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

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mad Anthony Writers Conference

Margaret S. Hamilton


During the weekend of November fourth and fifth, I commuted from Cincinnati up I-75 to a wonderful, intimate, writers workshop in the city of Hamilton.


Who was Mad Anthony Wayne? A Revolutionary War general who briefly served at Fort Hamilton, positioned at a strategic bend of the Miami River. Why was he mad? Lots of speculation, most of it pure fiction. Which is why we found ourselves in Hamilton, to learn how to become better fiction writers.


A statue of Alexander Hamilton stands in the middle of High Street, the nearby sidewalk marked with his quotes.  Tired of the current political scene, I found my favorite: “We must make the best of those ills which cannot be avoided.” Alexander and I share a family name, but my ancestors lived in Nova Scotia until the late nineteenth century. No relation.


On Friday, I met with Hallie Ephron for a critique of the first twelve pages of my debut novel. She ripped it to shreds, with many suggestions how to improve it. We stood to walk through a scene—Hallie played the villain and I played the protagonist. I figured out where the police officer should stand in the scene and what the officer should say.


Agent Victoria Skurnick answered my many questions about the pitching process. Friday evening, she gave an overview of the current publishing scene. Conference founder Victoria Ryan gave a program on revision.


On Saturday, Hallie Ephron gave a marathon seven-hour workshop on aspects of writing a page turner, everything from an intriguing premise to deep point of view. Someone once asked me to diagram my main character’s arc. I drew a target with the MC in the bull’s eye, encircled by other major characters, each shooting an arrow at the MC. Hallie discussed a major improvement on that concept, with arrows flying to and from the MC, from the soon-to-be-released new edition of her classic Writing and Selling your Mystery Novel.


Hallie also used a passage from Night Night Sleep Tight to demonstrate writing deep POV, eliminating sense words and adding internalization, personality, and edge.


The attendees wrote everything from memoir to YA suspense, with some mysteries and thrillers thrown in the mix. We ended the workshop late Saturday afternoon, filled with optimism about our own writing projects and how to move forward.




Kait Carson said...

Sounds like a delightful time! I'm envious of your time with Hallie. My current edition of her book is worn out, I've already pre-ordered the revised.

Grace Topping said...

That sounded like the kind of conference I would enjoy. Good for you attending it. Working with Hallie Ephron sounds like a dream come true. Lucky you!

KM Rockwood said...

A great opportunity!

You show us clearly how being open constructive criticism, rather than falling into a defensive mode (my first inclination each time, but I quickly talk myself out of it, knowing my writing will not benefit from me closing the door to comments)can help us make progress.

Gloria Alden said...

Margaret, that sounds like a wonderful conference. I met Hallie Ephron at a writer's retreat Seascape. She also went over the first 50 pages of my first book and had some very constructive comments. It was a good weekend, and I appreciated her comments even though now all these years later, I don't remember exactly what they were although I'm sure I used them for that book. I like your pictures.

Warren Bull said...

It sounds like a conference I would love to attend with writers who have achieved a great deal.

Shari Randall said...

What a wonderful opportunity! I think we are all Hallie fans here!

Margaret Turkevich said...

Thanks all for your comments. I learned about the Mad Anthony Writers Conference from Hallie's JRW blog. It's a gem: thirty minutes from home, and small enough that a classroom environment is possible.