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

October Interview Schedule: 10/3 Ellen Byron, 10/10 Cynthia Kuhn, 10/17 Jacqueline Seewald, 10/24 G. A. McKevett, 10/31 Alan Orloff

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/6 Mary Reed, 10/13 J.J. Hensley,
WWK Satuday Bloggers: 10/20 Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/27 Kait Carson

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Grace Topping signed a three-book contract with Henery Press for her Laura Bishop Home Staging series. Congratulations, Grace!

KM Rockwood's new short story, "Map to Oblivion," has been included the anthology Shhhh...Murder! edited by Andrew MacRae and published by Darkhouse Books. It was released on Sept. 12.

Warren Bull also has a story in Shhh...Murder! Look for "Elsinore Noir," Warren's short story, in this anthology.

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.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Word Vomit by Carla Damron

I call it word vomit.

Forgive me, is that disgusting? I don’t mean to conjure up feelings of nausea. It’s not THAT bad. Or maybe it is, I’m not ready to judge. Rather, word vomit is how I can best describe my process of writing this new project.

I’ve always been a careful, slooooowwww writer. The Stone Necklace took six years because I was learning a new complex novel structure, attending school, and rewriting the frickin’ narrative a million times so that I could squeeze everything I could from every word and every gesture. My mysteries took their time, too, in coming to fruition. I’m slow because life gets in the way, as does writer’s block, a pesky annoying day job, and frustrations about the business end of writing. All of this will thwart my efforts to put pen to pad. Or fingers to keyboard. (Or maybe they’re just excuses.)

After my mom’s extended illness and death, I was word- gridlocked. I tried. God knows, I tried. It felt like the part of my brain that created characters, formed narrative, and devised plots had been cut off from the rest of me. I worried this might be a permanent condition. My writer friends, and friend-friends, all said the same thing: this is temporary. Give it time.

I wished I had believed them.

The idea for this current WIP came from a photo I took months ago of a bird on a limb. You’ll see nothing magical about the picture, but out of it came a person, and then another person, and now I’m pouring out words like some over- caffeinated, sleep deprived NANOWRIMO member at the end of November. (If you don’t know what NANOWRIMO is, go here: https://nanowrimo.org/).
I have four point-of-view characters, each with their own story arc, and when I sit down to write, they are clamoring to tell me their story. At least that’s how it feels. The artist came to me first. Followed by her best friend. The half-sister showed up out of NOWHERE, but she’s been fascinating to explore. The wife of the artist’s lover—(how’s that for a tease???) has been very fun to get to know.

Sometimes I think that if I left my computer on, these four would type their own stories while I slept.

Is this a mystery? Yes, in a way. But not a mainstream murder mystery. Finding the publishing pigeonhole for it may be difficult, but I’m nowhere near dealing with that issue yet. No, my focus now is getting the stories out of me (them).  When I sit here, my fingers fly on the keyboard. I feel little like the Kermit the Frog GIF you may have seen: https://media.giphy.com/media/XIqCQx02E1U9W/giphy.gif   (But he’s probably a better writer than I am).

I’m a hundred pages in and it’s only been two months. For some of my writing colleagues, that’s nothing, I know, but for me it’s staggering.

I feel profound relief whatever part of my brain that had been closed off by grief is open to me again. It turns out, I kind of need it to be fully happy.

What’s your writing process like? Is it the same across projects?


Kait said...

Oh, I can't wait to read this. I am so happy that you have found your voice and your writing spirit again. Rock on, Carla - the story sounds GREAT and the inspiration is gorgeous!

Carla Damron said...

Kait, you are the BEST cheerleader! I need that!!

Warren Bull said...

For me every project is different no doubt because of events in my life and the nature of the project. Enjoy the flow as long as it flows.

Grace Topping said...

Happy to hear that you are making headway, Carla.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Enjoy the word rush! I might give Camp Nano a whirl in July. Feeling the urge.

Mary Sutton said...

Carla, after much trying to hammer myself into a traditional box, my process looks a lot like yours. A lot of random ideas, then I connect the ideas, then comes what I call Draft Zero. Fit for no one's eyes but mine, but they are words on a page I can revise into a real story.


Carla Damron said...

Thanks, y'all. I am enjoying the word rush and know it won't continue indefinitely. Mary, Draft Zero is perfect for what this is!

Shari Randall said...

Carla, I'm so glad you got your mojo back! The tease - yep - you've got us all hanging here! Keep going!

Keenan Powell, Attorney at Law said...

Funny you should mention this. Last night, I dreamt I had a firehose and was spraying out sentences with all manner of clauses attached to them and it was all glorious. When I woke up, not so much as a clause stuck with me -- just the image.

Current WIP was started at a Nano in 2015. Then I started it again during the April Nano and worked along until I got distracted. I was busy for a month so when I came back to it, I had lost my momentum. So now I'm tweaking from the beginning and hoping when I get to the spot where I quit, I'll know what is happening in the next scene.

So not quite spraying words from a firehose this morning.

Carla Damron said...

Thanks, Shari!
Keenan, that is an amazing dream. So maybe no fire hose now, but you have words aching to come out! (or so your subconscious says!)

Gloria Alden said...

Carla, I loved The Stone Necklace and chose it for one of my book clubs and plan on choosing it for the other one, too. I totally understand what you're going through because I started my 10th book about three months ago and only got to chapter 15 before I couldn't quite think where to go with it next. It didn't help that I had a lot going on in the last two months, either. Now that things are slowing down, I'm hoping to get back to working on it.

KM Rockwood said...

So glad you're back into your grove.

Sometimes I find that the characters insist on telling their stories, and I am merely transcribing them. Other times they refuse to cooperate in any way, shape or form.