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













July Interview Schedule:
7/3 Jean Stone A Vineyard Summer
7/10 Mark Bergin
7/17 Christin Brecher Murder's No Votive Confidence
7/24 Dianne Freeman A Ladies' Guide to Gossip
7/31 J. C. Kenney A Genuine Fix

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 7/6 V. M. Burns, 7/13 Joe Amiel,

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 7/20 Gloria Alden, 7/27 Kait Carson

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Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:


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 will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

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.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Selling the First and Planning the Second Book by E. B. Davis

I’ve written the first book in my series. It’s taken a long time—too long. My writing life took a hit when I relocated three years ago. But I’m back on track because my situation has changed and due to WWK writer Grace Topping urging me to get moving. Thanks, Grace, I needed that kick. But more, I also needed to hear that you remembered my book fondly from beta reading it four years ago. Knowing just one other person thinks my book has value soothes those insecure and emotional fears that lurk just below my carefully engineered façade of professionalism.

The Writers Who Kill blog has created a community for writers regardless of their position on the ladder to fulfilling their writing career goals. I learn from the experiences of my blogging peers. Case in point: Grace Topping. She found an agent, who sold a three-book deal to a publisher. Her first in the series will be released at the end of April. What’s she doing now? Writing the second book.

What have I learned? Plan the character arcs of your characters before it’s forced upon you by deadlines. Plan the series, at least a rough outline, of each book to take your characters through the experiences they need to grow. Plant the seeds of the second novel in the first or at least make nonspecific situations in the first so you have a clear slate upon which to build the second plot.

Why didn’t I think about this sooner? I’ve had plenty of time. But the fact is that when you haven’t yet sold the first book you wonder if your time was wasted. If you invest more time creating the entire series, are you building yourself another black hole of wasted time?

Grace’s experience has taught me the answer is no. Whether or not you sell the series, the process of planning the series, building your characters arcs, and developing plots for subsequent books is a crucial skill set that will serve you well even if you end up selling a different book and perhaps a different series.

What am I doing? I’m going back through the first manuscript, tweaking characters to set them up for their development and taking out specifics that may hamper the plot of the next book.

What I have to do next? Get my promotional pieces to sell the first book as much as I hate writing about my work. What will entice an agent or publisher? I find making comparisons of my work to others problematic. I don’t want to misrepresent my book, and I also feel boastful comparing my work to the success of others. Do I have to do this?

Similar to Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic mysteries,
my cozy main characters meet at a Naples, FL resort,
a la Neil Simon’s California Suite, which is hosting the set and crew of a movie,
where the murder of a screenwriter takes place, much like the Red Carpet
Catering mystery series written by Shawn Reilly Simmons, and solve the
murder along with hotel detectives, as per Alan Russell’s Hotel Detective series.

Really? Elements of those other works may occur, but as a whole, it’s not like them at all.

Have you ever compared your book to others? If so, how do you feel about it?

9 comments:

Margaret Turkevich said...

Congratulations on your writing journey! I'm having a terrible time nailing down comparables for my query and pitch. Someone told me recently the comps are to assure agents that people buy books about a particular occupation, setting, or character.

E. B. Davis said...

I'm glad you found out the whys of the comparisons. It makes me feel like I'm stealing another author's thunder. I put the comparisons in my query letter, but it still feels cheap.

Liz Milliron said...

I never got the hang of comparables. Like you, I'm always a bit queasy comparing myself to other writers, especially if I admire them.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

The comparables are a balance, but the key is your book and if it catches someone's eye....hoping the best for yours

Kait said...

I am so glad you have picked up your book again. I read it and loved it and may I suggest that fans of Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic mysteries and Shawn Reilly Simmons' Red Carpet Catering mysteries will love E.B. Davis' latest murder mystery set on Florida's exclusive Gold Coast.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Hooray, hooray! I always love reading your short stories and know I will love your novel. Best wishes on the journey to publication!

KM Rockwood said...

Congratulations! Life intervenes, and getting back to writing sometimes takes a lot longer than anticipated. Right now, between my own heart issues & my husband's deteriorating health, I'm not spending nearly enough time on my writing. You're an encouragement to buckle down and try to get back on track.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks, Kait, Paula, and Debra! Liz, if that's what they want--I'll do it, but the whole comparison thing is lies. It's not like we're manufacturing computers and have specifications that can be compared.

I've got the concept for the second book, but I don't have it mapped. What new characters I need is the easy question. Which roles my main characters take is harder.

KM--real life is a necessity, not a choice. Do what you can without feeling badly about what you have to do. The last three years, I've done what I could. But you can only do so much when there are constraints on your time.

Kait said...

Truth is, none of our books is "like" any other. Each book is unique, and that's the way they should be. Agents and publishers seem to want comps to provide a shorthand reference. Has anyone else noticed that comparisons are showing up frequently in ads lately? Or maybe I'm noticing them more.