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

August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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 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 Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.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.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Obsession by Carla Damron

Will you forgive me if I post about my work-in-progress, Bird on Limb, AGAIN? It’s not like I’m obsessed with it or anything. I mean, just because I dream about the characters, jot down notes on work meeting agendas about plot points, or spend most of my waking (and, apparently, sleeping) moments thinking about it—that doesn’t mean I’m obsessed.
So what if I listen to it on my Kindle whenever I take my walks at the gym or in my neighborhood? It’s perfectly normal to stop dead in my tracks and attempt to add a little note to the text about a missing word or screwy sentence construction. All walkers do that, don’t they?

And yes, sometimes when you were in a conversation with me, I sort of spaced out, but you must understand—I do hear you, but I also hear the characters in my brain aching to tell me their story. Sometimes it affects my ability to pay attention.

Perhaps I am mentally ill.

No, but I have a pretty good understanding of what mental illness must feel like.
Last week, I completed a draft. 96,000 words. (Yeah, it’s probably too long so I will be pruning.) I’ve sent it to some trusted readers: my siblings, because they will have good suggestions while offering assurances that I am a wonderful writer. Everyone needs this kind of biased feedback when they finish a draft.

I also sent it to two fellow writers, because they will tell me the TRUTH. They will identify micro issues such as spelling/grammar/skipped words, etc., but more importantly, they will look at the overall arch of the story. They will tell me what works. What doesn’t. What might be deepened. What needs to be removed.

This type of feedback is gold. When they identify a weak sub-plot or poorly defined character, I must not be defensive. I must see it at as an assignment: fix it. Or remove it. That’s my job in rewrites.

In my acknowledgements page in The Stone Necklace, I had a long list of people to thank. Why? Because for me, it takes a village. If writing is communication, the first half is my putting words on paper. The second half is readers taking in those words and their intent. I only know if the second half works by letting readers offer honest, constructive criticism. As readers in my writers’ group, in writing residencies I attend do. Readers like my siblings and trusted writing partners. They are a gift to any writer.

Now that I’m in the revision phase, the obsession has diminished. So, it’s okay to have a conversation with me now. The characters have quieted. I’m capable of focusing on other things. Slowly, I’ll become less in love with this novel I’ve birthed. That’s good, too, because some objectivity will allow me to be a more effective editor.

Maybe next blog, I won’t have to write about Bird on Limb.


What are you working on? Or reading? Do you ever find yourself obsessed?


Margaret Turkevich said...

Finishing edits and sending novel #1 to beta readers. Constructing a "fluid" outline for novel #2 (as a reformed pantser this is a major step). Toying with two short stories (anthology prompts). Attending local Cincinnati events: Author's Guild bootcamp, Anti-Human Trafficking Conference, Hamilton County Opioid Epidemic Forum.

Congratulations on completing your next book!

E. B. Davis said...

I think obsessed is a good thing, Carla. People really don't understand what it takes to birth a book.

Carla Damron said...

Margaret— so glad you are attending the anti-Trafficking conference. That is a passion of mine.

Shari Randall said...

Glad you hear you have another book on the way - I can't wait! This obsession is a great sign. Your characters are real and you love spending time with them - that's just the way the readers will feel.

Kait said...

This is wonderful, Carla! It is so hard to explain to a non-writer that these characters, they are real people. Can't wait for the book.

Carla Damron said...

Elaine and Kait— that’s why writers need each other! We understand! Shari, thank you. I’m a long way from having something submittable but I’m on the way!!

Warren Bull said...

Huh? Why interrupt me now? The Judge just confessed and I have to figure out how to get the papers to Coop before the building burns down. Obsessed? I don't have time to obsess while the plot is whirling through my head.

Carla Damron said...

No, Warren. That's not obsession ...

Gloria Alden said...

Carla I'm working on the tenth book in my Catherine Jewell Mystery Series. I started reading some of my earlier books, too, and decided I need to go to the chapters on the current book I'm writing and add some of the characters from my earlier books. I still have to figure out who the murderer is in this book yet. Fortunately I have two people who read and edit my books. One lives in England and the other in Cincinnati. We've been editing each others' work for at least ten years or more now. And yes, I feel my characters are real people.

Carla Damron said...

Gloria, that’s because they are real people!

Jim Jackson said...

I just finished a rewrite of False Bottom (Seamus McCree #6). It had been several months since I picked it up, and the rest allowed me to recognize several problems. That’s the good news. The bad news means it might not be done this spring with all the other stuff going on. Sigh.