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


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


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!