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


February Interviews













2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar


Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson

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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 (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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."


Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.


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


Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!


KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.


Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.


Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.



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.

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

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Twelve Things to Keep in Mind When Writing a Mystery Series by Marilyn Levinson

1. Your sleuth should be likable, interesting and resourceful, with a definite personality that includes quirks and personal issues that have yet to be resolved. Your sleuth needs to have a personal stake in solving the mystery.
2. Consider your setting a major character. Use your setting well--its geography and flavor, its contrasting neighborhoods, businesses, parks and restaurants. Set your scenes in various locales to avoid monotony. Create annual traditions that are celebrated in your locale. Examples: a parade, a dance, a barbeque.
3. Occasionally change your setting. If most of the books in your series take place in a small town, you might have you sleuth solve a murder in Manhattan.
4. Your sleuth needs a best friend or confidant with whom to brainstorm. Consider creating a nemesis, as well, to up the tension and add red herrings to the mix.
5. A love interest (or interests) spices up your plot and adds another dimension.
6. Choose your victim carefully. Why was he/she murdered? What connects the victim to the suspects? Why was the second victim murdered?
7. Regarding suspects, have many, with various motives, and with varying connections to the victim(s). Don’t telescope the identity of the murderer, but let your murderer appear often enough so that your reader doesn’t feel cheated when all is revealed.
8. Secrets relating to the past are like chunks of dark Belgian chocolate in a chocolate brownie. Every character should have a secret or two. Reveal each secret only when necessary. Use them to your advantage.
9. Every mystery should have a theme. Be it a dispute regarding an inheritance, your sleuth’s relationship to an absentee father who shows up later in her life, each mystery should include a theme that reflects the concerns of your sleuth, the village or the outside world.
10. Decide what role official crime solvers play in your mystery. Even if you’re writing a cozy series, the police must appear in your books. Is your sleuth friendly with the homicide detective? Do they have an adversarial relationship? Don’t have the police come off as idiots because they’re not.
11. Subplots are essential to any novel, including your mystery. They may arise from the theme such as a dispute over land development, from characters in conflict, or from an issue in your sleuth’s personal life.
12. Make sure your personal viewpoint comes through in your writing. You are unique. Your voice and your view of the human condition will help make your series stand out.

4 comments:

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

great list! I'm printing it for my quick reference folder.

Grace Topping said...

Thanks, Marilyn for the things to keep in mind. And people think cozies are easy to write. Not with all those challenges.

Marilyn Levinson said...


Margaret— thanks. I try to keep these in mind as I write.

I agree, Grace. There are so many cozies out there, we want to make ours stand out. I always like to include a subplot that revolves around a social issue or a relationship.

KM Rockwood said...

Excellent list for any writer, novice or experienced.