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


WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.


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. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! 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 August, 2018.


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.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Midwest Writing Community

by Julie Tollefson

A few times a year, I get to write about writers for a local magazine. It’s one of my favorite assignments. In the last couple of years, I’ve interviewed award-winning science fiction authors, illustrators, poets, and short story writers. Their subjects and settings range widely through Kansas and fantasy worlds, small towns and big cities, quests and epic wars, sentient dinosaur skeletons and meatloaf. Here's a sampling, in no particular order:

 Kansas geography, politics, and culture play pivotal roles in shaping the characters in Becky Mandelbaum’s short fiction collection, Bad Kansas (University of Georgia Press, 2017). “In my experience, Kansas is a complicated place for people, especially younger people, who aren’t sure what the world looks like yet,” Mandelbaum told me. “It either pulls people apart or pushes them together.” Bad Kansas won the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.

Kij Johnson’s The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe (Tor.com, 2016)—named one of National Public Radio’s Best Books of 2016 and finalist for a number of best novella awards, including the Hugo and Nebula—takes H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreamlands world and adds strong, powerful women lacking in the original.

The Queens of Innis Lear (Tor, 2018), inspired by author Tessa Gratton's frustrations with Shakepeare's King Lear, tells the story of the King's daughters as they prepare to fight to save their kingdom.

The young heroine in Mary O'Connell’s Dear Reader (Flatiron Books, 2017) believes it’s better to read about experiences than live them. But then her AP English teacher disappears, and disturbing clues appear in a copy of Wuthering Heights, magically transformed into a real-time diary of her teacher’s misadventures.

Karen M. Vaughn’s debut story collection, A Kiss for a Dead Film Star (Brain Mill Press, 2016), bends and warps reality in a style her publisher dubs “psycho-medical-magical realism.” The six stories, though very different, all explore aspects of loss. “It sounds odd,” Vaughn said, “but I almost feel like sometimes I write these stories to inoculate myself against possible tragedy and disaster.”

Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2016) is Thomas Pecore Weso's account of family and food in north-central Wisconsin from World War II through the Vietnam era. We would be happier as a society, he says, if we make our meals ceremonial. "We need to sit down and actually eat real food, and we need to have real conversations while we eat real food," he said.

Marilyn Pollack Naron loves illustration, food, and writing, and all three converge in A Meatloaf in Every Oven: Two Chatty Cooks, One Iconic Dish and Dozens of Recipes—from Mom's to Mario Batali's (Grand Central, 2017). Naron illustrated the cookbook, written by Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer.

Thomas Fox Averill explores how everyday people contributed to early scientific advances as he tells the story of a 19th century woman who turns to fossil hunting after the death of her husband in Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr (University of New Mexico Press, 2018).

Miriam, a gifted cook and singer, wanders the American political, communal, and spiritual desert, from the 1960s through the late 2000s, in Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's Miriam's Well: A Modern Day Exodus (Ice Cube Press, 2018).

What a lot of talent concentrated in our mid-sized Midwestern community! It’s a great place to be a writer. I hope you’ll check out the work of some of these authors and illustrators. Also check out Lawrence Magazine—each issue’s Bookmarks section features mini-profiles of three bookish people in the Lawrence, Kansas, area.


Who are the local writers and illustrators in your community?

10 comments:

Margaret Turkevich said...

Julie, great overview of your local authors. I'll explore Cincinnati and Columbus authors in future blogs.

Shari Randall said...

Wow, there's a lot of literary firepower in Kansas. Thank you for sharing!

Warren Bull said...

I'm still learning who is in the writing community here, but you made me miss Kansas.

KM Rockwood said...

How inspiring to live in a community with so many talented writers! I'd love to be a fly on the wall at some of the gatherings of writers there.

Gloria Alden said...

Julie, It's nice to have so many authors to interview and talk to in your area. My Sisters in Crime chapter has some good and prolific ones, too, but I'm afraid I don't go to as many meetings as I should because it's up near Cleveland and rather far away, and in the winter it gets dark early and I have some night vision problems.

Julie Tollefson said...

Margaret - I look forward to hearing about the authors in your area!

Julie Tollefson said...

Shari - I think we're really lucky to have so many terrific authors, and this list really only looks at a small subset in Lawrence and Topeka. If we include Kansas City authors...wow!

Julie Tollefson said...

Warren - We here in Kansas miss you, too!

Julie Tollefson said...

KM - I'm lucky to be able to call many of these and other bookish folks friends, too. Several of us met for dinner last week and the conversation was amazing.

Julie Tollefson said...

Gloria - The local members of Sisters in Crime were among the first to welcome me to the writing community. I've had a hard time getting to meetings for the last year or so, but SinC members hold a special place in my heart.