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













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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. 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!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

I Swore I Wouldn’t Do It Again

by Jim Jackson

I swore I wouldn’t, and I lied. Not to someone else. To myself.

How sad is that?

I had the pleasure last week that all novelists know. I typed “THE END” on the first draft of a novel. It’s a major step in completing the publication path, but a fleeting joy because first drafts need massive amounts of work before they become published books.

Screen Shot from DEEP HOLE

My problem did not come with finishing the draft; it came three days earlier. That’s when I broke my self-made promise. Before we get to that, let me explain how I create novels. I begin with something that interests me. Often it’s a crime, but it could be a personal conflict, or a location. This time, I was angry at corporations that deliberately structure their business to maximize profits and then walk away from their environmental disasters, leaving a corporate shell with few assets. What would happen if Niki (my protagonist who works undercover) had to infiltrate and shut down domestic terrorists of a different stripe who took revenge on the corporate executives—blaming and shaming and in a few cases by killing them?

It’s the second book in the series, so I chose Niki’s “helpers” from the first book’s secondary characters. I created a cast of bad guys, one of whom, unbeknownst to the others, was the killer. Those bones were more than enough to get me going because I don’t (er, can’t) plot my stories. To discover the plot, I must write them.

Here’s where the promise to myself came in. The day I typed “THE END” for the previous book’s first draft was also the day I changed which character had masterminded the crimes. I’ve joked that if I’m surprised at who done it, readers will be too. The problem is when you change the bad guy at the last moment, it requires a lot of rewriting in the next draft for the story to work. That’s when I promised—pinky-swore, right hand to left—that in the future, I would know who “done it” by the middle of the first draft.

Which I did until I changed who the killer was three days before I typed “THE END.”

I love my revised choice. But not only did I break my solemn oath, I gave myself more work to complete the second draft. I suppose I should look on the bright side: this time I had three days of writing during which I knew the bad guy’s identity. That’s progress, right?

I swear I’ve learned my lesson, and I will not make that mistake again. Next time, I’m not promising anything.

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James M. Jackson authors the Seamus McCree series. Full of mystery and suspense, these thrillers explore financial crimes, family relationships, and what happens when they mix. Furthermore, a novella is the most recent addition to the series. You can sign up for his newsletter and find more information about Jim and his books at https://jamesmjackson.com.

8 comments:

Annette said...

You just need to stop making those promises to yourself. Your process may mean more rewriting, but it works!

Jim Jackson said...

Annette -- I know (hangs head).

Susan said...

So many ways to write a book, so little time. The longer we write, the more we realize we all do it differently. You’ve obviously found your way, so stay with it.

Kait said...

Hysterical, Jim. I'm with Annette - your process works for you. Work with it.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

All I could think of was "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley. Hang down your head, I say.".... at least, you are, each time, able to raise yours again with a more perfected manuscript in hand.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

We all have a process and yours works well for you.

KM Rockwood said...

When I reached the end of the first mystery I wrote (which shall deservedly remain forever in a box in the back of a closet) I realized I had been wrong all along about who had committted the murder.

We do surprise ourselves sometimes.

Jennifer J. Chow said...

Must be an exciting new culprit, Jim! Congrats on finishing your draft!