Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"My readers inspire me" - Interview with David Bishop

Tell us about you.
I was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a Navy man posted for duty in the nation s capital. From there, my life likely mirrored that of a lot of my readers. We moved around. I got some education, played some sports, and got more education. I was married forty years. Along the way, we raised two children. An exercise, as you likely know, that was a great blessing, the source of much joy, and also an experience that helped me find the pleasure of Irish whiskey.
    Over the years I mostly worked for myself, changing industries now and again when the boredom of the prior one grew too great. My longest running job was as a business valuation analyst, which means I told privately-owned companies their market value. That led to my co-authoring my first book, a nonfiction work published in three languages. But let s talk about my current and final career, writing mystery novels.

    As a writer I conjure up occurrences designed to quickly bring the story to a roiling boil. Then I decide how I will sustain that tension, inserting interesting respites for the characters and the readers. Along the way I invent people. Victims and villains and heroes are needed, as well as a supporting cast. I want these people to be fun and interesting so you will care what happens to them, and welcome them within your circle of friends. Other characters are designed so you will loath them and want to see them brought down. The primary characters need habits and tics and talents, the qualities that make you love them or hate them. Wish to see them humiliated or hunted down, be successful or seduced, or both. And through it all runs the truism that justice isn t always best found in a courtroom.

    Mysteries include whodunits, howdunits, and stories that focus not on who or how, but whether or not the villain is caught. One of the major challenges of building a mystery is deciding where the clues should be salted within the story so those readers who like to race the protagonist to the solution will have a level playing field. Real clues can be left in plain sight to appear innocuous, or obfuscated to encourage being overlooked. Clues can be as large as a log or as tiny as the bump thereon. There are also the distractions of false clues, called red herrings, which point at someone other than the real villain.

   Readers have gotten through their own fearful events, challenges, and tragedies because they have the same qualities as fictional heroes. Although, they have likely done so using less dramatic measures, but they persevere similarly to the protagonists in the best of fiction.

  The last several years I have been writing well enough to allow me to say: My stories are good. Take a journey with me. Laugh. Hold your breath. Cheer. Boo. The characters are rich, the plots are grabbers. I promise most of you that you will be very glad you came along. I d promise all of you but nothing is liked by everyone. Some people don t like golf, or chocolate, or apple pie. But I ll bet you like some of that stuff and I ll bet you ll like my mysteries.  Yours Very Truly, David Bishop

Tell us about your book.
I'd like to feature,  The Beholder, a Maddie Richards mystery: Maddie Richards is an efficient and resourceful detective with a secret wish that she could handle her messy personal life as well as she handles her work life. As a homicide sergeant for the Phoenix, Arizona Police Department, she has one of the highest solve rates in America. Her success leads her chief of police to assign her a serial killer case. Some sicko the press calls the Beholder is killing beautiful women. Her chief describes the case as --a career maker or breaker, get me?

    She has an ex-husband she still cares for, but who was bad for her and her ten-year-old son. Her widowed mother who lives with her is both a blessing and a trial. And, oh yes, her ex-husband has married an extremely wealthy and politically connected woman who cannot give birth. So, Maddie s ex is filing a motion to obtain permanent custody of their son, citing the risks attendant to Maddie s police work endanger the boy.

   If that were not enough, the brother-in-law of the chief of police is using his position as an administrative assistant to sexually harass Maddie. She could file a formal complaint, but the good-old-boys network in the department is watching how she handles the situation.

Further complicating Maddie s life is two love interests: Gary Packard, a hunk who recently moved in across the street, and Lincoln Rogers, a confirmed bachelor, who lives thousands of miles away and works for the FBI.

   As the case develops Maddie learns that the victims all wore the same bra size. She must decide if this is merely a coincidence or a criterion the killer uses when selecting his victims. She also finds that each of the victims is somehow connected to the Phoenix police department. This realization isolates her further as she must pursue the killer without disclosing this theory to her department because, if her suspicion is correct, the Beholder would learn she is closing in.

   As the story races toward its climax, Maddie is betrayed by those closest to her, and she begins to believe her own name may be on the killer s list.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
 I love fiction and in particular mysteries, thrillers, and suspense stories so I wake up each day inspired to write.

What can readers expect when they open your book? Give us something that isn t on the book blurb.
A humorous, human glimpse into the life of one homicide detective struggling to do her job and hold onto her piece of happiness, such as it is right now in her life. And, along the way, find a real, sustaining love. Characters to relate to and care about. A plot with ample twists and turns that will keep you guessing and tease you into trying to identify the killer before Maddie does. I strive for good pace to the story with colorful, but not overwritten descriptions of anything.

Where do you get your ideas?
Life. History. Current events. Sometimes other books and movies.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
My readers inspire me to reach out to them. The  challenge to not only entertain them, but offer an island where they can steal away from the demands of their own lives. As wonderful as the lives of most people are, we all need diversions from time to time.

What are you reading right now?
Truthfully, the final draft of my next mystery,  The Original Alibi, a Matt Kile Mystery. Matt Kile starred in my mystery, Who Murdered Garson Talmadge so this will be his second adventure into romance, and the challenge of finding a killer before the killer turns toward him.

Who are your favorite authors?
So many I couldn't begin to list them. I particularly love the old masters of mystery, and many of the independent authors who fight against the machine of the big publishers to bring less expensive and equally entertaining stories to readers.

What is your current project?
I am just starting on Empty Promises (working title). Empty Promises will be Maddie Richards mystery number two. Her co-star in this mystery will be Ryan Testler, a supporting character from my novel, The Woman. Projecting release in about a year, maybe a little less.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Writing mysteries of which I am proud. The feedback from readers tells me I should be satisfied. Yet, I am not, as I always believe my next story can and will be my best yet. If I keep pleasing my readers,  the rest of the business of being an author will take care of itself.

Have you experienced any setbacks for your writing along the way? If so, will you share with us.
No, it has largely gone as planned. But again, this is because of the satisfied readers. Without happy readers I would have suffered a major setback, namely, my writing career would be a disaster. 

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Entertain, don't preach.

Are you a panster or a plotter?
Neither. Both. I just write. I start with the crime, then the villain, and then select the protagonist. Next comes the solution so I know where I'm  going in the story. Then I type page one and pull away from the curb to head for that destination.

Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author:
1. : I am a loyal friend.
2. : I keep my commitments.
3. : I take pride in whatever I do.
4. : I love to play golf and exercise.
5. : I think I just wrote a poster for being a boy scout, which I am not so I've missed something here.

Connect online here:
Twitter : davidbishop7
Facebook : davidbishopbooks
Goodreads : goodreads.com/davidbishop
Other : Signed print editions are available on my website.

What format does your book(s) come in?
eBook and print editions.

Featured Book:  The Beholder

Maddie Richards is an efficient and resourceful detective with a secret wish that she could handle her messy personal life as well as she handles her work life. As a homicide sergeant for the Phoenix, Arizona Police Department, she has one of the highest solve rates in America. Her success leads her chief of police to assign her a serial killer case. Some sicko the press calls the Beholder is killing beautiful women....Read more on Amazon

Buy all David Bishop’s books here: