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

August Interviews

8/5 Lucy Burdette, The Key Lime Crime

8/12 Maggie Toussaint, All Done With It

8/19 Julie Mulhern, Killer Queen

8/26 Debra Goldstein, Three Treats Too Many

August Guest Bloggers

8/8 Leslie Wheeler

8/15 Jean Rabe

August Interviews

8/22 Kait Carson

8/29 WWK Authors--What We're Reading Now


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!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. 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.

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


Saturday, July 6, 2019

My Publishing Story by V.M. Burns

Nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award
The later part of July will mark a milestone for me. It will be approximately eighteen months since my debut novel, The Plot is Murder, was released in November 2017. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been less than two years. A lot’s happened since then. To date, I have published six mysteries (with three more coming in 2019). I’m often asked the question, how I write so many books so quickly. My short answer is, “I have no life.” Truthfully, I’m only half joking. I have a full-time job and three series with deadlines. There isn’t much time for anything else. However, the real reason I have so many books is because of what I did behind the scenes while waiting.

The first book I wrote was called, Travellin’ Shoes, and I finished the first draft in 2009. In the nine years after I typed, THE END, that’s when the hard work of doing what it takes to be a ‘writer’ actually started. I edited my manuscript. I wrote and rewrote it multiple times. When I thought it was ready, I sent query letters to agents/editors/publishers, and I received a ton of rejections. I bought books on writing, editing, the business of writing, etc., which generally led to more edits and rewrites and queries, and rejections. I attended workshops, conferences and seminars and then edited, rewrote and sent more queries. I even went back to college for a second master’s degree and got an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.

After getting my MFA, I sent more queries and when all else failed, I wrote another book (the sequel to Travellin’ Shoes). I also had an idea for a different series and decided to write that too. By 2015 when I signed my first book contract, I had three completed manuscripts. They weren’t perfect, but they were complete with a beginning, middle and end. Traditional publishing is a long, slow process. It took an additional eighteen months from the time I signed my contract until my book released. So, while I was waiting for release day, I wrote three more books.

My story isn’t unique, but I do feel that each writer’s journey toward publication is unique. Many writers, like me, spent years writing and waiting for that elusive book deal. There are also writers who complete one manuscript, send one query and get a large advance and a multiple book deal. That’s not my reality. From the outside, what seems like me sitting down at my laptop and feverishly writing book after book in record-breaking time, is actual the result of years of rejection. I firmly believe without the years of rejection; I wouldn’t have completed six books. So, to all the writers out there who are waiting on a book contract, stay encouraged. My advice to you is, just keep writing. 

V.M. (Valerie) Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers of America, Crime Writers of Color, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com.


Annette said...

Excellent advice, V.M.! I too had multiple books completed during the submission, waiting, and rejection phase of the process.

And welcome to Writers Who Kill!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Congratulations on your latest. I'm learning to always have the next project planned as I finish my current project. Hello from "Boo" Boudreaux and Jazz my black standards.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Your advice about continuing to work on projects/books during the submission process is on target, but I still don't believe most people can be as successfully productive as you. Your books, in all series, are delightful, fun, and engaging. (Can you tell I'm a fan?)

Grace Topping said...

Congratulations, Valerie, your hard work is paying off. Regardless of when you wrote your books, I'm still impressed.

Connie Berry said...

Valerie, we share a lot in common--we're both Anglophiles, for starters. I'm seriously impressed with your list of published works in two years. Wow. I hope we can meet in person soon. Will you be at Bouchercon? Congratulations--and I look forward to reading that first book!

KM Rockwood said...

Such an impressive record, Valerie. Your hard work and perseverance is paying off.

Kait said...

Valerie, you are a rock star. Amazing productivity and wonderful stories. Keep 'em coming--I don't think I have to suggest that though, do I?