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

Check out our March author interviews: 3/7--Karen Cantwell, 3/14--Shawn Reilly, 3/21--Annette Dashofy, and 3/28--WWK Blogger Debra Sennefelder (on her debut novel!). Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our March Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 3/3-Heather Weidner, 3/10-Holly Chaille, 3/17-Margaret S. Hamilton, 3/24-Kait Carson, 3/31-Charles Saltzberg.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here: https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Ends-Tai-Randolph-Book-ebook/dp/B079MS67CM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520014972&sr=8-2&keywords=Tina+Whittle

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018 at: https://www.amazon.com/Empty-Promises-Seamus-McCree-Book-ebook/dp/B078XJRYDG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520089649&sr=8-2&keywords=James+M.+Jackson&dpID=51kcxPsst-L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here: https://mammothpublications.net/writers-m-to-z/rodriguez-linda-dark-sister/

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Long Overdue Thank-You Note

by Julie Tollefson

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the stage at an Authors and Appetizers fund raiser with author Pam Eglinski, who writes suspense, historical fiction, and time travel novels. In one of life’s crazy coincidences, Pam’s late husband holds a special place in my memories as someone who changed my thinking and taught me to be a better writer.

Dr. Edmund Eglinski taught art history at the University of Kansas. His class introduced me to great artists and their work, but I remember him as the only professor in my four and a half years of undergraduate education to really teach me how to write a research paper. He reviewed my first attempt and gave thoughtful, comprehensive, direct feedback that showed me the right way to research and write an academic paper.

I never thanked him, in part because at the time, I didn’t realize what a rare and meaningful gift it was to receive such personalized, detailed attention.

Reminiscing about Dr. Eglinski and his influence on my writing brought to mind another individual who made a brief appearance in my life forty years ago. (Oh, my, where did the decades go?) She was a student teacher in my eighth-grade English class, and if memory serves, she only worked with us for a few weeks. But what a lasting impact!

In the most memorable assignment of that period, she asked us to write an essay describing a basketball. I thought the assignment was stupid, and I “forgot” to do it until I panicked about 15 minutes before class. (I’ve always been a rule follower. Skipping class, missing assignments, getting any grade lower than an “A” gave me massive anxiety.) I scribbled something along the lines of “round, orange, with black lines” and turned it in. I knew it wasn’t my best work, but really, the assignment was ridiculous.

Our student teacher, though, as yet too new to the profession to give up on uncooperative, difficult, know-it-all teenagers, pulled me aside for a one-on-one chat about my work. She knew what I was capable of as a writer, she said, and the basketball essay didn’t even come close. She gave me a second chance and guilted me into taking it.

So I sat, with a basketball in my hands and ran my fingers over its uneven surface, its original bumps worn smooth in patches by thousands of bounces on the concrete driveway. I smelled it, dusty and musty and maybe a hint of dog poop from when it bounced astray? I really looked at its color, which wasn’t uniformly orange after all.

Then I wrote a detailed, almost poetic, description about that basketball, and I learned a few things about writing:

1. Don’t settle for easy. My best writing is never easy.

2. Look beyond the obvious and superficial. Sure, a basketball is orange and round, but it might also be a symbol of love between father and daughter who bond over March Madness or a symbol of loss, deflated and abandoned in the weeds beyond the edge of the court at a neighborhood park.

3. Question perception. To me, the assignment was a waste of time, but our student teacher (I wish I could remember her name!) turned it into a lifelong lesson.

4. Writing is rewriting.

All writers have long lists of people to thank for helping them along the publishing path. These two—Dr. Eglinski with his commitment to showing the right way to approach academic papers and a student teacher who refused to accept shoddy writing—gave more than they had to and inspired me to be better as a result.

Who are the people who influenced your life? Have you thanked them?