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

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

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!


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Guppy Fishy Business Authors' Interview by E. B. Davis

Killer hooks and fishy characters will lure you into this fifth anthology from the Guppies Chapter of Sisters in Crime. This volume nets you twenty-two crafty capers featuring slippery eels, wily sharks, and hard-boiled crabs. From ultra-modern computer crimes to old-fashioned confidence tricks, these tales are sure to satisfy your appetite for great short mystery fiction.

I had many reasons for wanting to interview the authors of this anthology, especially since WWK’s Linda Rodriguez edited this volume and Debra Goldstein wrote the forward in her role as SinC Guppy President and as one of the authors.

Although the promotional paragraph above was taken from Amazon, Wildside Press is the publisher. There are many reasons to buy Fishy Business, twenty-two of them because each story is a reading pleasure. Two of the other stories are from WWK bloggers, KM Rockwood and James M. Jackson. You may want to buy the anthology directly from Wildside. I have provided the link to their website. Thank you, John and Carla!

Please welcome the authors of the fifth Guppy anthology, Fishy Business to WWK!                                                                                                        E. B. Davis

The Wannabe, by Lida Bushloper
Is revenge sweet or cold?
I don't know if other people feel this way, but I have fantasies about inflicting punishment on people who prey on women, the elderly or who hurt animals. So often it seems, the law is slow, lenient or ineffective. Of course, it's a fantasy. I'm equally against vigilante justice in every and all cases. Nor do I believe I would ever have the guts to really hurt someone. Still, part of me can't help but root for Kate. I hope she gets away with it.

Nova, Capers, and a Schmear of Cream Cheese, by Debra H. Goldstein
Are older people more predictable than younger ones?
Although older people often make references to “the way we did it” or “I wouldn’t have ever considered …,” I think they are less predictable than younger people. Why? Because while age brings institutional knowledge and some rigidity, it gives individuals tested work around skills as well as an excuse for filters and behavioral norms to be ignored.

Windfall, by Rita A. Popp
Nurture or nature? Which do you think contributes more to character?
Excellent, tough question! As it applies to "Windfall," I'd say nurture. In the story two girls, Trina and Jill, shared a stint as foster children but have had very different lives since then. Trina was adopted into a stable family while Jill wasn't so lucky. Jill sees her alcoholic father only from time to time, when he needs a handout. It's no surprise that Trina comes across as the good girl of the pair drawn into a caper by motorcycle-riding Jill, "hell on wheels."

Who Stole My Lunch?, by Kate Fellowes
Why does your main character dismiss the boss as a suspect?
Years and years ago, I had a boss who we only saw twice a day: once when she came into work in the morning and again when she left at night.  Her world as Boss never overlapped with our world as employees. I imagine Mr. Schultz is a lot like her, vaguely aware that others exist in the building, but too wrapped up in her tasks to ever focus on them or socialize.  Eat in the staff lunch room?  I don't think so!  And if he would never set foot in the lunch room, he would never open the fridge.  Hence, he couldn't possibly be the thief.

Nine Lives of Husbands and Wives, by Chelle Martin
What are the elements of spite?
Merriam-Webster defines spite as petty ill will or hatred with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart. My story features a husband and wife who focus solely on custody of a cat, but not because either loves their pet. Their reasons for wanting the cat are solely selfish and, without giving away the story, cause them to focus so much on “winning” that they don’t realize they are being swindled.

The Lost Mine of Don Fernando, by Anna Castle
“A nervous mark was an easy target.” Why? Wouldn’t someone nervous be on the lookout?
I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote this particular sentence! I wrote this story more than a year ago, remember. Probably that this particular mark would jump into their net faster, if he feared imminent obstruction or competition.

Scrabble-Rousers, by K.M. Rockwood
Are there too many Miss Shannons at senior centers?
The Miss Shannons of this world are very well intentioned and are sure they know what's best. They exist anywhere there is a need for caretakers or counsellors. The problem is that they lack empathy, and don't realize it. If only the clients would accept their superior knowledge and cooperate with the proper agenda, everyone's health and lives would be so much better.

Room and Board, by Vinnie Hansen
Is there such a thing as a surfing addict?
Yes, people can be addicted to surfing. Take Santa Cruz legend Jack O’Neill who invented the wetsuit just so he could spend even more time in the Northern California water!

Payout Payback, by Susan Bickford
How much data is stored in copy machine memories?
It depends on the machine. Home / small business units might have 256MB-1GB of RAM (memory) plus a hard drive ranging from 40 GB – 2 TB. Professional business type units sometimes have up to 1.5TB of RAM and at least that in storage on a hard drive. Usually the drives will start over-writing on when they fill up.  You might want to think twice about just dumping your old printer at the local eWaste site.

My Night with the Duke of Edinburgh, by Susan Daly
Do instigators like chaos or orchestration?
Oh, in my story, my instigator is definitely an orchestrator.  He winds up the various players with a goal and a motivation and added a goodly dose of inspiration, then steps back and lets it all take its course.   

The A-List, by C.C. Guthrie
If branding and promotion are best left to professionals, what should authors do?
The premise of my story is built around a branding and promotional effort that doesn’t end well.

I’m just starting my career as a published short story author, so I don’t know that I’m in any position to give advice. I will say - and this applies to life in general - do lots of research, and ask questions. It’s been my experience that cautionary tales can be just as instructive as good advice.

The Great Negotiator, by Raegan Teller
Is no negotiation a form of negotiation?
Even though negotiation is, by definition, a discussion aimed toward reaching an agreement, Jerry, the protagonist, used a “no negotiation” approach as leverage. In the end, he got what he wanted. Or did he? Maybe what he wanted was something even more sinister. Hmmm.

For Want of a Grade, by T.Y. Euliano
Simon did Blake good in the end, but was he really a friend?
Hmmm, that's an interesting question. Simon owed Blake for taking the fall earlier when they stole exams. Blake's not the sharpest tack in the box, but Simon isn't really out in the world either, living in his mother's basement and "working" from home. I don't think he probably knows much about friendship, and in his mind, it was mutually beneficial. No doubt he took advantage of Blake, but in his world, perhaps the ends justify the means.

Exit Interview, by Beth Green
Do you play chess?
No, I don’t play chess myself —but I am tickled you asked! While I was planning to write Exit Interview I read a few blog posts about chess strategies and their relationship to plotting (particularly for figuring out villains’ dastardly moves). I read through several of those and they eventually took me to reading about ‘gambits’ in general. If you’re curious, this is one of the posts I bookmarked during that period:  
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/XanatosGambit (though I’m not sure how much of a Xanatos Gambit you’ll find in my story!).

I also took inspiration from chess for the story in that, in chess and in crime fiction, each piece or character has a specific role. I thought it was fun to mix up the players—what happens when you ask an assassin to do a thief’s job?—and it evolved from there.

The Dark Underground, by Steve Shrott
Is the world of librarians full of bullies and intrigue or do librarians possess great imaginations?
I personally believe that librarians are fantastic! I want them to know this because I don't think they receive enough praise and because I hope it will get me a discount on the thirty-seven dollars I owe in fines.

Unfortunately, I can't help the way my characters feel about them. Lionel Krebbs, the book shelver in my story thinks the library is a place of intrigue. Well actually, he thinks it's a 'secret underground society of evil library lieutenants who work in the shadows.' Of course, he may have read one too many books about conspiracy theories as he's convinced the head librarian wants to…well you'll have to read the story.

It Tastes Like Cardboard, by Joan Leotta
Is your main character a one-trick pony or is she lazy?
It’s not that she is lazy—wow, she works hard at her schemes and makes those Fit-Byte bars with care. It is simply that at some point in her development she was derailed from the normal course of development. She can no longer see a path to any legitimate use of what is considerable cooking talent. When she works at the soda bar, she works hard—she is creative but then soon turns her creativity to scamming once again. Plenty of energy—not lazy, just not normal.

Sadly, she is like many real-life people who, for some reason or other, at some point in their lives are thrown off the normal and catapulted in to a world where they had to pit their wits against the best way of doing things in order to make a living. These people are not lazy, but often have low self-esteem and no idea how to reset their paths and are suspicious of those who try to help them move into the world of “normal.”

The Hollerith Effect, by Andrew MacRae
Is the Hollerith Effect real? Were punch cards used in another capacity before their use in early computer technology?
The Hollerith Effect grew out of a thought experiment from the late 1970s when I had to stay late on the night of February 28th and manually switch our IBM mainframe computer’s date to February 29th at midnight on Leap Day. How, I wondered, could it be used in a story. Could it work? Maybe, just maybe back then. Could it work today? To that, I plead the Fifth.

As to the history of punch cards, Joseph Jacquard invented them for use with his automated loom at the dawn of the Industrial age. Hollerith, who really was born on Leap Day, adopted the idea for storing data with the code he invented. To obtain the best precision in cutting millions of cards, he contracted with the US Mint. That’s why computer punch cards are the same size and shape of the US dollar bill back in the 1870s. That’s also why computer screens and printers had maximum of eighty characters of text on each line – that’s what would fit on a punch card the size of a dollar bill in the 1870s.

The Fork, the Spoon, and the Knife, by T.G. Wolff
Were the actors’ roles naturally acquired or were they studied, learned and then assumed?
With a man like Charley Danger running the job, everything is natural. In this caper, Danger was recovering an heirloom dagger created by his great-great-great grandfather for the woman he intended to marry. There was no getting the woman back, but the dagger was coming to the home of Danger’s best client as part of a private art exhibition. His plan from the beginning was to steal the blade in front of the gala audience. To pull it off, he needed a distraction, a thief, and a getaway man. Danger opened his little black book, looking at the names and seeing skills. When curtain went up, the stage was set with diva known as Spoon, a slight-of-hand pro named Mysterio, and a rubber-laying drive master called Fast Willie.

The Funeral Home Heist, by MaryAlice Meli
I hate to ask, but was this fictional crime based on a real one using crematoriums?
I hate to tell you, but everything in this story is fictional. The idea evolved as the story did, slowly with the usual plot bumps. I never heard of a real crime involving crematoriums but, who knows, ain't nuthin' new in story making.

Power of Attorney, by James M. Jackson
I’d never heard of “checking kiting.” What is it? Is it less likely in today’s world of electronic banking?
In its simplest form, check kiting is writing a check without a bank balance to support it. It received its name because like a kite, the bad check is floating on air. Traditionally, check kiting involved moving money by writing checks between two or more bank accounts, timing deposits so no checks bounced. With electronic clearing houses, that kind of check kiting is much less common than it was. Other forms are alive and well.


Jim Jackson said...

I'm delighted to have the final story in this anthology. I have my author's copy and it's sitting as #2 on my TBR pile.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Hurray to all the authors and to the Guppies for continuing to offer publication through their anthologies! This is also on my TBR list!

Debra H. Goldstein said...

WWK (Elaine), thanks for having all of us today. I've really enjoyed reading the stories in the anthology, so I'm glad you showcased the different authors with your insightful questions.

KM Rockwood said...

Thanks for interviewing all of us! I found this story fun to write, and I hope everyone enjoyed all the wonderful stories.

Susan Alice Bickford said...

What a fun collection of interviews. Great questions!

Micki Browning said...

Congratulations to all!