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

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door

October Guest Bloggers

10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean

WWK Weekend Bloggers

10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 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!


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

My Mysterious Adventure

by Paula Gail Benson

Have you heard about authors writing a short story that later is developed into a novel? Like Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees?

I’m giving Writers Who Kill this exclusive. The blog message you are about to read may one day be developed into a bestselling (how I wish!) novel, called “Killing Paula.” (After hearing this story, a friend gave me that title, along with some excellent plot suggestions, and told me I could use them. Thank you, Phil Lenski. I’ll be sure to mention you in the acknowledgements.)
Dear readers, I begin with my journey to Myrtle Beach to meet with cousins and friends and enjoy a lovely vacation. I had dodged Hurricane Dorian, which came through the week before. (I would say dodged the bullet,” but don't let me get ahead of myself.) The weather was hot, but beautiful, and I was anticipating wonderful company and food.

SC History Trail
To make the journey, I decided to get a rental car and signed up for roadside assistance. The trip to the beach was delightful. I enjoyed seeing sights I remembered from past travels.

On my route, I drove through the small town of Gallivants Ferry, a place which has been known for generations as the location of political stump meetings. In fact, the Democratic Presidential candidates were scheduled to appear there for a debate on the Monday after I returned home.

Just as I passed the Gallivants Ferry Convenience Store, I heard a loud pop and an electronic notice appeared on the dashboard that my tire pressure was low. I didn’t need to be informed. I’ve experienced flat tires before.

I pulled into the store’s parking lot. Sure enough, the rear tire on the driver’s side was flat as a chunk of butter sizzling in a hot pan. My roadside service paid off. A local company was dispatched and arrived sooner than predicted.

When my rescuer jacked up the car to put on the spare, he pointed to the dent in the rim of the hub cap. It had a red tint around the edge. We were both puzzled about what might have caused the damage.

I conferred with my experts (friends who know about guns and mysteries) and learned that some bullets contain a red substance that leaves a mark. A friend sent me a Guns and Ammo article about the FBI’s “new duty load” with a red interior.
From: https://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/the-story-behind-the-fbi-new-duty-load/325989
The rental car company asked me to trade the car for another, so I wouldn’t be putting a lot of miles on the spare. After getting supper and checking into the hotel, I headed for the rental car office at the Myrtle Beach airport.

In the humid heat of the night, I followed the parking lot arrows to a place where a woman (I later learned her name was Nancy) sat in a lounge chair with a cooler. She checked me in and opened the trunk to look at the damaged tire. That was when we discovered the hole. Please consider the evidence:

What does that image suggest to you?

Nancy shook the tire. We heard no noise and no bullet fell out, but the hole was consistent with a gun shot. Although, it also might have been caused by my hitting some rebar in the road. Or, another rental car associate suggested, it looked as if something inside the tire might have exploded, bursting the tire and denting the rim.

Meanwhile, back to my bestseller. My friend Phil gave me his list of potential suspects who could be “aiming” for me, including someone who might have made a ghostly appearance. Now, to put it all together in a plausible story!

Anyway, that’s how I began what became a very happy vacation, with an experience that has stimulated my writing brain and, with tremendous luck, could be a bestseller. Remember, you heard it here first!

Have you ever had an experience like mine?


Annette said...

I've never been shot at, Paula, if that's what you mean! Wow. I'm sure this will make it into one of your stories in one way or another. You may have dodged a bullet, but you've had a great tidbit of story research dropped in your lap. Or in your tire, as the case may be!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Annette, I hope there is another explanation for me, too. But, you're right. There's a story in the experience.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

When it rained in Atlanta, all the sharp metal debris washed into the street in front of my house. I had a flat tire every six months, the result of roofing nails, push pins in the sidewall (fatal), and metal scraps. But never a bullet.

My car was "egged" and the windows smashed. But never shot at.

I've had tree toads, bats, and birds in the house, and a yellow jacket nest in the wall worthy of a Hitchcock movie ("The Bees"). But never a bullet hole in a window or wall.

Looking forward to what happens next.

Susan said...

I don't suppose you checked the later area newspapers for snipers shooting at random? What a world we live in where that is a real possibility! Glad you weren't hurt.

Warren Bull said...

You too? I was assigned a rental car with a hole in the sidewall that allowed part of the innertube to stick out like a balloon. If it had popped while I was driving at high speed....? WWK writers, be very careful.

KM Rockwood said...

I used to teach in a high-crime area of Baltimore. Many of the people with whom I worked had their cars stolen or vandalized.

My car was immune to theft. To begin with, it was an ancient Toyota Tercel, the likes of which no self-respecting car thief would be caught dead driving. And it had a standard transmission, which very few of today's casual car thieves can drive. The ones who can are looking for luxury sports cars, not underpowered putt-putts.

The body wasn't exactly pristine, and if it was ever vandalized, I didn't notice. I did one time come out to find a flat tire, and it is quite possible that it had been shot--we had heard what might have been gunfire earlier in the day (not a hugely unusual occurrence.)

Grace Topping said...

Wow! What an experience, Paula. Lucky you weren't on the interstate. One evening, my husband called me to say that our car had either been towed or stolen. My three-year-old who was on the extension said, "You are in big TROUBLE." The car had been stolen and my husband reported it. About midnight we received a call saying that it had been found in adjoining Maryland left on the side of the road. Apparently, someone wanted a ride home and didn't want to take the Metro. We had a smashed window, and a messed up ignition. The thing my husband was most upset about was the thief stole his prized duffle coat from the backseat.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Margaret, I've dealt with street debris, too. It's so frustrating to pick up nails in tires from a construction site. Dealing with the egging, shattered windows, and critters sounds formidable!

Susan, I didn't. I'll have to check the local media to see if anything similar was reported.

Warren, we need to look out for each other!

Kathleen, I admire so much the work you did. Once, when I was serving as a guardian ad litem, another lawyer working on the case insisted on driving me to the neighborhood to conduct interviews because he had a car that "could withstand damage."

Grace, what a nerve racking ordeal. I'm glad the car was found, but sorry about the lost coat.

Kaye George said...

I think I'd be awfully terrified after the act, to think that someone had shot at me! You could have been hit. Glad it turned out OK!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Me, too, Kaye!