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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

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 be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

An Interview with Author Kendel Lynn

 It’s Opening Night at the Ballantyne Foundation’s production of The Nutcracker, but it’s curtains for the Sugar Plum Fairy. When her body is found backstage, fatally poisoned by a cupcake she baked herself, rumors turn to suicide. But Elli Lisbon, director of the Ballantyne and coordinator of the ballet, smells something rotten amidst the sugar and spice.

As Elli applies her PI-in-training skills on the troupe of suspects, she discovers an eccentric herbalist, a temperamental chef, a stalking choreographer, and a bevy of backstage secrets. Between her off-the-record investigation, duty as director, and highly-charged love life, she finds herself caught in a dance to stay one pirouette ahead of a half-baked killer.                                                                                                 http://kendellynn.com/swan-dive/

Mystery writers are clever people. They see opportunity—for murder—where few do. In the midst of paradisiacal Sea Pine Island, filled with rich residents celebrating the Christmas season, a death occurs. Kendel Lynn’s main character, Elliot Lisbon, investigates due to the Ballantyne Foundation’s sponsorship of a ballet. Elli uses commonplace tools, employing them in the most complex and ingenious ways to fuel the case. I won’t elaborate and spoil the fun, but it’s no wonder the first book in the series, Board Stiff, garnered an Agatha nomination. In Swan Dive, Kendel Lynn shows her mastery of the mystery genre.

Welcome back to WWK, Kendel!                                                                                   E. B. Davis

Elli starts the investigation unaware of connections and relationships among people, but she makes it her business to find out. Unlike Elli, the police don’t seem surprised by relationships. Do they keep dossiers on the island’s residents?

Perhaps not formal dossiers, but maybe they should! This island is as rich and lively as any small town, and folks can remember gossip going all the way back to when the first sailor rowed ashore.  

For being such good friends, Matty doesn’t understand that the Ballantynes expect Elli to investigate. He said she involved herself in cases because she wanted to, not because it was her job. Why doesn’t Elli give him the facts? Doesn’t he know she’s a PI apprentice?

Elli chose to become a PI-in-training; it wasn’t a directive from Mr. Ballantyne. She truly enjoys that side of her Directorship duties, to the point where she made them part of her Directorship duties. Matty’s concern for her safety touches her, but it also frustrates her. She doesn’t necessarily see the risk in investigation – or at least feels helping the Ballantyne Foundation is worth the risks.

My grandmother and mother had a running debate. Grammy maintained that men and women couldn’t ever be friends because sex got in the way. My mother thought friendships between the sexes could occur. I think Elli would agree with my mother. But I’m not so sure Matty would. What do you think?

I’m with your mother! I think developing friendships with both men and women make us more rounded humans. We better understand different perspectives. Special people come into our lives and we cherish those moments – sometimes it’s a woman bff and sometimes it’s a man bff. I think we’re lucky if we get both!

What’s with people who dye their hair unnatural colors? Do they want to announce their quirky unconventionality? Is it a form of rebellion, or do they think it’s fun?

I love Zibby! She brings me such joy to write her. She dyes her hair to match her clothes (and sometimes the season) because it adds a little zing. She’s an eccentric, that one, often adding butter to her coffee and stirring it with a fork. We all need a little Zibby to brighten our day!

During the prep school dance Elli attends with headmaster, Matty, she gets lightheaded and shaky. Is Elli hypoglycemic? Is that why she eats sugary cereal and cupcakes?

Elli’s diet hasn’t evolved since her childhood days (a perk of being single into her forties). She gets a bit shaky at the dance from missing the meals that day (plus stress!). She might be a smidge hypoglycemic, but it’s nothing she wants to address.

Speaking of which, you admit to eating cupcakes for dinner. “I’m not much of a kitchen person myself.” Elli tells the reader this understatement. How much like Elli are you?

Oddly, Elli is quite a bit like me: we have the same sense of humor, neither of us use the kitchen for more than a place to store cereal, and I’m unabashedly germ-conscious (my friends understand there will always be a bottle of hand-sani on the restaurant table).

Elli’s best friend Sid Bassi asks good questions pushing Elli to find her way through all the facts. Sid also serves as a lookout for her and a stakeout partner. Sid seems cool, collected, and she watches a lot of TV while waiting on a man. Elli is a bundle of nervous energy and constantly on the go. What makes their relationship simpatico?

Sid loves Elli for who she is – as they say: a friend will help you move and a best friend will help you move a body. Sid falls into the best friend category. They balance each other and support one another. Hard to find a friend like that!

I love Carla Otto. Elli describes Carla: “I once watched her turn out a gourmet spread with only a jar of pickles and can of spam in ten minutes flat.” Tell our readers about this genius in the kitchen. What’s her backstory?

I love Carla, too! Elli wanted a wizard of a chef when she joined the Ballantyne Foundation team right out of college. Carla Otto was her only choice. She had both sides of the culinary coin: she competed (and won) culinary competitions from North Carolina to Georgia, but was a self-taught, learning her downhome cookery from her mama and her mama’s mama. As Carla says, she infuses her food with love. And it shows!

Elli thinks of the Ballantynes as surrogate parents. Do the Ballantynes have children?

They don’t have any biological children, but they see Elli as a daughter. With her parents lost in their own world, Elli leaned on the Ballantynes (who adored her from baby-hood). As dear friends of her parents, the Ballantynes vowed to watch over her after their death.

Do you read consumer reviews online?

I do not. It surprises some of our Henery Press authors when I tell them this, but it’s absolutely true. Consumers leave reviews for one another, not the author – and we should leave them to it. I respect an author’s choice to spend the time reading them, but for me, I feel like the positive ones feed my ego and the negative ones hurt my ego. In the end, my ego doesn’t need either of those things, and my OCD side says: get back to work, you have dozens of to-do lists that need your attention….

The police treat Elli with disdain, but she’s the one who solves cases. Is Ransom leading Elli on, taking advantage of her obvious weakness for him, to get information helping him solve cases, or is he romantically interested in her?

I disagree that the police treat Elli with disdain. She has wonderful working relationships with Corporal Parker and the Captain of the Sea Pine Police. Now when it comes to Lieutenant Ransom, they definitely tangle. He was the love of her life a long time ago and now he’s back. He doesn’t need her help solving any case, and Elli has been assisting the police without him for years. They are both trying to navigate their unresolved feelings along with their working relationship. They don’t always do a great job at either.

Elli admits to meeting and befriending Diane Vallere’s main character, Madison Night, from her Mad for Mod series. Is Elli related to Susan Boyer’s main character, Liz Talbot, who is also a SC resident and a mysophobic, addicted to hand sanitizer?

Elli and Madison (along with Gigi Pandian’s Jaya Jones) had a luggage mishap wherein their identical suitcases were mixed up during a glitch at the Dallas airport. (Side note: writing Other People’s Baggage with Diane and Gigi was so so much fun and I hope we get to do another someday!). I love the idea that they’ve kept in touch (they’ve never actually met). Elli’s never met Liz Talbot, but wouldn’t it be fun if they worked a case together?! (Hint, hint, Susan, in case you’re reading this.)

What’s next for Elli?

A looooong vacation! On a different island, far far away…

Thank you so very much for hosting me. It’s always my pleasure to share this time with you, and I appreciate you thinking of me!



James Montgomery Jackson said...

I had the pleasure of having Kendel on a panel at last year’s Left Coast Crime shortly before Board Stiff was released. I enjoyed the book and the panel.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

Thanks for coming back to WWK. You have an interesting take on reviews. I always want to know what reviewers think.

Gloria Alden said...

Welcome to WWK Kendel I bought Swan Dive at Malice this year, and I'm looking forward to reading it. Like you, I only checked my Amazon reviews once or twice shortly after my first book came out, and I've never checked them since for any of my books.

Susan M. Boyer said...

I reading it...and the wheels are turning in my brain. Sounds like fun! :)

Susan M. Boyer said...

I'm reading it...good grief. I can't type this morning.

KM Rockwood said...

I enjoyed the interview. More for my TBR list!

Like Warren, I was interested in your attitude toward reviews. I appreciate a thorough review, and I always consider what the reviewers have to say. After all, they represent our readers. I take special note of aspects of my series that are mentioned several times; this may be an area that needs more consideration from me for future books.

Paula Gail Benson said...

I love Elli in any venue, but please do have another adventure like Other People's Baggage. It was delightful to read about Elli, Madison, and Jaya. To have Liz join them would be icing on the cupcake. Or lime on the margarita! Thanks for visiting WWK!

E. B. Davis said...

I can't spoil Kendel's method of solving the murder, but it is wonderful. I wish I had thought of it. Thanks so much for the interview, Kendel!

Kendel Lynn said...

Thank you everyone for the support of me and Elli, it's always muchly appreciated. I'm definitely one who stays far away from reading reviews. Social proof is invaluable to the reader process, but I fear it's detrimental to the writer process, at least mine. Just had a conversation at lunch today discussing evidence that books with 1 star reviews do better than those with only 4/5 star reviews. Perhaps it underlines that social proof, some real person was so polarized (moved emotionally, if even negatively) by the book, it stirs interest in others?

ps. Paula, how much do I love lime on the margarita?! So much! (as much as the thought of Liz and Elli in a novella collection...)

Kendel Lynn said...

Also, thank you for hosting me today, E.B. and to WWK. I love visiting your blog home. It's warm and welcoming, and I feel like I know you all! (another ps. sorry I'm late, spent the day at RT in Dallas -- I lost time for awhile, and I swear that conference mentality came back and I thought I was at Malice...)