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


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Makes E.B. Davis a Great Interviewer?

E.B. Davis
"A writer and beach bum of note, E. B. Davis writes short stories and novels in the mystery and paranormal mystery genres. Ms. Davis graduated from George Washington University with a Masters Degree from the Elliot School of International Service, and continued degrading her writing skills working as a government contractor. 

"When she is not writing or blogging, she can be found at the beach, the setting for many of her stories. She is a member of Sisters In Crime ,its Guppy (The Great Unpublished) Chapter (where she serves on the Steering Committee), and its Chesapeake Chapter and The Short Mystery Fiction Society." -- E.B. Davis' self-description
 At Writers Who Kill, we have long recognized the rare jewel we have in E.B. Davis as a fellow blogger. E.B. has written fascinating blog messages that give us glimpses into her life as a voracious reader, committed and disciplined writer, and dedicated beach bum. Along with her significant ability as a storyteller, she has a real gift for interviewing authors and presenting their work to existing and potential readers.

I read E.B.’s interviews for two reasons: (1) to learn about authors, and (2) to watch a master interviewer at work. E.B. makes the process seem effortless, like she’s having an intimate conversation with a friend and inviting the online community to listen. She poses questions to entice an author to divulge tantalizing tidbits about writing, craft, and life.

Developing some of E.B.’s interviewing skills can be a real advantage to authors. Not only for appearances on panels, but also to glean information for a work-in-progress. Often I’ve seen E.B. provide insight on the Guppy list serv or in a short story critique group based on some background materials she has studied for her own writing. Taking a few tips from her research methods can be a true benefit.

So here goes. What are the top five reasons that E.B. Davis is an excellent interviewer?

1. She is truly enthusiastic about her subject matter.

Whether E.B. is interviewing someone for the first time or a friend she has interviewed previously, she is excited about the author and the author’s work. She is always on the lookout for new work and new writers, but she’s just as delighted to present an established writer’s new series. She keeps her eye on the market. That’s beneficial to her, both as a reader and a writer. She knows what type of work is being published by which publisher. If you follow her interviews, you’ll know more about the mystery publishing world, too.

2. She takes the time to learn about the author and the author’s work.

Usually at the beginning of an interview, E.B. gives a brief synopsis of the author’s latest book or an overview of what the author has written. She sets readers up so they are ready to hear from this person.  She lets us know what types of mystery books the author writes and provides a teaser to lure us into the interview.

3. She asks specific questions about the author’s characters and their motivations.

I’m always amazed at the preparation that must go into E.B.’s interviews, but I’m particularly impressed by how she carefully studies an author’s characters and asks incisive questions about why the characters do what they do. She considers recurrent themes and choices that characters have to make. I like it best when an author responds to one of her questions by saying that she brought out a new perspective on the work. E.B.’s adventurous and likes to discover elements that make good writing stand out or hold stories together. That’s another reason that she’s a great storyteller.

4. She wants to know about the details.

Does the author use unfamiliar terminology? E.B. asks the author to define it. That way, you learn not only about a new concept, but how the author views it.

What quotation does the author use at the beginning of the book? How does that quotation fit in with the story? How did the author find that quote and why did it resonate with the author? E.B. has inquired into all these issues.

I think asking about details is part of E.B.’s charm, but it’s also a great strategy. Who wouldn’t be flattered that an interviewer noticed some very specific aspects of a work? Who doesn’t dig a little deeper to provide an insightful answer when presented with such a flattering question? E.B.’s analysis not only draws out a unique author response, but also brings readers into a more personal connection with the author. And, that personal connection leads to adding an author to a TBR (to-be-read) list!

5. She has a beach bum mentality.

Now, don’t disagree before you hear me out. Beach bums get a bad rap. Bum has a negative connotation. Maybe that’s from jealousy. If you think about it, those who spend their lives on the sand have discovered their one true love and focus. They calculate how to be in their favorite place for the longest periods of time possible doing exactly what they feel makes life meaningful. Then, they act on their inclinations. Isn’t that the kind of person you would want evaluating your writing?

E.B. has promised to let me interview her soon, so I thought I should consider her style and pick up some pointers to use to my advantage.

I know there are more than just five reasons that E.B. is such a talented interviewer. What have you noticed and enjoyed from reading her interviews?


Jim Jackson said...

EB comes up with interesting questions that other people have not asked, so no matter how well I know an author and her work, I always learn something new.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

The authors she interviews recognize that she is truly interested in them as well as their work. They feel comfortable and relaxed with her, so they can be open and honest in their responses. And she never has "spoilers."

Paula Gail Benson said...

Good points, Jim and Warren. EB puts the focus on the author and asks the questions readers want to hear.

Sherry Harris said...

I was amazed by the depth of the questions E.B. asked when she interviewed me. I wrote her back and asked when she needed my answers because they were questions I had to think about. E.B. is a gem!

carla said...

So glad you wrote this tribute to EB. She is such a gifted, thoughtful, and intelligent interviewer.
She makes us sound like we know what we're doing!

Maya Corrigan said...

As one of the fortunate writers EB has interviewed, I join the rest of you in praising her skills. She made me think about my own book in a different way. Her interviews of other writers, even those whose books I've read, give me new insights. Thanks, Elaine.
--Maya Corrigan

Jan Christensen said...

What a great analysis of how E. B. does her interviews. She must be a wonderful friend because she focuses so thoroughly on the person she's interacting with. Thanks for this insightful piece.

Gloria Alden said...

She is such a good interviewer, that many authors she's interviewed have made me buy their books. She brings out the best in those she interviews. My only question is how does she find the time to read so many book and still write and do other things.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

The ability to do an in-depth interview is admirable!

Shari Randall said...

I've read a lot of online interviews, and EB's stand out for the level of preparation and insight she brings. You can tell that the authors are thinking about their work in a new, deeper way.
EB's interviews have increased the height of my TBR by a good two feet.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks, everyone. I don't know how anyone writes without reading. It's my primary enjoyment/hobby. I want to know who is writing what, the types of novels on the market, and want to know writers' styles. When I see a new book on the market, I not only think of the pleasure I'll receive from that book, but I also want to thank and cheer those authors. I'll never interview writers without reading their books or if I didn't enjoy a book. My interview is my endorsement. I hope to find all of you within the pages you create.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Wow, EB. I like what you've said. "I hope to find all of you in the pages you create." That would be a wonderful compliment for any author. Thanks for all you do for us at WWK.

Polly Iyer said...

For all the reasons Paula mentioned, I agree with her assessment of Elaine completely. I've been fortunate to have been interviewed by her a few times, and each time was different and creative and insightful. She read my books, knew her subject matter, and didn't pull any punches. You're lucky to have her as a blogmate.

Kara Cerise said...

I learn so much about an author, her stories, and the process of writing from E.B.’s insightful interview questions.

Also, I have a huge stack of TBR books that I can’t wait to read. Thank you, E.B.!

KM Rockwood said...

I look forward to EB's interviews. They're always fascinating, and she manages to coax lots of details from her sources.

Barb Ross said...

When I have a new book coming out, I always hope E.B. will interview me. The reason for me is related to #3, and to Sherry Harris's comment that E.B.'s questions make you think.

She always surfaces something about my character that is there on the page, but that I never consciously created. Her questions make me as the author explore things about my characters I haven't thought about.

Just as I like answering the questions, I like reading E.B. interviews of other authors, because even if they are well known to me, she always articulates something in their work I hadn't thought of.