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

April Interviews

4/1 Jennifer Chow, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue
4/8 John Gaspard
4/15 Art Taylor, The Boy Detective & The Summer of '74
4/22 Maggie Toussaint, Seas the Day
4/29 Grace Topping, Staging Wars

Saturday Guest Bloggers
4/4 Sasscer Hill
4/18 Jackie Green

WWK Bloggers:
4/11 Paula Gail Benson
4/25 Kait Carson


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.

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!


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Books on Writing, by Kait Carson

Back in the day, I attended a college that was known for underwater basket weaving and advertising that both semesters were spring.  I’m sure it was a fine school, I earned three undergraduate degrees. Somehow, I managed not to get a degree in English, despite taking classes from Shakespeare to the Existentialists. In those years the English department was geared toward turning out academics, not authors. As a result, only two creative writing classes were offered. One in French. I took them both.

The lack of academic credentials didn’t matter. I’d been published since high school. Had an agent find me, and I’d long ago decided if I couldn’t be a trauma surgeon. I’d be a writer. When married, my world view changed. Writing is many things, but a steady income is not among them. Not if you are a creative writer. The country was in a recession, inflation rampant. Two newly minted college graduates needed the financial security of reliable paychecks. Then my agent passed away. The only writing I saw after that was on the wall, and it wasn’t encouraging.

Fast forward a few dozen years – well, not quite, but you get the picture. The literary world had changed, agents were no longer looking for writers, it was the other way around, and the only way to get an agent was to write the book(s). Long ago success had little impact, what have you done lately? All of my past sales were short stories, agents weren’t interested. When I sat down to write a novel, I discovered short story skills did not translate. The concept was the same, beginning, middle, and ending, but fleshing out those bones was very different. I was lost.

Fortunately, there were books on writing. Many books on writing. Some good, some not so good, some written by people who were hoping to find their own way by writing a book on how to write a book. I devoured most of them.  A few did leave dents in my walls. Over time, I managed to absorb enough to become a semi-competent writer. Competent enough to pick and choose from the avalanche of information presented, and ultimately competent enough to buy writing books for enjoyment.

Some of my favorites are On Writing, by Stephen King, Write Away, by Elizabeth George, Plotting the Character Driven Novel, by Linda Rodriguez, Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, by Hallie Ephron (both editions). You get the picture. My favorite writing books are books on writing by my favorite authors. Every time I sit down with one, I learn something new or am reminded of something I need to know.

A few months ago, I added a new writer’s book to my collection. I bought it as a Kindle book at first, but I wasn’t half-way through before I knew I needed this book in paper for ready reference. The book, Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path, by Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott. It’s not so much about how to write as it is about the writing life. If you ever wanted to know how to birth to a novel, this book tells you all about it in humorous detail. It also helps guide you from one step to the next. What surprised me was how universal the writing process is. Seriously, I’d always felt rather alone on parts of the journey. I was thrilled to meet fellow travelers.

The Seven Steps? The Trailhead, Unhappiness, Wanting, Commitment, Wavering (hello, I’m there right now), Letting Go, Immersion, and finally, Fulfillment. I won’t attempt a synopsis of each step here, you’ll need to check out the book for that, but I can guarantee if you are a writer, you’ll find yourself on familiar ground with a few “Ah Ha” moments mixed in.

Reading this book gave me amazing comfort. Now, when I’m frustrated, or blocked, I figure out where I am on the path and know that this too shall pass. Until the next time.

Readers and writers, have you encountered a book that made the bits and pieces of your life fall into place? What was it?


Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott.

Last fall, she came through Cincinnati on a book tour and spoke to a packed house in a local high school auditorium. She randomly hopped from subject to subject in her talk, but touched on topics from Bird by Bird: terrible first drafts, deep knowledge of characters, realistic dialogue.

KM Rockwood said...

This sounds like a book I should be reading. Thanks for pointing it out.

Susan said...

I've read a lot of these, Kait, but I began with Stephen King's "On Writing." Every so often I go back and read it again.

Kait said...

@Margaret, How wonderful that you got to see Anne Lamott. Her book has received high praise from lots of writers. It's on my gotta get list!

Kait said...

@KM, you won't be disappointed!

Kait said...

@Susan - On Writing is fabulous. Every time I read it, it give me huge amounts of energy. Do you find that, too?