Starting on 11/28 WWK presents original short stories by some of our authors. Here's our lineup:

11/28 Debra H. Goldstein, "Thanksgiving in Moderation"

12/5 Annette Dashofy, "Las Posadas--A New Mexico Christmas"

12/12 Warren Bull, "The Thanksgiving War"

12/19 KM Rockwood, "The Gift of Peace"

12/26 Paula Gail Benson, "The Lost Week of the Year"

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

November Interviews
11/6 Barbara Ross, Nogged Off
11/13 Lena Gregory, Scone Cold Killer
11/20 Lois Winston, Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide
11/27 V. M Burns, Bookmarked For Murder

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
11/2 V. M. Burns
11/9 Heather Redmond
11/16 Arlene Kay

WWK Bloggers: 11/23 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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.

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

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.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: or at Amazon:

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30. It is now also available in audio.


Monday, April 18, 2016

A Life of Her Own

by Linda Rodriguez

My husband came home after a run-in with someone at work who inherited wealth and who specializes in not doing the work she’s responsible for, creating discord and trouble for/with everyone who works with her, and then having loud, angry, public meltdowns to get her way. Husband’s the only one at work who will stand up to her, and once again he’d had to draw a line in the sand and tell her that her behavior was inappropriate. Our son asked how she can possibly expect to keep her job with such incompetence and unprofessional behavior. I told him she felt entitled because her inherited wealth had always cushioned her from consequences and quoted someone, as I often do. It could have been Helen Keller, Emerson, the Dalai Lama, Eleanor Roosevelt, but this time it wasn’t. I quoted from my third Skeet Bannion mystery, Every Hidden Fear. “As Skeet says, ‘It’s amazing the crap people will put up with from someone with lots of money.’” My son looked at me with a little concern and said, “You do know Skeet’s not a real person, right? I mean, she’s not really alive. She didn’t really say that—you did.”

Of course, technically, he’s right. I write every word that comes out of Skeet’s mouth. But Skeet says and does things that surprise me all along. I can begin a book or chapter or scene expecting to write about Skeet doing this and saying this, only to find once it’s written that Skeet’s actually doing and saying something else entirely, something I never intended or planned or even wanted.

Skeet’s not the only character who’s become her own person. I have some others from the Skeet books and from other stories and books I’ve written or am writing who have come to life and move and speak in ways I don’t expect. It’s an extension of my lifelong reading, in which beloved characters come alive for me and continue their adventures in my head long after the book’s adventures are over. I just notice it in Skeet so much because I’ve written four books with her and am planning the next one, planning that she will blithely disregard as soon as I allow her on the page again. So I quote Skeet and other characters and ask myself what they would do in certain situations that call for strengths they have that I don’t. And yes, I am aware that very little separates me from the bag lady with the shopping cart who walks down the street having arguments with the voices in her head. I just don’t do it in public—yet.

So, tell me, am I alone in my affliction, or do you also have these people in your head who insist on living lives of their own?


Margaret Turkevich said...

yes! I'm creating a new character for a historical short story right now, based on stories my mother told me about her college wartime years. I'll have to dig up some movies to get the slang just right.

The entitled generation, with family money or sweetest revenge is writing about them.

E. B. Davis said...

But you aren't alone, Linda. We all do that! I especially love the advice of reading your work aloud. I often wonder what the neighbors think when I'm out on the porch screaming out a battle one of my characters engages in. They probably think I'm nuts and are happy we are moving. At the beach, I'll have to worry about the dog walkers thinking I'm nuts. Along with characters, I often end up quoting lyrics without realizing it until after they are out of my mouth. Lyrics have stayed with me throughout my life. Mick Jagger and Axl Rose have a lot of 'splaning to do!

Kait said...

"I just notice it in Skeet so much because I’ve written four books with her and am planning the next one, planning that she will blithely disregard as soon as I allow her on the page again."

Love that line. You have written four books WITH Skeet. Yep. That is as it should be.

I have fought the same battles with my characters. They always win, and I have to say, they are always right. We may provide the seeds of the character, but often they grow outside of our control and develop their own lives. It's a great feeling.

Warren Bull said...

I often feel like I'm the middle man. The characters tell the story. I often tell people I'm happy my characters can't type.

Tina said...

Same here! I did some research on this phenomena -- because that's what I do when I'm befuddled -- and learned there are very good brain-science reasons why characters become entities all their own, with agency and agenda often separate from their "creators" (I put quotes around that word because like Warren, I feel more like middle management in this endeavor). It also explains why the Muse is often expressed as separate from the artist. For anyone interested in learning more, I highly recommend the writings of Matt Cardin, who looks at creativity throughout the ages as both a spiritual and psychological force.

Julie Tollefson said...

I absolutely love it when my characters say something smart or have an insight into human nature that's different from anything I've spent time thinking about. I sit back and think "Where did that come from?" And then I learn from them.

Kait said...

Thanks for the tip, Tina. I will check out Matt Cardin.

Did anyone ever think that maybe the affinity between writers and cats is due to the fact that characters, like cats, have staff!

Shari Randall said...

Writing "with" Skeet! I love that. Sometimes I feel that I am not writing with my characters - I'm taking dictation.
Sorry about your husband's spoiled brat/emotional vampire coworker. Maybe Skeet will take care of her in an upcoming story.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Margaret, I love what you said about the entitled generation. So many think it's the Millennials, most of whom are facing a much bleaker future than their parents and grandparents.

Elaine, I love the thought of you screaming battle scenes while the Cape dog walkers hurry past to get away from the crazy woman!

Oh, yes, Kait! And they know what's best for them and the story.

Warrn, they just use you as their emmanuensis.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks, Tina! I'll be sure to check Matt Cardin's work out.

Julie, you're right. If we created them and control them, how come they're so much smarter than we are?

LOL, Kait. So true!

Dictation is right, Shari. And they don't want any editing.

Storyteller Mary said...

Thoreau accused Emerson of quoting himself, so you are in good company. My mom used to say she sometimes talked to herself in order to get an intelligent answer. ;-) I'm so excited to see what Skeet gets up to next.
As for the spoiled and entitled, Karma may teach them; if not, they'll have to live with themselves, not an enviable fate.

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, this is so true with my characters. When I start a chapter, I know which characters are going to be in it and a general idea of where the chapter will be going, but then they take over. As for talking to myself, I don't do it out loud much, but I do have conversations with others when I'm walking in the woods or lying awake at night. Of course, since they never hear what I say, they don't respond. I can't wait to read your fourth book. Your comment about that spoiled rich co-worker of your husband made me think of a certain person running for President.

KM Rockwood said...

In the first mystery I wrote (which is delegated to a well-deserved file folder for extensive revision, should it ever see light of day) I realized as I wrote the last chapter that I was wrong about who had committed the murder.

Talk about losing control of your story.

An instructor in a fiction writing class I took told us that some of the best authors "channel" characters rather than "writing" them.

Storyteller Mary, it's fine when you talk to yourself. Even when you argue with yourself. It's when you begin losing those arguments that you have to worry a bit.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Mary, how lovely to compare me to Emerson! Thank you!

Ah, Gloria, let's not go there with the presidential races. Just too awful at the moment.

KM, with my second novel, Every Broken Trust, that happened to me 2/3 of the way through the first draft. In a panic, I began working on side characters, thinking that, if I could strengthen them as suspects, maybe it wouldn't be so dreadfully clear who the killer was. In the process, I found a much better killer and a lovely, snarly snakepit of motivations that made for a much stronger book.

Reine said...

Linda, I love this and all the comments! Thank you!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks for stopping by, Reine!