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


May Interviews

5/5 Lynn Calhoon, Murder 101
5/12 Annette Dashofy, Death By Equine
5/19 Krista Davis, The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit
5/25 Debra Goldstein, Four Cuts Too Many

Saturday WWK Bloggers

5/1 V. M. Burns
5/8 Jennifer Chow
5/22 Kait Carson

Guest Blogs

5/15 M. K. Scott













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E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).

Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!

Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.

Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!

Congratulations to Jennifer J. Chow for garnering a 2021 Lefty Nomination for Best Humorous Mystery Novel. We're crossing our fingers for Jennifer!

Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.

KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!

Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!

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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Finding Inspiration in Tough Times by V. M. Burns


The last few months have been a challenge, to say the least. The world has changed and if most of us will take an introspective look, we’d notice changes within ourselves too. Even self-confessed recluses may feel the differences. After all, just a few short months ago, your grocery/favorite Chinese or pizza delivery driver wasn’t wearing a mask and rubber gloves. Schools are closed. Non-essential workers are either unemployed (my company calls it furloughed) or working from home. Our daily routine has changed and many of us have changed with it. Netflix Binge watching has become a daily activity rather than a weekend indulgence. Nevertheless, writers still have deadlines and past activities that brought inspiration or sparked ideas are either no longer an option in our new Stay-At-Home and practice Social Distancing reality. Yet, there are still ways to stir up those creative juices. My recommendation is to spend some time traveling and reconnecting with old friends.
Before you pick up the closest rock and prepare to hurl it in my direction, let me explain. One of the things that I find so endearing about cozy mysteries is the fact that the characters really drive the story. Characters are key, especially when there are long running series. Often, readers pick up books in a series because they like the characters. They enjoy spending time with them and want to know what happens next. Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone series wasn’t a cozy, but readers grew to know and love the spunky private investigator as she worked her way through the alphabet. The characters in a series become old friends who we enjoy spending time with and, to make it more interesting, you can find great cozies in practically every country in the world and throughout various time periods.
The next time you need inspiration, turn on a bit of music and explore the streets, dance halls and the luxurious parlors of Melbourne with lady detective, Phryne Fisher in the Phryne Fisher Mysteries by Kerry Greenwood. Next, take a trip to early twentieth century New York City and discover the haute cuisine of Swiss Chef, Fritz Brenner and the exotic orchids of Nero Wolfe as told in the clever, jaunty lingo of Archie Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe Mystery series by Rex Stout. Or, pour yourself a cup of tea and take a visit to the charming village of St. Mary Mead where you can spend time with elderly spinster and crime-solving maven, Miss Jane Marple by the queen of cozy mysteries, Agatha Christie.
I love cozies. It’s what I read and therefore, what I write. Whenever I need inspiration, I enjoy taking a stroll back down memory lane and spending time with old friends. Generally, it doesn’t take long before I find myself rejuvenated, inspired and ready to hit the keyboard. If you don’t like rereading mysteries that you’ve already read, then sheltering in place is probably the perfect time to tackle your To-Be-Read pile. If yours is anything like mine, then it’s mountainous and ready to topple over. Who knows, you might just find a new friend in its towering ranks.

9 comments:

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

As the world moved toward shutting down in March, I ordered twenty books from the library hold system. I'm still reading them. Next up: Susan Furlong's latest release. My husband found a winner in the pile, too: I Heard You Paint Houses, the book upon which the recent Netflix production of "The Irishman" was based.

Grace Topping said...

Hi, Valerie. You've recommended some of my favorites. It might add that for readers who say they can't focus enough to read a book right now, try downloading and listening to audiobooks. I really enjoy audiobooks since they enable me to be entertained while I am doing things that don't require a lot of thought.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Somehow, my TBR pile isn't going down - because I keep seeing books I need to add to list -- I've found ordering from some of my favorite indies from anywhere in the country has helped them and works well for me because many are offering free shipping, curbside pick-up, or other promos.

Kait said...

I'm with you Valerie! Since the shutdown my TBR pile of hardbacks has dwindled slightly (someone with no control is reloading it from the bottom. I'll speak to her.). What has really gotten me though this time, though, is reconnecting with old friends. Taking the time to go back to old series and read them though in order. It's like looking through much loved scrapbooks and photo albums, and it's amazing how much I missed in the first reads.


KM Rockwood said...

Excellent suggestion, Valerie. But I'm afraid that, with more time to browse, just like Debra I'm adding books (mostly to my Kindle) at a rate that far exceeds my reading capacity.

KM Rockwood said...

I should add that I'm "on my way" to add Buried in the Stacks, which is on sale, to my Kindle as soon as I'm done here.

Jackie Layton said...

Hi Valerie,

I agree, characters make cozy mysteries fun to read. When I pick up a book, I read the blurb and the first few pages to get a feel for the characters. If I don't like them, I pick up the next book.

Have a great weekend!

Kaye George said...

Very good points! I never thought I'd feel this way, but I don't want to see Dateline and Forensic Files all day long. I did for awhile, but I'm searching out fluffier TV material lately. My reading has always been all over the map and I find it still is, though.

kayt18 said...

Great ideas! Thanks for writing such amazing books!