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

Here are our August WWK interviews:

August 1 Rhys Bowen, Four Funerals and Maybe A Wedding

August 8 Liz Milliron, Root Of All Evil

August 15 Kellye Garrett, Hollywood Ending

August 22 Joyce Tremel, A Brewing Trouble Mystery Series

August 29 Dianne Freeman, A Ladies Guide to Etiquette and Murder

Our August Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 8/4--Kelly Oliver, 8/11--Lisa Ciarfella, 8/18--Margaret S. Hamilton, 8/25--Kait Carson.

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.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

By James M Jackson

In two days I begin the Great Antarctica Adventure. I’ve read all the preparatory material—at least twice. My camera equipment is packed. Batteries charged. Clothing checked against my master list and set aside. Bird books studied. Google translate loaded onto phone (to make up for my nonexistent Spanish skills). Twenty-five days’ worth of medicine set aside. Passport and cash in wallet. Boarding tickets printed out.

I’m ready to go, already . . . except for one thing. I’m not ready to give up my connection to the internet. We’ll probably have internet access in airports and hotels, but for the nineteen days we are on the ship, it is unavailable—at least at a price I want to think about.

I’ve been working on curbing my obsession to the news of the moment. That’s gone about as well as when I tried to quit smoking by gradually cutting down. Something would happen and poof (or puff), I’d be back at my two-pack a day habit. I’m wondering if constant irritation over the news isn’t as dangerous as my smoking habit was. So, I’m going cold turkey. If there’s a newspaper available at port stops, I’ll catch up, but no more checking eighty-seven times a day to see what . . .well, you fill in the blank; I’d just get upset again.

I’m giving up Facebook, too, but only for the trip. I’ll go missing to my 886 friends (as of this writing), and they will go missing to me. I won’t experience three and a half weeks of their lives, because—and I’m just being honest here—I’m not going to check my friends’ back posts when I return. That admission may even cost me a few friends. You mean I don’t care enough about them and their cat Fluffy that I won’t check out each cat shot, each annoying GIF, each political rant. Yep, and I won’t be able to celebrate your book launch or new grandchild, either. When I return to Facebook, it might be like reading a Russian novel and discovering six pages from the middle are missing. I’ll just plow ahead. I’ll miss about 0.08% of each person’s total life. Sure, some important things will happen, but not many—the effect over my total friends is about 2/3rds of one life.

Admit it—you won’t miss my occasional math-geek or writer-geek post, either. Maybe I’ll schedule one or two, just to remind everyone I’m still alive. I have a Writers Who Kill blog due while I’m traveling, and I turned that in ahead of time.

I won’t waste a second mourning the loss of not having access to my Twitter feed.

Email is something else. I remember when all important communications were delivered by the US Postal Service. Back in those distant times, it might take a week or more for a letter to move from sender to receiver. Only businesses used express mail, and faxes were of low quality, slow (two pages a minute) and were sent over long-distance lines you had to pay for by the minute. Oh, and remember telegrams, with their pre-Twitter form of clipped communication as every letter was expensive. STOP.

I’m a writer – what will happen if an agent or publisher wants to contact me? Or a book club wants to schedule me for a meeting? Or someone wants to buy a signed paperback? I’ll employ an automatic responder: “Sorry, it will take me some time to respond to your email. I’m traveling to Antarctica. Be back on 2/22.”

That reminds me of the time my boss insisted he have a way to contact me while I was on vacation. I was whitewater rafting down the canyons of the Green and Colorado rivers. I thought a while and then told him that I supposed he could hire a helicopter rescue company to track down our raft and airlift me from the sandbar or beach we camped at that night.

Today, however, we’re used to being connected 24/7. One might still be forgiven for not answering an email for a day or two if you’d just had quadruple bypass surgery, but otherwise, we expect immediate responses. Well, other than the automatic responder I’ll set up, that just isn’t going to happen. Unlike my days working for corporations where there was someone to back me up, I’m a sole proprietor. It’s me or it’s not.

If that costs me some book sales, so be it. I’m confident the potential loss won’t cause me any sleepless nights or worrisome days. To find out, you’ll have to wait for my return.


Georgia Ruth said...

Bon voyage! Till we tweet again. Ga

Margaret Turkevich said...

Have a great adventure and take beautiful photos!

Other than texting my kids while we were out of the country, I took a 2.5 week break from the news. Absolute bliss. We didn't even know Italy was out of the World Cup.

Jim Jackson said...

Georgia Ruth -- Made me smile.

Margaret -- my gear consist of about 25 lbs of clothing and 35 lbs of photographic gear!

Julie Tollefson said...

My husband just returned from 2 weeks in the Peruvian Amazon - 10 days without Internet/email/phone. He seems...happy. Have a great trip, Jim. Looking forward to your stories and photos when you return!

Grace Topping said...

You may find, Jim, that you enjoy being cut off. Have a wonderful time. If you have time to read a mystery set at the Antarctic, I can recommend "The Winter Over" by Matthew Iden. It will give you an idea of what it's like to spend a winter there. Bon Voyage.

Jim Jackson said...

Julie & Grace -- I'm actually looking forward to the news blackout. I am bringing my Kindle with me (no paperbacks) and have it loaded with enough books to last a year!

Kait said...

Have a great trip, Jim! I have friends who have been on the National Geographic Antarctica trip and they loved it. Can't wait to see the pix when you get back. And I'll miss your posts. They are always interesting, informative, and spot on!

Warren Bull said...

I bet you will return with material for writing that you would never have otherwise. Have a great experience.

Jim Jackson said...

Thanks Kait & Warren. Travels always provide new material for writers and I expect that will be the case here as well.

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, have a great trip in the Antarctica. I rarely go on Facebook only if it pops up in my inbox that someone I know is having a birthday. If it's someone I don't know I ignore it. I rarely go online on my vacations because usually I'm camping or I just don't want to bother with checking my emails. Like you I'm getting tired of hearing the latest news on you know who. I can't wait to read the blogs you're going to write about your trip. I'm sure you'll have enough material for at least three blogs.

Jim Jackson said...

Gloria -- talk about pressure: I have to come up with at least three blogs from this trip? Oh well, we'll see what happens. At this point, we're holing up inside the house hoping to avoid any last minute exposure to the flu!

KM Rockwood said...

Have a wonderful adventure, Jim!

I've been out of internet range a few times in the last few years, and it never bothered me.