the dicey locales, or take mega-backup!

One of the best things I did to ward off any such thing as writer’s block was to register for the Citizen’s Police Academy. I live in a suburb and was surprised the local police department offered this program which is, indeed, widely available. It’s usually about a sixteen-week session, once a week. More surprises. My sleepy little suburb isn’t so sleepy! We had classes on gangs, drugs, illegal trafficking of humans, and two great field-trips with the SWAT team and weaponry demonstration, and the K-9 Unit. You will gather tons of fodder with this program. The final graduation is a ride-along in a patrol car. Check it out. No homework!

And what to do with all of this fodder? It doesn’t matter your system, whether it’s a Smartphone app like Evernote, or a small pad and pen. Keep it with you at all times. I stick my notes into a big folder: great names I hear, phrases and sentences, fascinating scenes, and even full-plot ideas. All by spying, or the preferred word… observation. It’s an art, I’ve heard.

I can’t argue with Stephen King and his Cujo and walking utility poles, but what scares me most is the man next door. Check that guy out, in your mind, and let your imagination soar!

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Lala Corriere is the author of three titles in suspense, with the next book, Kiss & Kill, scheduled for release this spring. Her credits include the endorsement and long-term mentorship from the late Sidney Sheldon, and blurbs from Andrew Neiderman [author of the Devil’s Advocate], J.Carson Black, Paris Afton Bonds, KT Bryan, and CJ West. Lala’s a desert rat. She nestles there with her husband of twenty-five years, two Teacup Yorkies, and an American Curl.

10 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

I let my subconscious work on stuff whenever I am "stuck." With multiple projects going on at all times, I can put the problem on a back burner, turn up the heat on another project and more times than not a solution to the first problem appears "like magic."

I don't completely understand the unconscious process, but I do trust it.

When I need to be more proactive about solving something, I'll go for a long run or walk.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

Excellent suggestions. I suggest you avoid restaurants with loud music and/or overly-efficient staff. It's hard to hear over noise and staff invariably shows up just when something interesting is happening with the people you're listening to.

Gloria Alden said...

Lala, welcome to WWK. You have some good suggestions. I don't exactly get writers block, but I find if I keep a brief synopsis of each chapter, who is in it, what went on, etc. and then decide which characters need to be brought back and what I need to advance the work. I might not always know what's going to happen, but once I start writing with pen on paper, the story takes off on its own.

I also find writing other things is a good break from my WIP, plus I'm a great collector of newspaper or magazine articles that just may work into a plot or create a character. And yes, I've picked up on conversations in restaurants or doctor's offices, etc. and written down a line or two to use in a short story or book.

Lala Corriere said...

Thanks for your comments, Jim, Warren and Gloria! It's so fun to hear what other writer's do. I think some sink into a lacking-of-words abyss only because they've heard of writer's block.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Lala,
Thanks for stopping by! These are some great suggestions. I love eavesdropping, er, observing. One must dodge the loud cell phone talkers, who generally have conversations like "What's for dinner?" or "Watcha doing? Not much." Rarely does one hear something like "Darling, meet me in Budapest on Tuesday and bring the package" -
Maybe I have to change my coffee house.

KM Rockwood said...

I'm more likely to get discouraged than have writer's block. A "who would ever want to read this?" mentality can sneak in, and that's hard to overcome.

Thanks for your tips. I have printed them out & will use them.

Kara Cerise said...

Thank you for the great suggestions, Lala. The Citizen's Police Academy sounds fascinating.

I do enjoy eavesdropping and people watching. Usually the conversations are about mundane topics, but every now and then I hear something that arouses my curiosity. Unfortunately, many people in the D.C. area speak multiple languages and switch from English to another language just as the conversation begins to get intriguing.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Excellent suggestions, Lala!

Shari, you'll have to come to my coffee shop. One time I listened (and typed into my laptop) for over an hour as four adulterous fundamentalist ministers counseled one of their number about his affair with a teenaged girl in his congregation. "You'll find, like I did, that teens are nothing but trouble. Go for a married woman. She's got as much to lose as you do." And they all agreed. One guy had a married woman in his church and in another where he was filling in for an ill pastor. I get stuff like that all the time.

Lala Corriere said...

So we have a lot of spies here!

Thanks, Shari and Linda. KM... don't we all get discouraged? One of my favorite lines from a song is from Johnny Mathis...'what a writer has to feel like, when suddenly he's discovered he's been read'. I was a teenager when this stuck with me. I had no idea why.

And Kara, I do encourage you to check out your local police or sheriff's office to see if they offer the Citizen's Police Academy. Not only do you walk away with fodder, but also a deeper understanding of your community, AND the extra services that are available to protect you and yours.

Shari Randall said...

Linda, I'll be right over! ;)