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

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity


September Guest Bloggers


9/19 Judy Alter


WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson













*************************************************************************************************

For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.


Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!


KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.


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!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, September 5, 2020

WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW by V. M. Burns


When I first started writing, I must have bought every book I could find on writing mysteries (at least it felt that way). My bookshelves are full of books with titles like How to Write A Good Mystery, How to Write a Damn Good Mystery, How to Write Killer Fiction, and on and on. Regardless of the author, each book shared a common piece of advice, Write What You Know. Great advice, and easy to do if you’re a cop, a lawyer, or a serial killer. However, if you’re none of those, then what’s an aspiring mystery writer to do?
That’s the question I asked myself. My answer, write what you know. Confused? Let me explain. Mysteries are more than simply relaying facts about weapons, forensic evidence, and police procedures. Mysteries are fiction. In all forms of crime fiction except true crime, the author weaves a fictional story with fictional characters who commit crimes. The story is where the author can write what they know. Dick Francis was a former steeplechase jockey, so he crafted a series of mysteries which centered around horse racing. Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond spy novels, was a naval intelligence officer. John Grisham was a lawyer who is known for legal thrillers. All of these authors drew on what they knew to craft crime fiction, without actually committing murder (at least I hope not).
When I was looking for an idea for a cozy mystery series, I decided to write what I know. My Dog Club Mystery Series draws on my experience owning and competing with my dogs. Many years ago, I belonged to a dog club in Buchanan, Michigan, Echo Dog Club, Inc. At that time, I had two toy poodles, Coco and Cash (aka Snickers and Oreo in my Mystery Bookshop series). I trained and competed with my dogs in canine obedience and agility. 
I met some wonderful people and have many great memories from that time in my life. I think the only times I thought of murder while competing involved the times I wanted to throttle my dog (Coco had a mind of her own). However, my involvement in dog shows provided a great backdrop for a murder. By setting a murder in an environment where I was very familiar, I was able to write what I love (murder mysteries) by writing what I know (dogs). 
In my Dog Club Mystery Series, I can share my love of poodles, but also, my love for all things canine. The protagonist, Lilly Echosby, has a toy poodle, Aggie. While Lilly’s best friend, “Dixie” owns two standard poodles (Leia and Chyna). However, each book in the series also features a different dog breed. Paw and Order is the 4th book in the series, and the featured breed are Border Collies. If you’re interested in learning more about dogs, dog clubs or, if you just want to read a pet-themed cozy mystery, pick up a copy of Paw and Order.
Lilly's best pal Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson has done it again! She’s convinced eccentric poodle-loving billionaire Archibald Lowry to sponsor a grand fundraiser for the Eastern Tennessee Poodle Rescue. Tragically, it’s too late to rescue Lowry, who is murdered at the event. His pet poodle is now orphaned, so Dixie begs Lilly to foster the adorable pup. Of course, she already has a poodle—her beloved Aggie, named after Agatha Christie. Fortunately, Aggie seems to like the new addition to the family, whom Lilly renames Rex, after her second favorite mystery author, Rex Stout.

But she’s barely welcomed Rex into her home when there’s an attempted poodle-nabbing, foiled with Aggie’s help. As desperate characters try to get their hands on the canine cutie, Lilly turns to Dixie’s dog training class to help her sort through a litter of suspects. Ultimately, she may have to unleash Rex as bait to collar the killer . . .
Buy Link---- Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Kobo, Nook

About the author
V.M. (Valerie) Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She received a Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, a Master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Seton Hill University. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. In addition to the RJ Franklin Mystery series, V.M. Burns is also the Agatha Award nominated author of The Plot is Murder, the first book in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series; and the RJ Franklin Mystery series.
She currently resides East Tennessee with her three poodles. Readers can keep up with new releases by following her on social media. 
Website: vmburns.com

5 comments:

Annette said...

I have those same titles on my shelves, V.M.!

Kait said...

Love that you are writing about your critters. They are such a huge part of our lives.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Enjoyed reading about your experiences with agility trials. I'll have to teach Louie, our standard puppy, how to jump through a hula hoop.

KM Rockwood said...

While we all need to do research at times, having our fiction solidly based in worlds with which we are familiar lends a certain authenticity to our work.

Grace Topping said...

I’m late to comment, but wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your post. My husband and I have three grand dogs, and we keep them frequently. One word from us and they do exactly as they want. I could use some of your dog training skills.