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

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door

October Guest Bloggers

10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean

WWK Weekend Bloggers

10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Write What You Know - Even If It Hurts. A Guest Post by Tammy Euliano

Today we welcome anesthesiologist and writer Tammy Euliano to Writers Who Kill. Members of the Sisters in Crime Guppies Group know that Tammy generously answers medical questions for writers on her blog. Today she shares with us part of her journey to publish her manuscript, Do No Harm.

I’m a physician in my day job, an anesthesiologist with an unusual god-complex. Not the omniscient surgeon kind, but the lower-case kind who creates a world on paper (e-reader?) to captivate and entertain. At last I’m pursuing my author-fantasy. In true “write what you know” fashion, my mystery features an anesthesiologist.
Do No Harm is the story of Dr. Kate Downey, an academic anesthesiologist who stumbles upon a series of unexpected post-operative deaths. Career at stake, she teams with a medical student, the son of a victim, and her eccentric German aunt to uncover a mercy killing-for-hire scheme. The stakes escalate (of course) threatening her career and the lives of her colleagues, her comatose husband, and even herself. A CRNA (nurse anesthetist) figures prominently. 
So there, I’ve written what I know, and finished a novel in my field of expertise. A field in which I’ve invested 20 years teaching, publishing, caring for patients. A field in which I can most humbly claim to be an expert.
Honored as a finalist at the PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writers Association) annual meeting, I was thrilled to attend my first writers’ conference and my first pitch slam – speed dating with agents. Give a brief pitch, answer questions until the bell rings. If interested, they’ll request pages. Move on to the next agent that seeks your genre.
Go Time! Heart racing, my first pitch went great – she asked for pages. The next, same story. The fact they handed cards to most everyone was completely irrelevant.
Confidence high, I stood behind the line at another agent. The line on the floor I mean, there was no one waiting. Cue music from Psycho’s shower scene. Deaf to the ominous tune, but not the bell, I moved to sit before him, blind to the horns and pitchfork.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Tammy Euliano, an anesthesiologist at the University of Florida.” 
He’s looking at his watch.
I plow on.
He’s drinking water, looking around the room.
I plow on. When I mention that a CRNA is involved in a patient’s surgery, he stops me. “A what?” Still no eye contact, just interrupts.
“A CRNA – a nurse anesthetist. They’re specially trained--”
“Never heard of them.”
“Hmm, well they are specially trained nurses who practice anesthesia under a physician’s direction.”
He shakes his head. “No, not true.”
Ummmm. “Actually, they do. They’re like physician assistants.”
“Look, I’ve had surgery. You need to get your facts straight.”
Attempted smile on my part. “This is what I do for a liv—“
“Your story has to be believable.”
“—ing.” Face on fire, heart pounding, I move to stand, but he won’t shut up. I don’t recall what he said next, and can’t figure out why I still sat there. The end was, “Rework your story and maybe I’ll consider it.”
Yeah, I’ll send it right on. Hope he’s holding his breath for it.
I continue to “write what I know” and receive some positive feedback that my setting feels real. I’ve had some useful comments from editors and some that just make you wonder:
“Your OR scene is unrealistic. There are no desks in the OR, or computers.”
“Your scenario where the students save the manikin and fist bump doesn’t work. They would all be sterile.”
Note to self: When editing for someone, check their credentials before listing their transgressions.


Kait said...

I'm still chuckling, Tammy.I've been a Florida probate paralegal for going on thirty years. My books feature a Florida probate paralegal. A prospective agent told me that I needed to do more research because the Wills and probate sections of my book were wrong. The agent knew, she'd seen it on a TV show based in the Florida Keys.

Julie Tollefson said...

Like Kait, your story made me laugh. Though it's never happened to me in relation to fiction, I've seen it in other parts of life. Harrumph! Welcome to Writers Who Kill, Tammy, and thanks for being so generous in sharing your expertise.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Hi Tammy, great blog. I write about historic home renovation and interior design. Same scenario.

Gloria Alden said...

Hi Tammy, it's one of the reasons I gave up seeking agents and decided to self-publish my books. I know I'd enjoy your book and hope you find a publisher soon.

Grace Topping said...

Thanks, Tammy, for your funny blog. It goes to show that with all that is going on in your life and writing career, that you've kept your sense of humor--something that you really need in this business.

Shari Randall said...

Thanks again, Tammy, for stopping by WWK and for sharing your story. Yikes!
And thank you for sharing your medical expertise with writers. I'm sure you're always coming across medical details in books that make your head spin. Best of luck placing your novel. I'm looking forward to it!

E. B. Davis said...

My husband and I were in the home building business for over 30 years. I cringe when I read something wrong about building. Sometimes the writer didn't do enough research, but in other cases it is a case of thinking that they know so they don't double check with an expert.

Why an agent would presume to know more about the medical field than a doctor I can't imagine.

Your experience must have been extremely frustrating. Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci Fi writing has its advantages. No one can tell you that something is wrong!

Thanks for coming to WWK and sharing your experience.

Holly said...

Ah, brings back my snowy night in Vegas story. I lived in Vegas 32 years. It snows and it gets darned cold. Alas, I was not to be believed. I was told by an agent, to change it to rain and try again. I mulled over the possibility of a body being found buried in a rain bank; smiled politely and left.
Loved reading this blog. Thank you.

KM Rockwood said...

Well, at least you had a ready filter to eliminate that agent. No way could you have worked with him.

Like everyone else, I run into similar things, esp. people who "know" what's popular on TV and therefore has to be right.

By the way, I have a friend who's a CRNA. And I assure you he is a very real person.

Jim Jackson said...

It is important to recognize the limits of one’s knowledge. I remember having a cardio-thoracic surgeon tell me exactly how his pension plan should be structured. When he would not listen to my explanations of the issues involved, I finally asked how successful I would be if I tried to do a bypass operation. I had steady hands, I knew how to cut and sew, and I was sure I could find a book or two with good diagrams or talk to some doctors I knew from playing racquetball that could tell me of their experiences with operations.

He looked at me shocked, and I made the comparison he was failing to see with respect his expertise in designing a pension design that if implemented would violate about a dozen different federal laws.

~ Jim