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

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Writing the Historical Mystery…And What Research Can Teach You by Nancy Herriman


I have always been a history buff. I enjoy the escapism found in another time and place, and I also believe there is much to be learned from what has happened before. Rather a bit of “there is nothing new under the sun.” But I have never been one for the rote details you’re forced to learn in school, such as”‘this battle was fought on such-and-such a date.” Instead, I am fascinated by the history of the common people and how they lived their lives, the stories that don’t make it into textbooks. What did they strive for? What problems did they face? What do their hopes and fears tell us about ourselves in this modern world that, on the surface, seems so different?

As an author, then, it is only natural that I write historical novels. But before I could start writing them, I had to do research. I came across many interesting tidbits, such as:

-    The first medical college meant to exclusively train female doctors, The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, was founded in 1850.
-    Spiritualism became widely popular after the Civil War as mourning Americans sought ways to contact the deceased family members they had lost in such devastating numbers.
-    Watches, usually worn as a pendant or dangling from a belt, first became a popular luxury item in the waning years of the 1500s.
-    Not only were Tudor wives expected to cook and clean, in more prosperous houses they were in charge of “surgery,” brewing, weaving, and distilling “waters” used as medicines and perfumes. Such titles as The English Huswife, An Herball, Proper New Booke of Cookery, and A Most Briefe and Pleasant Treatyse, Teaching Howe to Dress, Sowe, and Set a Garden existed to help them in their tasks. Meanwhile, their well-off husbands with free time might take advantage of such texts as A Booke of Fishing or The Noble Arte of Venerie or Hunting.
-    The word “crunch” was not in usage prior to the 1800s, making it nearly impossible to describe that sound in a mystery set in 16th-century England

But more importantly, my research has taught me that, even if folks inhabited chilly wattle-and-daub cottages or wore corsets or feared the new-fangled gas lighting, they still wanted what we do now. They prayed for peace, wrote love letters, tried to figure out which diet promoted health, enjoyed evenings spent with their friends, liked to sing and dance and gossip, argued about politics, struggled to make ends meet and find good employment for their children. Despite our outer trappings and our modern conveniences, we have more in common with them than we might otherwise imagine.

My questions, then, for you are: Do you enjoy reading historical mysteries? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not?

Nancy Herriman retired from an engineering career to take up the pen. She hasnt looked back. Her work has won the RWA Daphne du Maurier award, and the first book in her ‘A Mystery of Old San Franciscoseries, No Comfort for the Lost (Penguin), was chosen as the Library Journal August 2015 Pick of the Month. When not writing, she enjoys singing, gabbing about writing, and eating dark chocolate. She currently lives in Central Ohio with her family.

Learn more at: www.nancyherriman.com
Follow her on Facebook —  www.facebook.com/nancyherriman.mysteries
                     and Twitter — @Nancy_Herriman

5 comments:

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

An interesting blog! I enjoy novels that shift between different time periods. Last year I wrote my first short story set in a historical time period, and was astonished with the amount of fact-checking and research I did.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Nancy,
First let me say how absolutely beautiful that book cover is!
I love historical mysteries and lately have been enjoying the Maisie Dobbs series, set after World War I, a time of such tremendous change, especially for women. I also enjoy books written in another era (especially the Golden Age of mystery) and soak up their atmosphere. The small details, like the ones you mentioned, really bring the past alive.

Gloria Alden said...

Hi Nancy! Welcome to WWK. Yes, I enjoy reading historical novels and, in fact, after I finished barn chores instead of getting to work inside, I finished one this morning I had started a few days ago.- ESCAPE by Jean Henry Mead, a Wyoming historical novel. Like Shari, I have read all the Maisie Dobbs series and the Rhys Bowen Molly Murphy mysteries as well as other books of the past that weren't mysteries. I belong to two book clubs and often books of historical fiction or historical true stories are chosen. Because I have a daughter living in the San Francisco area, I'm looking forward to reading your book.

KM Rockwood said...

I love well-done historical fiction, especially mysteries.It is the details that make the story ring true and draw the reader in.

Grace Topping said...

Reading historical fiction is the perfect way to be swept away from the present with all its challenges and deposited in a different time--with different challenges.