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


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sometimes, You Have to Hear No

I’d like to use today’s blog to create an addendum to the truth Linda Rodriguez shared here a few weeks ago in her post, “Advice AboutPublishing Your Novel.”

There’s a lot of mystery in publishing, and I thought I’d take Linda’s thoughts and use them to springboard into something I think is completely misunderstood about the agent-author relationship by those who haven’t been in that situation. (And, yes, I know not everyone reading this is looking for an agent, but I’m hoping this bit of information might be useful to those who want to publish in general.)

Ready for some truth?

An agent is not a “yes man.”

If you end up working with an agent, it will be because, yes, an agent loves your work and you think that going into a partnership with said agent will be a great way to get your manuscripts in the hands of fabulous editors.

But here’s the thing: An agent doesn’t have to sell everything you put in front of him/her.


Just because an agent loves one manuscript doesn’t mean he or she will love the next thing you write. Or, he or she might not think it’s marketable, know how to sell it or believe they have the connections to make it happen.

This has not happened to me (yet), but I know several really talented writers who have written full manuscripts only to have their agents say, “Nope.”

Will this happen to me? Yeah, probably. If not by my agent, then by my editor.

Because, here’s the thing: Agents (and editors) aren’t there to make you feel all sunshine-y about your work. They DO, but that’s not their job. Their job is to spot and nourish a manuscript into book form.

And sometimes that means saying no.

What would be the point of an agent (or editor) saying, “Yes, let’s put that out into the world,” when they aren’t a hundred percent behind it? Just like good critique partners and beta readers, they are there to tell you when something isn’t working. Only for them, their honesty is critical both to their success and yours.

I value my agent’s honesty. When we talk over revisions for my work, I know she’s telling me what she thinks I need to hear. And, conversely, when she’s telling me what she loves about it, I know she really truly loves it.

If she were a “yes man” how would I ever improve? How would I know where I’d gone off course? And how would I really know if I nailed something on the head?

So, if you have dreams of getting an agent, understand going in that at some point, he or she might have to tell you no. And that’s OK. They aren’t doing it to be mean or super critical or squash your dreams. They are doing it because it’s the best thing for you. And, if you don’t agree (and you might not), it’s always OK to reevaluate whether you have the same vision.

Who is the anti-“yes man” in your writing life?


Jim Jackson said...

I rely on early readers and beta readers to tell me when something is not working. Sometimes they are hesitant, but it is what I need them for. I’ll accept praise once the beast is published, but until that point, I need honest people pointing out areas that I can improve.

~ Jim

KM Rockwood said...

I submitted my first Jesse Damon book to a number of agents, and got several nibbles, but no bites. They did offer quite a bit of constructive advice, even though they were turning the project down. I can only imagine how they would have torn it apart if they were interested! The highest praise I've heard about an agent is, "She won't let it go out until she's satisfied that it's the best it can be."

E. B. Davis said...

I wish I had one, Sarah. I've had extreme comments on my WIP so my head is spinning. I can't trust all beta readers because too many are programmed for cozies. I'm going with my professional editor's opinion. She sees many manuscripts so I trust her judgment.

This winter I will query agents and hope to acquire representation. I'd much rather pitch an idea and get it shot down than write a full manuscript before finding out it isn't marketable. I submitted the first act of another WIP to my editor so as to avoid the problem. Creativity vs. marketability is a hit or miss proposition. Having the benefit of a professional's opinion doesn't seem like a disservice at all even if the idea gets nixed.

Gloria Alden said...

Sarah, years ago when I was sending to agents, I mostly got form letter rejections. Then with my first Guppy critique group, only one seemed to understand what I was writing and gave me excellent advice to make it better. And now I have a great Guppy critique group I've been with for over 5 years and a local beta writer I respect. When any of the three think something should be changed. I pay attention.