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

June Interviews

6/02 Terrie Moran, Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

6/09 Connie Berry, The Art of Betrayal

6/16 Kathleen Kalb, A Final Finale or A Fatal First Night

6/23 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery

6/30 Mary Keliikoa, Denied

Saturday WWK Bloggers

6/12 Jennifer J. Chow

6/26 Kait Carson

Guest Blogs

6/05 Samantha Downing

6/19 Lynn Johanson


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. It will be released on June 21st.

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 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!


Sunday, May 31, 2020

Pivot by Annette Dashofy

I’ve written before about “plans” and making God laugh. You would think I’d just stop making them.

Seriously though, as writers, we’re not just artists or craftsmen, we’re business owners. Entrepreneurs. We can’t go blindly into the world. We must have a business and marketing plan.

Granted, when things went off the rails in March, my writing and business plan, like so many others’, did as well. However, I gradually found my creative voice and started writing again. And I dusted off my business plan, made a bunch of adjustments, and refocused. June is filled with the online class I’m teaching and the release of my next book. That hasn’t changed. But each month afterward, I started scheduling the tasks needed to accomplish what I intended to publish next and into 2021 and beyond, including a brand-new project.

Then I received some professional advice on the current market and what is and isn’t selling right now. Under the “what isn’t” column sat my brand-new project. Three months ago, it would have been a hot commodity. But reading habits have changed.

Since I value this professional’s opinion, I’ve decided to change directions and put the brand-new project on hold. For now.

I’m pivoting.

This may well be the year of the pivot. Dana Kaye of Kaye Publicity has been using the term since the quarantine began. I’ve been a member of her Your Breakout Book community for quite a while now. Unable to afford to pay a publicist, I instead subscribe to YBB where Dana provides monthly online trainings, access to past webinars, templates, and videos where I and other members learn to be our own marketing experts. Dana has her finger on the pulse of the publicity world and has been keeping us current on the newest trends. Her advice has always been, if something doesn’t work for you, pivot. This holds true now more than ever before.

If you feel like your floundering in the abyss of media, marketing, and promotion, I highly recommend you try Your Breakout Book by signing up here.

But I digress. Pivoting. When all of my in-person book events were canceled, I started doing online Zoom and Crowdcast events and interviews. When the wind shifts, you either change the set of your sails or go under.

When your book contract is canceled, you look at your options and move on, either indie publishing or seeking a new traditional publisher or both.

When the new series you eagerly started writing doesn’t appeal to the agent or editor at this time, you either put it aside for later or you move forward and indie pub it.

Thank goodness we have those options now. And what’s right for one person, isn’t the right fit for another. Set your sail according to your own plan.

I’m not at liberty to share my new plan just yet as there are too many variables and hurdles to overcome. I already feel like I’m getting whiplash from all the pivoting I’ve been doing. I don’t want to send all of you to the chiropractor as well! I will tell you I’m keeping a weather eye out, I’m heeding the storm warnings, but I’m also continuing to move forward, which for me means putting pen to the page and keystrokes to an open Word document.

What types of books are you reading these days? Have your reading tastes pivoted since February? And writers, are you changing what you’re writing or staying the course?


Kait said...

Great points, Annette, and inspirational.

I'm still working on a cozy/traditional series most likely as an indie project. My reading has stayed cozy/traditional centered, but I have veered off into the thriller/suspense genre more often than usual. Perhaps to reassure myself that no matter how bad this seems, it will come out well in the end.

Annette said...

Kait, having the good guys win is comforting. But I cannot read anything with a biohazard theme. Or watch TV shows about terrorists releasing some awful contagion. Nope. Can't handle it.

FWIW, an agent I've been talking to told me "NO COVID STORIES." Which is fine by me.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I just finished reading a huge bag of library books, everything from Val McDermid and Laura Lippman to Cleo Coyle. I enjoyed Hilary Davidson's Don't Look Down.

Annette said...

I haven't read that one yet, Margaret. I'll have to check it out.

Susan said...

Adapting to change has always been part of life. People who survive are those who can change and adapt. That sounds like you.

Jackie Layton said...


Thanks for sharing the encouraging words! PIVOT. Got it.

Chris said...

My reading habits have not changed...I’m still reading cozies and more traditional mysteries. I don’t want to read anything about pandemics, viruses, and biohazards. I love to read, and that will never change.

Annette said...

Thanks, Susan.

You're very welcome, Jackie.

I'm with you, Chris!

Liz Milliron said...

I can't say that my reading habits have changed much. I wasn't the biggest fan of biohazard thrillers before all this and I certainly am not now!

As I get ready to start my next Laurel Highlands, good to know about COVID.

Annette said...

Liz, yes, I was told that most emphatically.

E. B. Davis said...

I don't read for reality--I can get that on the news. Thanks for the insight, Annette. You are a great professional role model!

KM Rockwood said...

Flexibility is essential in most aspects of life. Sounds like you have a good handle on it.

I'm reading the same things I usually do, but I've added a few longer works that I remember reading years ago & have always meant to read again. Authors like Morgan Llywelyn, Mary Stewart and Ken Follett.

In my writing, I've just finished a short, feel-good Christmas story (I needed that!) that I may self-publish. It calls our for illustrations, but that's a talent & skill I totally lack.

Annette said...

Thank you so much, E.B.! And I so agree about reality. Although today's reality feels more like dystopian fantasy than contemporary fiction.

Congratulations on completing the Christmas story, KM! And good luck connecting with an illustrator!