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


June Interviews













6/3 Gretchen Archer, Double Trouble
6/10 Kaye George, Deadly Sweet Tooth
6/17 Annette Dashofy, Til Death
6/24 Adam Meyer


Saturday Guest Bloggers

6/6 Mary Keliikoa
6/13 William Ade
6/20 Liz Milliron


WWK Bloggers:

6/27 Kait Carson
6/30 WWK Writers--What We're Reading Now

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Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.


KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.


Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel, and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination! All are winners but without Agatha Teapots. Onto 20121!


Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."


Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.


Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.


Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


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!

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Happy To Be Blogging at WWK By Marilyn Levinson



I'm delighted to be here, blogging every other week about writing, publishing and various and sundry topics. It's been some time since I've been part of a group blog—or even posting on my own blog—and I thought it was time I started doing so again. There are so many wonderful writers here on WWK. I know many of you already—in fact, a few are dear friends—and I hope to get to know everyone who's a part of this wonderful and friendly group.

I've been writing fiction for many, many years. I started out writing middle grade and YA books for kids. My debut novel, AND DON'T BRING JEREMY, was published by Holt in 1985 or '86. I suppose today it would be classified as an early YA. It got a great write up in Publisher's Weekly, was a nominee for six state awards, and I thought I'd arrived as a working author.

Not so. Four more juvenile novels were published over the years. Yes, RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK was A "Children's Choice," and  NO BOYS ALLOWED stayed in print for over twenty years, but sales of new titles were far and few between. So I decided to try my hand at writing romantic suspense and mysteries.

I sold a romantic suspense and some mysteries to small e-presses as well as a few more juvenile novels. I had what felt like more than my share of bad luck along the way: small presses closing as my book was about to be published; not getting paid royalties owed to me. But I had some good luck, too, part of which I attribute to networking and connecting with other writers and people in the field.  I'm mentioning the best one yet so unpublished writers can take heart and see that networking sometimes works in mysterious ways.

Someone I knew told me that an agent was interested In her book. I asked who that was and she said it was Dawn Dowdle. Now I was on Facebook with Dawn. Months earlier, an agent very "big" in the cozy field had turned down a cozy proposal I'd sent her. Yes, she nearly had taken it but she didn't. And so, figuring that was the last word on the subject, I never sent it out again. But I decided to send it to Dawn. Miracle of miracles, she liked it! Took it on, though I'd only written three chapters. (I promised to finish the book in a few months.)

I've had a few agents, but never anyone like Dawn!  When my manuscript was done and she'd edited in her careful way, she sent it out. Shortly after, Crooked Lane Books took my Haunted Library mystery series. I was asked to come up with a pseudonym—something I'd wanted since I was in elementary school—and my book was soon published.

I was totally amazed by the wonderful acclaim that DEATH OVERDUE received! I found myself laughing at each favorable notice, every terrific review. Was this really happening after all these years? Who knew that creating a librarian in charge of programs and events as a sleuth would be so popular? And having DEATH OVERDUE selected as an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel last year was indeed an unexpected honor.

All this took place over a span of many years. The thing that amazes me is that I persevered. I kept on writing through rejections and near misses and simple bad luck. Like many other writers, I've had my personal battles—the death of a spouse, fighting stage four lymphoma--but I continued to write. Not because I'm heroic or brilliant, but because I chose to. I think that those of us who publish books have all killed our share of dragons, our disappointments to get past. And those who want to be published must continue to do the same.

12 comments:

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Welcome!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Thank you, Margaret. I'm delighted to be part of WWK.

Grace Topping said...

Very happy to have you join us Marilyn. I, too, think Dawn Dowdle is a terrific agent. Thank you for recommending her. I'm looking forward to seeing you at Malice.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of funny fiction said...

So wonderful to read about your writing journey!

KM Rockwood said...

Welcome to Writers Who Kill. And thank you for sharing your journey as a published author.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Grace
I'm so happy it worked out so well and your first book will soon be launched.
I'm looking forward to spending time together as always at Malice!!!

KM,
Thank you! I'm glad to be here. Sharing my trials and tribulations might inspire an aspiring writer not to give up because of difficulties he or she encountered.

Patricia Gligor's Writers Forum said...

What an inspirational post, Marilyn! I often joke that "Perseverance" should be my middle name because I consider it one of the most important qualities a writer can have.
As you said, most of us have had our share of ups and downs through the years but, if writing is part of us, we have to soldier on. I'm so glad you did because I love your books!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Pat,
Thanks for stopping by. I love that you love my books. It has special meaning to me when a fellow author loves what I write. It inspires me to keep on writing. Sometimes we only pay attention to negative comments. But that is another topic for another day.

Marja said...

Excellent post, Marilyn. I remember Dawn Dowdle from a long time ago, and I'm excited to hear she's done so well for you. And you're right, perseverance is high on the list of things an author has to have. Love your books and I look for more.

Shari Randall said...

Welcome, Marilyn! Thank you for sharing your story of perseverance - an invaluable element for every writer's tool kit. I'm so glad you persevered and have had such success with your series.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Hi Marja,
Thanks for stopping by. Dawn is a wonderful agent, one of the major pieces of good fortune I've enjoyed a writer.

Thank you, Shari! Interesting that perserverance turns out to be such an important ingredient in an author's career.

Gloria Alden said...

Welcome, Marilyn. So glad you're taking every other Thursday since I've been running out of ideas for blogs. I enjoyed reading this blog and getting to know you better. It seems you and I share some of the early times starting to write and get published although I publish my own books. We've also had some sad times in our life - yours losing your husband and me losing my oldest son when he was 17 years old to cancer. As for writing I'm now on the tenth book in my series and have a following of readers who are trying to get me to hurry up and finish the book. I'll have to order some of your books and read them, too, since I'm an avid reader.