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


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


Thursday, June 5, 2014

And Still I Rise

The world lost a great woman last week on May 28th when Maya Angelou died in her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was considered one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. She had so many roles in her life; celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist.  She was also a singer and dancer and toured Europe in the opera Porgy and Bess. A great student of leadership and the creative process, she knew it took courage to lead and had close contact with some of the most well-known world leaders of her times. She said about leadership: “A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees is herself.”

Trisha LaNae’ asked her “How does one serve in that capacity without serving into their own ego when one has acquired your level of success?”

Maya Angelou answered: “I realized that I didn’t get here by myself. I am a child of God and that’s a blessing and because I have the blessing of God and the knowledge, I have no modesty because it is a learned adaptation. People are just fooling themselves in trying to fool other people when they say, Oh me! I’m modest. I can’t do this. I have no modesty. I have humility. Humility comes from inside out and it says, someone was here before me and someone has already paid for me. I have a responsibility to pay for someone else who is yet to come; there is no room in there for ego! I am grateful to God. I am grateful to all my people who have helped me and all the ways they’ve helped me, the teachers, preachers, rabbis and priests. Everyone that has helped me. I am grateful, and I try to help someone else often as I can.”

Years ago I read her first memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It was a moving and beautiful book. She also wrote Gather Together in My Name, Swingin’ and Singin’ and Getting’ Merry Like Christmas, and The Heart of a Woman, plus more than thirty books of poetry.

Her early life was not easy. Abused as a child, she didn’t speak for five years. But in spite of this and the racial and often brutal experiences she was exposed to in St. Louis, Missouri and Stamps Arkansas, she still maintained an unshakable faith and the values of Traditional African-American family, community and culture.

Her list of accomplishments could and have filled books. She was a brilliant woman who mastered French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language Fanti. She was the Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, received three Grammy awards, and composed a poem that she read at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.  Dr. Angelou received over 50 honorary degrees and was a Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

I went to Google to learn more about this amazing woman and while there I watched videos of her reciting poems and being interviewed. What a powerful and delightful woman, and what a wise and brave woman she was. Following are some of her quotes:

On Courage: “One isn’t born with courage. One develops it. And you develop it by doing small, courageous things, in the same way that one wouldn’t set out to pick up a 100 pound bag of rice. If that was one’s aim, the person would be advised to pick up a five pound bag, and then a ten pound, and then a 20 pound, and so forth, until one builds up enough muscle to actually pick up 100 pounds. And that’s the same way with courage. You develop courage by doing courageous things, small things, but things that cost you some exertion – mental and, I suppose, spiritual exertion.”

On dealing with writer’s block: There are times when I sit at that bed, on that bed, with Roget’s Thesaurus, the dictionary, and the Bible, and a playing deck of cards. I play solitaire. And sometime in a month of writing, I might use up two or three decks of bicycle cars. Giving my “little mind” something to do. I got that from my grandmother, who used to say when something would come up, and it would surprise her, she’d say sister, you know, that wasn’t even on my littlest mind. So I really thought that there was a small mind and a large mind.”

On knowing when her work is done: “I know when it’s the best I can do. It may not be the best there is. Another writer may do it much better. But I know when it’s the best I can do. I know that one of the great arts that the writer develops is the art of saying, ‘No, No, I’m finished. Bye.’ And leaving it alone. I will not write it into the ground. I will not write the life out of it. I won’t do that.”

On standing by one’s principles:  “I have a certain way of being in this world, and I shall not, I shall not be moved.”

I wish is could write more and add more pictures plus more of her wise sayings, but there’s a limit and I’ve reached it. However, I hope that most of you go to Google and read all you can about her, and even morel, I hope you bring up the videos and listen to her recite her poetry – especially the one that’s the title of this blog. In my opinion, no one can recite poetry better that she can.

Are you familiar with Maya Angelou and her works?
What do you admire most about her?


Warren Bull said...

She rescued herself from circumstances far worse than what most of us will ever face.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, you're right. Most people would have given up, but she didn't.

Shari Randall said...

Her inner strength and resilience are what come to mind when I think of her. And that voice -

Gloria Alden said...

Oh, Shari, that voice is so moving and powerful. I could listen to her speak for hours. Yes, she had a deep inner strength and resilience that so few people have.

Kara Cerise said...

I read Maya Angelou's poems in school and was struck by her bravery and resilience. May her words live on and continue to inspire people.

Anonymous said...

I read a biography and was not that impressed with her early life. Probably a product of her upbringing? I don't know, but she did some things that I think even today would raise eyebrows. She is another culture I suppose. She did have some good quotes, though. I was just put off by some of what she did as a young woman

Gloria Alden said...

Kara, I think her words will live on. If the poetry of white males can live on for hundreds of years, why not the words of a remarkable black woman.

Anonymous, her early upbringing at a lot to do with her early adulthood, but the fact that she overcame that shows what a strong woman she was.

E. B. Davis said...

She was an incredible writer, subtle until you realized what she had slipped in, and then pow, she hit you between the eyes. Graphic, terrifying, but she wrote truth--very much like Ray Bradbury--with a totally different style, voice, and genre. Their truth spoke to me.

KM Rockwood said...

A great literary figure who really spoke to anyone who would listen. She will be missed.

Gloria Alden said...

E.B. and KM, you are both right. I'm going to reread her first memoir and then read the others. She left quite a legacy, didn't she.