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!


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Accepting a Romantic Challenge

by Paula Gail Benson

Maybe you’ve been hearing a lot of controversy about the Romance Writers of America lately. At this writing, the national organization has many issues to address; however, good things are happening with the local chapters. The opportunity I had to write “Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest” is one of them.

I’m not a reader of romance and I never planned on being a writer of romance, but I joined the Lowcountry Chapter of the Romance Writers of America (LRWA), based in Charleston, S.C., because of its craft programs and writing retreats. I very much appreciated all the good writing and marketing information I received at the meetings and through the online classes. Following a trip to Charleston, I always rode back to Columbia energized and ready to work even more diligently telling my stories.

This past year, I almost let my membership lapse. South Carolina now has many more groups that provide writing programs, ones taking place where I live rather than requiring travel.

But, I decided to re-up one more time and I’m truly glad I did.

The officers and members of LRWA decided to put together an anthology. Everyone in the chapter was encouraged to contribute. The organizers set up a rigorous process, including two beta readings and detailed submission of “collateral material” (read that as marketing tools including author bio and publication list, character bios, character photos available from royalty free sites or purchased for use, story excerpts, and tweets).

Here were the story requirements: they had to occur in Charleston, S.C., during any time-period, but set during the winter holidays (from Thanksgiving to New Year’s) and they had to be 7,500 words or less. Later, the 7,500-word-limit was extended to 10,000.

Okay, I tell myself. I can write short stories. Mostly I write mysteries in the 3,500 word range, but 7,500 is just two of my stories put together. And, I know the basics of a romance: attraction, conflict, HEA or HFN (“happily ever after” or “happy for now” for those uninitiated). How difficult could it be?

What’s the answer whenever that question is asked? Much more than expected. In my case, it was an eye-opening experience. My respect for romance writers, their craft, and their marketing skills has grown. I’ve learned so much that I can apply to any type or length of writing. I’m so incredibly glad I took on this challenge and had this group of dedicated women to walk me through the process, which included independent publication, another area about which I now have better knowledge.

Here’s some information about our anthology, Love in the Lowcountry (available on Amazon), the stories you’ll find there, and the authors who wrote them. Where available, please check out the links to the author websites.

Romance is heating up the winter holidays…
From paranormal to contemporary, from sweet to sultry, from first time love to love revived, discover both dark and deLIGHTful tales of romance amidst the intriguing backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina.

Best-selling authors join exciting new debuts in fourteen original stories of Love in the Lowcountry…

The Stories
Amy Quinton… – Hoodwinked for the Holidays Wanted: Ghost with good reviews for special holiday tour. Team Player a must. Matchmaking skills NOT required.

Angela Mizell – Mistletoe and Mayhem In the Unholy City, everyone has a secret.

Carla Susan Smith… – The Snow Leopard – What could be worse than being born into a family of shifters? Not being one.

Casey Porter… – The Illusion of Control– Having it together often means you don’t.

Elaine Reed… – Champagne Supernova– With everything going wrong, can she make New Year’s Eve go right?

Gracey Evans… – A Secret on Gillon – Bax’s fiery will and Raziel’s divine license to sin ignite trouble before fate steps in.

Jen Davis… – Hitman’s Holiday – His job is to kill her. But how can he take her life when she’s stolen his heart?

Jessie Vaughn – Kisses on King Street – It’s never too late to reclaim a lost love. Can rekindling a past romance yield later life love?

Michele Sims… – Poinsettias for Carly – A past unresolved is never the past.

Paula Gail Benson… – Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest – Two grad students connect though time travel to Charleston’s literary past. Is love enough to bring them home for Thanksgiving?

Rebecca A. Owens – A Charleston Christmas—Love Finds a Way – Is Chance and Wynona’s love strong enough to overcome a devastating loss and a deep secret?

Robin Hillyer-Miles – West End Club – Membership in West End Club is pure Charleston tradition. And marriage is the only way out of the December gathering.

Savannah J. Frierson… – A Silver Holiday – There’s better, there’s worse, then there’s spending the holidays with in-laws you can’t stand.

Zuzana Juhasova – Ghosted Home to You – She doesn’t need dating apps to get ghosted.

Wouldn’t you like to take a virtual vacation to Charleston, S.C.?


Kait said...

Oh, they all sound wonderful! It's hard to write short, you've got to be great at the craft, and to write short in another genre - impressive. Many of the stories seem to include paranormal, that was unexpected. Is it a trend in romance?

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thank you, Kait. I'm not sure if paranormal is a romance trend, but it was a preference among many contributors. That is what led us to select our cover design, which we thought conveyed a Charleston where both normal and paranormal could flourish.

Susan said...

What a gorgeous cover, and I love the parameters of the stories--the locale, time, and variety of ideas, all in one place. Not sure I could write a romantic story, but I'm impressed that you did since that isn't something you normally do. Kudos to you!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thanks, Susan. One author, Jen Davis, wrote a prequel to her story in the anthology. She offered it to readers of her newsletter and increased newsletter subscriptions from 50 to 1,500! She also has written a follow up story and will release all three together in a separate independent publication. I very much admire her ingenuity in reaching an audience.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Congratulations on your story publication! The whole process sounds like a satisfying and productive experience.

Shari Randall said...

Sounds like it was a great experience. I'm so glad you have another story out in the world. Hope this flies off Amazon's shelves!

KM Rockwood said...

No matter what your basic "type" of writing, romance is an important part of life, and to ignore it in fiction would be to skip an important element of humanity.

Sounds like a great anthology, with a wonderful lineup of authors.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Margaret, Shari, and KM, thank you! KM, you're exactly right. Romance is an important element of humanity. It's good to be able to write about it. Many thanks to you all!