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.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Delving into the Minds of Writers

by Paula Gail Benson
I’m so pleased to have been asked to participate as a panel moderator for the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime’s workshop on The Psychology of Writing. (Hurray to Debra H. Goldstein, the event coordinator!) The event also was sponsored by the Southeast Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.


I learned a great deal from the keynote speakers, Toni L.P. Kelner (who has written the Laura Fleming and Where Are They Now? series, numerous short stories, and as Leigh Perry writes the Family Skeleton series) and her husband Dr. Stephen P. Kelner, Jr. (author of Motivate Your Writing!: Using Motivational Psychology to Energize Your Writing Life). For more about their presentations, please see my post on yesterday’s The Stiletto Gang blog.

Banner designed by Karen McCullough

Writers' Minds and Killer Characters
All the panels had wonderful writers who provided excellent information. Debra H. Goldstein moderated “Pros by Day, Deadly Scribes by Night” with Dr. Shirley Garrett, Rick Helms, Holly Sullivan McClure, Sasscer Hill, Lynn Hesse, and Dr. Stephen Kelner, all of whom balanced specialized professions with their writing lives. “Writers’ Minds and Killer Characters” was moderated by Lisa Malice and featured Maggie Toussaint, Linda Sands, Fran Stewart, Susan Crawford, and Jane Suen, who talked about how they developed the characters in their books. Every one of these authors was articulate and delightful. Please check out their work.


I had the opportunity to meet some amazing authors on the panel I moderated. All of them are now on my to-be-read list. Our topic was “Real Life Bleeding Onto the Page.”


Real Life Bleeding Onto the Page Panel

Each panelist had an amazing life story that had become a part of her work, either as fiction or nonfiction. Following is some information about them:


Sid, Paula, and Toni/Leigh
Toni L.P. Kelner had already participated in a session about motivation with her husband and a presentation about habits to make a successful writing career before joining our panel. Her own life is reflected in her Laura Fleming series, where the protagonist from the South has been transplanted to the Northeast, and in her paranormal short stories and Family Skeleton mysteries which include fantasy and scenes about cosplay (where people attending science fiction or fantasy conferences create their own costumes and dress as favorite characters). Toni brought her skeletal protagonist, Sid (who travels extensively with her), and introduced him to me!


Claire Count, the current President of Atlanta Chapter, writes mystery, fantasy, and poetry. Her theatre background (she has an MFA) is an obvious advantage in her work. Recently, her British manor house mystery short story “Fleeting Victory” was included in Georgia’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Fiction. During the panel, she pointed out a theme that was picked up and resonated throughout our discussion: only from deeply felt emotions and experiences can a writer accurately portray the human condition and, in doing so, make it meaningful to others.


Kathleen Delaney, while being a caretaker, a real estate agent, and extensive traveler, not to mention dealing with her own physical difficulties, made an amazing writing career. Currently, she has five Ellen McKenzie mysteries and three Mary McGill Canine mysteries published. Blood Red White and Blue was a finalist for best canine book of the year in the Dog Writers of America annual writing contest. Her work-in-progress is Boo, You're Dead. She spoke about translating her daughter’s experience with domestic violence into fiction.


Angela K. Durden has written nonfiction, memoir, children’s books, and songs. Once, in an interview, she gave G. Gordon Liddy advice about sprucing up his resume, particularly concerning his prison sentence. Her style is direct, compelling, and immediately involving. She spoke about her choices in not identifying family members in her personal account about abuse she had experienced as a child. She writes fiction (featuring a male protagonist) under the name Durden Kell and brings the same immediacy to it as she conveys in her nonfiction.


Sharon Marchisello has an amazing amount of life experience to draw upon, having written travel articles, short stories, book reviews, and an e-book about personal finance, not to mention being retired after a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines and doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardener Extension Office. Her murder mystery, Going Home, was inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Sharon’s novel examines not only the difficulty in resolve a mystery when you cannot rely upon a witness’ memory, but also deals with themes of role reversal, when adult children must make changes in their lives to care for elderly parents.


Julia McDermott is the author of domestic psychological suspense novels Daddy’s Girl and Underwater; a French travel/young adult romance Make That Deux; and the creative nonfiction book, All the Above: My Son’s Battle with Brain Cancer. In an article written for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she said, “Fear is no longer my daily companion; it’s been replaced by gratitude.” The story of how her family and son faced the unexpected challenges is truly inspirational.


If you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading these authors, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to learn more about their work. Many thanks to everyone involved in this wonderful workshop!

What have you been reading lately and what events from real life have found a way into your own writing?


Jim Jackson said...

This weekend I finished Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs, a classic I had never managed to read and also The Pretender: My Life Undercover for the FBI by Marc Ruskin, which is providing background information for a novel I'm writing that's 50,000-words into its first draft.

We had neighbors over for pie on Saturday and they told the story about how a skunk got trapped in their outhouse. Talk about a crappy outcome! It's an incident that might make it into a story sometime in the future.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I read Tana French's The Trespasser on my recent flight to Ireland, and visited Dublin Castle where the Murder Squad is based. I stood in the castle courtyard and checked off the physical details French used in her exterior descriptions.

We were reported to the village building inspector this summer for having weeds in our flower beds. I used the yard police in an upcoming KRL Halloween story, and plan to extend their role in a future story.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Skunks and yard police, oh my! I would read those stories, Jim and Margaret. Thanks for some more titles to add to my to-be-read list.

Kait said...

Jim - I can't stop laughing! Oh My. Margaret, really! Do you think some people need a new hobby? We have an HOA that sounds like that too. GRR on your behalf.

I've been reading lots of cozies lately and loving them I might add. It's been a rough summer and a rough year so I've liked visiting the lighter side and I find it has lightened my writing too. A good thing, I think.

Paula has given me some new authors to add to my TBR and I'm looking forward to that.

Shari Randall said...

No time for reading this weekend - I was busy celebrating a niece's wedding. It was a delightful time, and you bet that I'm now thinking of setting a story at a wedding.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Kait, our local SinC Chapter will host Dorothy St. James, a wonderful cozy author, this weekend. Please check out her novels, if you haven't already.

Shari, go for it! Weddings make great story settings.

Grace Topping said...

Sounds like a panel I wish I could have heard. Thanks to Debra for organizing it.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Grace, Debra and all the organizers did a masterful job. I look forward to their next collaboration.

KM Rockwood said...

What a great experience! Sounds like you made the most of it.