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














August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson

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Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:


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 will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

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: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Time to Kill, A Time to Sellabrate, by Kait Carson


Once upon a time there was a hungry novelist and his name was John Grisham. The guy couldn’t sell a book to save his life. That’s right. John Grisham couldn’t sell a book. And he was desperate. The man came from a working-class background. He had his law degree, and like many of his characters, he took on the hard cases. Cases he believed in. Cases for indigent clients. Cases that would let him learn his trade. It beat his earlier jobs, heavy construction and selling tidy whities at Sears.

Sitting in the back of a courtroom watching a trial unfold he learned more than his trade. He learned anger and rage and had no place to channel them. It wasn’t his case. Lacking a way to control the outcome, he put pen to paper and A Time to Kill was born. Like many first born, it was a slow, painful, process. It took three years. After all that emotion, time, sweat and tears, the darn thing tanked. Grisham went back to the practice of law, hoping someday he would get good enough at it to quit.

This should be the part of the story where we write the rest is history. Except there’s a twist. Why not, Grisham writes thrillers. Ya gotta have a twist or two. Grisham’s second book The Firm turned into a runaway best seller. The book was optioned, Tom Cruise played the lead and a novelist star was born. Overnight fame (never mind those two pesky years between books) doesn’t get much better than that.

Grisham continued to churn out best sellers and the movies kept calling, The Pelican Brief followed The Firm, then The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker followed a year apart. The guy was no longer practicing law. Or if he was, his partners were shouldering the briefs. At some point, A Time to Kill made its second debut. Looking back, the book was ahead of its time. It horrified the reading public on a visceral level. Much the same way the true-life crime must have horrified Grisham. Horrified him enough to confess that he modeled the revenge shooting on his own desire.

A funny thing happened to A Time to Kill. The book of Grisham’s heart was a book he couldn’t give away. In fact, he claims to have forty or fifty buried in his back yard. These days, you can buy it on Amazon, probably eBay too, or you can go to a rare book store. If you are lucky you can find a first edition, for about $3,000 to $4,500. Talk about the ultimate backlist!

Readers, have you read A Time to Kill?
Writers, are you feeling as hopeful as I am about those early books that only jump off the shelves in earthquakes and hurricanes?

11 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

I have not read A Time to Kill. Interesting history of Grisham’s work. I remember hearing Sue Grafton talk about how many manuscripts she had rejected before A is for Alibi made her name.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Maybe, doubtful, but then, I have another idea--perhaps this one?

Kait said...

@ Jim - A the drawer of rejections! Most writers have (had) them. In these days of Amazon and the like, quality writers are lucky to have additional options. We can go the Scout route, or self-publish.

I found myself trying to slip the author of the article virtual notes to ask Grisham what made him write the second novel when he professed no burning desire to be an author. Hope I meet him at a conference. I would like an answer to that question.

Kait said...

@EB - not sure I understand -

Warren Bull said...

I think it is his best work.

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, I have sixteen of his books and "A Time to Kill" is one of those. I think I'll reread it since it's been so long since I did that I don't remember the plot.

Kait said...

@Warren - I remember liking it when I read it. I think it was the third of his that I read. It was visceral and truly hit home on so many levels.

Kait said...

@Gloria I was thinking I should get the Kindle version for much the same reason. Although I do remember the plot. It really struck a chord with me for some reason, it has been years since I read it. I'll be curious to know what you think if you do re-read it. Check the edition number - you may have a valuable edition if it's a first.

Shari Randall said...

I remember reading A Time to Kill - visceral is the right word. Talk about difficult and tragic subject matter. It's heartening that he didn't give up!

Grace Topping said...

You read about so many writers who didn't give up--Tom Clancy being one of them. They are inspiring.

KM Rockwood said...

I haven't read it yet, but it's definitely on my list!