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

July Interviews

7/1 Lena Gregory, Scone Cold Killer
7/8 Jessica Baker, Murder on the Flying Scotsman
7/15 TG Wolff, Driving Reign
7/22 Leslie Budewitz, The Solace of Bay Leaves
7/29 Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets

Saturday Guest Bloggers

7/11 Mark Dressler
7/18 James McCrone

WWK Bloggers:

7/4 Valerie Burns
7/25 Kait Carson


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, November 23, 2019

Write What You Know, by Kait Carson

“Write what you know.” The quote is variously attributed to Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway. The Hemingway version actually reads “I decided that I would write one story about each thing I knew about.” Tortured English for my two cents, but who am I to argue with Hemingway. He was an ace at covering his bases, and as he matured, he must have realized that writing what he knew might be a tad boring so he decided to ask himself “What did I know best that I had not written about and lost? What did I know about truly and care for the most?”

The last is the money question for me. What do I know about truly and care for the most? What question do I want to let my characters help me examine? The answers have nothing to do with spending months cooking on a boat—when I had no idea how to cook, or spending every weekend in the Caribbean throughout the 1980s. Yes, I know all about those things, but who cares?

What do I know about truly because of those experiences? Gratitude. The men on that boat taught me to cook. Their efforts kept the captain from putting me ashore when he discovered I was a fraud. Because of them I can make a full meal from any three ingredients, and I know the gossamer silk feel of the trade winds when they kiss your cheek in your sleep. Mercy. A woman in Sint Maarten took me into her home and nursed me back to health when I had dengue fever and no place to stay. She taught me that having enough is being rich, sharing it doubles the wealth, and there is always room for one more. Because of her, I know the honey-sweet taste of sucking on a hibiscus flower, the prickly feeling of a bananaquit landing on your arm, and that peas (a type of bean) and rice can extend any meal.

If I’m doing my job as a writer, then each character I write is informed by their own unique blend of qualities that breathes life into them. The gruff sailor can realistically display a gentle side. A woman can follow her heart to defy her family and display Herculean kindness. These are things that I care the most about. The deep well from which mankind draws to form and shape behaviors that are as often ephemeral as they are immutable. Those are the questions I want to examine, how each character, in life and fiction, is the architect of their own story.


Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Nice blog, Kait!

Sasscer Hill said...

Kait, your comments are spot on. It is that spark deep in a character's heart that surfaces under duress, turns his world upside down and sends him on a journey that both terrifies him and gives him a sense of power and abilities he never knew he possessed.

Warren Bull said...

I often feel like I am conveying the character's story rather than my own.

Kait said...

Thank you, Margaret!

Kait said...

Well put, Sasscer. The best times as a reader and a writer are when you can feel that spark in a character and they leap from the page.

Kait said...

Absolutely, Warren. In many ways, our characters are our children. We do our best to give them a good grounding,but they turn into individuals and set the writer's plan on a new course.

KM Rockwood said...

All of our stories (and characters) emerge from ourselves and our experiences. How we distill and present them is the very basis for our work.

Kait said...

So true, KM. Which is why it is so gratifying to be a writer. Our experiences are wet clay that we shape into characters with lives of their own.

Nancy Nau Sullivan said...

Thanks, Kait. I've often thought about that "write what you know" business, but I think you nail it when you add the "what you care about." I wrote my first mystery about a place I know well, but the thing that really propelled me is that I truly care about what is happening to that island. I think the writer has to care about in situ, at least, I do.