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 June!

June 6 Maggie Toussaint, Confound It

June 13 Nicole J. Burton, Swimming Up the Sun

June 20 Julie Mulhern, Shadow Dancing

June 27 Abby L. Vandiver, Debut author, Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies

Our June Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 6/2--Joanne Guidoccio, 6/9 Julie Mulhern, 6/16--Margaret S. Hamilton, 6/23--Kait Carson, and 6/30--Edith Maxwell.

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, April 12, 2017

Sasscer Hill Interview by E. B. Davis

“Two weeks? I don’t believe you. You’re just like Mom. You won’t come back.” She
pushed back from the table so violently her chair crashed to the floor. She kicked
it three feet across the tile and ran from the room.

“That went well,” I said, reaching for my fortune cookie.

“How can you joke about this?”

“Would you rather see me cry?” I broke open the cookie and read the little slip of paper.

“A journey awaits you. Beware of Danger.”

“Lovely,” I said, and bit into the cookie.
Sasscer Hill, Flamingo Road, Kindle Loc. 996

Sasscer Hill’s first novel in the Nikki Latrelle series, Full Mortality, garnered Agatha and Macavity nominations. She wrote two more books in the series and then—abandoned it. That series’ focus on horse racing and her main character’s profession of jockey, so Acquiring Editors said, limited its popular appeal.

Sasscer gambled when she abandoned her old series, but she won a contract with St. Martin’s Press for her new book, Flamingo Road, featuring Fia McKee, an agent with the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB). I didn’t know such an organization existed (thinking it a product of Sasscer’s imagination), but it does exist, and Sasscer knew about this organization since she’s always ridden, owned, and competed in horse competitions from an early age.

I’m excited about Sasscer’s new series, but her exemplary writing always made her books easy to read. If you’re interested in finding out about her previous series, go to these links. If you’d like to know more about her new series—read my interview with her below about the first book, Flamingo Road, and go to her website.  

Welcome back to WWK, Sasscer.                                                                                               E. B. Davis

When we first meet Fia, a Baltimore cop, she identifies herself as a cop to a man, who is in the midst of killing a woman. When he doesn’t stop, Fia shoots and kills him. She’s put on administrative leave, but some of the higher ups think she’s guilty of “excessive use of force.” Why do they think that?

She has a history of being a bit rough on the bad guys. She’s a white cop who has killed a black man. The reason they force her into administrative leave can pretty much be found in the newspaper headlines. Think Ferguson and Baltimore.

Fia confides that, “Turning to law enforcement had filled in a void. And provided an outlet for the anger that flickered like a pilot flame inside me.” What was that void?

The void was caused when her beloved father was murdered, the killer was never found, and the case went cold. She’s estranged from her brother, and she doesn’t speak to the mother who walked out on her and her father for another man. Losing her dad was losing everything.

Fia gained so much experience with horses, qualified to warm up horses, and spent time on the track at Pimlico because her father was a racehorse owner. Was he also a trainer?

Actually he was a trainer, who owned a horse or two, but most of the horses in his stable belonged to owners who paid him to train their horses.

You’ve set the story up nicely to take her to the Gulfstream Park racetrack. When Fia is offered a job with TRPB, she takes it. Why doesn’t she fight for her cop job?

Because of the political times, it would be a long and ugly fight she probably wouldn’t win. She’s given an attractive option and takes it.

Fia identifies strongly with her niece, Jilly. Why?

The moment Fia sees Jilly, for the first time in five years, she recognizes a kindred spirit. They are two peas in a pod. Jilly’s a handful and Fia learns that payback is hell.

We read from Fia’s third person POV. Patrick, Fia’s brother, seems to get whammed no matter what he does. I felt sorry for him, but at other times, I felt like kicking him, too. Is it men of a certain age, fathers/brothers, men in general, or just Patrick?

It’s family members. They can push buttons like no other beast. Patrick has stayed close to their mother even though she abandoned Fia and her father for another, extremely wealthy man. Fia hates her mother. “Mom” sent money Patrick’s way, but Fia was forced out of private school, and her father was forced to sell the family farm in the divorce settlement.

Is Protect the Animals League (PAL) real?

No, but ARM (Animal Recovery Mission) is, and you can see their page on Facebook. Zanin is based on the real live ARM creator, Richard Kudo.

I was surprised that Fia is suspicious of Zanin, who heads up PAL. Why was she?

She’s a cop, and the streets have taught her to be suspicious. Zanin gets a lot of hero worship and a lot of press attention. That he’s always seeking donations rankles her a bit. Could he only be after the money? Does he really care about animals! She learns, of course, that he’s the real deal.

Is the area you call C-Nine Basin real?

Very much so. You can Google the word and it’s all there. And this is where Richard Kudo spends some of his real life time.

Anything, it seems, goes in horseracing to win unless caught. Is frog juice real?

Yes, it’s real name is Demorphin. It’s a hepta-peptide first isolated from the skin of South American frogs and injected as a painkiller at least 40 times stronger than morphine.

Would you define the following terms for readers?

Stakes horses: A stakes horse is one that has won, placed or showed (run first, second, or third) in a stakes race. Stakes races are the top races run at any track. They offer the largest purses and are, of course, much harder to win. The Kentucky Derby, for example, is a stakes race.

Horses’ “naughty tricks”: Things they do that are annoying, amusing, or sometimes dangerous. One horse I bred had a naughty habit of dumping his rider during morning exercise at Laurel Park racetrack. Another horse I had on the farm was in the habit of pulling the halters off of his stablemates when out in the field. I’d spend hours walking the field looking for the missing halters.

Racing syndicate: A group of owners that buy a piece of a racehorse, or a piece of a group of racehorses that are in the charge of one trainer or one owner.

Not For Love filly: A filly by the good Maryland sire Not for Love.

Dam: The mother of the horse.

“Run her for a tag, get her claimed.”: Run for a tag is slang for running a horse in a claiming race, the type of race where another trainer can claim/buy the horse out of the race. Claiming races are run with specific price tags. This keeps like horses in like races, that is to say, who would put Secretariat in a $10,000 claiming race? Nobody. And who would want to run their mediocre horse against the likes of Secretariat? Claiming races level the playing field, rather like little league, versus high school, versus college, versus NFL players.

Under the effects of frog juice, Fia takes down two bad guys who shot her full of the drug. Is this a case of criminal ignorance?

On the part of the thugs, I suppose it is, since they weren’t sure what effect the drug would have on her and were curious to find out. Well, they found out!

Your characters eat a lot of take out pizza and swill lots of vodka (the good stuff). Will Fia’s diet improve in the next book?

It does improve in THE DARK SIDE OF TOWN (working title) because it takes place in Saratoga where they have a lot of excellent restaurants. She eats a lot of fancy northern Italian fare in one restaurant in particular, a restaurant owned by the mob.

Thanks for the interview, Sasscer!

Flamingo Road Jacket Blurb
Baltimore police officer Fia McKee is put on leave for excessive use of force after interfering in a crime that turns deadly. Given a second chance, she is sent to work undercover for the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) at the Gulfstream Park in Florida, where she works as an exercise rider. Her assignment is to watch and report back on two racetrack workers who have been suspected of illegal activities and whose horses continue to outperform all expectations, winning their owners unseemly amounts of money in the races.
To complete her cover story, Fia moves in with her semi-estranged brother, Patrick, who lives near the racetrack. Her investigations are complicated when her niece, Jilly, disappears after a shadow gang takes Jilly’s beloved horse. Now Fia must work two angles—first to find out what’s really going on with the men who might or might not be gaming the system, and second to bring the men who prey on horses to justice. Along the way, Fia encounters Cuban gangs living off the grid, a (very handsome) do-gooder who’s close on their trail, and a cabal of super wealthy gamblers who will stop at nothing to ensure they always win.


Sasscer Hill said...

Elaine, thank you so much for hosting me today on this most excellent site. Your questions were terrific and I can tell you dug into the novel. You are a regular sleuth!

Art Taylor said...

Nice interview! Congrats, Sasscer, on the new book--and look forward to seeing you soon!

Gloria Alden said...

Sasscer, I enjoyed your first series. Now I'll have to read your latest one.

Margaret Turkevich said...

As Derby Day approaches, what could be better than a horse-racing book? Looking forward to reading your new series.

Warren Bull said...

Keep writing.

Sasscer Hill said...

Looking forward to seeing you, too, Art! Thank you Gloria. I hope you like the "Fia McKee series!" Margaret T. I'm hoping others see the timeliness, too! I will, Warren Bull, I will!

KM Rockwood said...

So glad to see new books from Sasscer! I enjoyed the first series (and hoep someday she will get back to it) and look forward to these.

E. B. Davis said...

What is amazing to me--I read this book almost two months ago and I can still recall the characters and plot vividly. Don't ask me about the wild pig scene! Thanks for the interview Sasscer. I can't wait for your next in the series.

Sasscer Hill said...

Thank you KM Rockwood, and Elaine, how cool that the book has stayed with you. Yay!

Shari Randall said...

Sasscer, I think I'm going to LOVE this new series. Fia sounds amazing! Wishing you great success. Hope to see you at Malice!

Sasscer Hill said...

Shari Randall, I can't wait to see so many of you at Malice! I couldn't make it last year, no new book out and tight finances made for a stay at home, but I'll be there with bells on this year!

rushessay said...

this is really a goo experience for me by reading the Sasscer Hill Interview. i am very impressed with the questions asked and how the answers were being given:) thanks for sharing such a nice stuff.