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

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

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 was released on June 18th.

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.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

On Writing by Julie Mulhern

In January of this year, I made the heart-stoppingly terrifying decision to quit my day job and write full-time.

For years, I’d been one of those writers who rose before the chickens. I got so I didn’t need the alarm at five in the morning. I was already up, fingers poised over the keyboard, writing. At seven, I’d switch gears and go to work. My series, The Country Club Murders, had a home with a publisher I adored. The books were selling well. But I wanted more.

I dreamed of making a living writing.

Therein lies one of the myths of publishing and one of my first lessons. Before I was published, I was certain writers made buckets of money. Granted, not everyone could earn like James Patterson or Janet Evanovich, but I was certain that mid-listers were making a comfortable living. After I was published, I grasped the math.

When an author sells an e-book on Amazon or Kobo or iBooks or Barnes & Noble, the store takes a cut. Percentages vary based on pricing, but the store makes its money first.

I have a publisher who collects the royalties from my Country Club Murders book sales. The publisher gets a cut.

I also have an agent. She too gets a percentage of my earnings.

The percentages are worse for print.

At the end of the day, I make less money than the bookseller or publisher.

My options seemed clear. If wanted to make a living writing, I had two choices. Either I figured out how to be James Patterson or I kept more of the royalties generated by my books.

Which is why I dipped my toe into self-publishing.

Starting a new series is tough. Tougher than the first time because now I know the pitfalls. The world is set in the first book. The characters are created. Their backstories are revealed. There’s a lot to think about.

The first book in the Country Club Murders takes place in June, 1974. The second book is set in September of that year. Without thinking, I gave away a whole season. If I wanted the Country Club Murders to stay firmly rooted in the 70s, I had to slow time. Now, Ellison finds bodies on a near weekly basis and time inches by rather than leaps.

Those first few days of being a full-time writer, I sat in front of the computer and stared at the screen. World? Characters? Plot? What had I done? I’d left the security of a job I’d had for ten years to create, and I couldn’t create. Maybe my creativity was limited to the hours of five to seven in the morning. Maybe, I’d write something so terrible not only would it bomb, but it would take the County Club Murders with it in a fiery explosion of awfulness.

I’d dreamed of effortless creativity. The reality was a butt-in-chair job that required serious thought. And slowly—too slowly—the words came. A character came into focus. A world was created. A plot took shape.

Not that everything was harder. Somewhere in the first few years of writing, I found my voice. That didn’t change. Nor did the nuts and bolts of building a story need to be relearned. Those hard-won lessons about active writing, point of view, and specificity still applied.

So, two months late (according to the ridiculously over-optimistic schedule I set for myself), I self-published my first book, Fields’ Guide to Abduction. It didn’t bomb.

Here’s a second publishing lesson, no one can make a living off of one book. But—but—I can see the roadmap for the future and chasing a dream is a risk worth taking.

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures.

A Kansas City native, she grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean--and she's got an active imagination. Truth is--she's an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog, and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.


Annette said...

Hey, Julie! Glad to see you here. And I have Field's Guide on my e-reader and my to-be-read list. I can't wait!

Wishing you all kinds of success with your dream. It's one we share.

Julie said...

Thanks for hosting me today!

Margaret Turkevich said...

Congratulations and best wishes! Looking forward to reading your new release.

Keenan Powell said...

Julie, I so get it. You are very brave. Looking forward to seeing how this works for you.

Meredith said...

You are inspiring, Julie. I'm glad to know you!

Warren Bull said...

Hang in there. Keep us posted too.

KM Rockwood said...

Thanks for being one of the authors willing to try different things. I hope it works out well for you.

Gloria Alden said...

Julie, Congratulations on your new book. I hope it does really well.

Today my local sister in Crime group had a two day event called Killer Heat. We had a guest author, Laura DeSilverlo. She told us that the best part of writing is if we enjoy doing it.

Authors in our chapter who published traditionally were on two separate panels, and then I was on a panel of self-publishing authors. Those who were traditionally published complained about how much money was taken from them by their publishers and their agents, too.

When my panel of self-published authors came up, some who had a few traditionally published books, too, were most glad they didn't have anyone taking anything from their publishing and the only expense we have is hiring a cover to be made. One of the traditionally published authors told how one of her agents stole an incredible amount of money from her.

A book seller was there selling our books, and I'll be going back tomorrow for other events like a workshop and author signings.