Author Interview with Bill Crider

Today we welcome Bill Crider.

Book ‘Em:  Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.

Bill Crider:  I’m an old retired English teacher, so I don’t have much of a life outside writing except for visiting doctors and taking care of three cats I rescued from a ditch where they were tossed when they were kittens. I do a little traveling to visit my daughter and her husband in Sonoma, California, and I like to attend the Bouchercon, the big annual convention for mystery writers and readers. This year it was in Toronto, and I had a great time.

Book ‘Em:  Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?

Bill Crider:  I’ve written close to 100 books under both my own name and various pen names. All of the books I’ve written are novels. I’ve written mysteries, westerns, horror, and even a few children’s books. I write because I love to write, and I don’t have a message. I’m just trying to entertain myself and my readers.

Book ‘Em:  Do you have a work in progress?

Bill Crider:  I just turned in a novel called That Old Scoundrel Death. It should be out next year. Now I’m working on a collaborative novel with my daughter. It’s called Corkscrewed!, and it’s set in the California wine country.

Book ‘Em:  What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?

Bill Crider:  I’ve never struggled much with my fiction. The most difficult thing I ever wrote was my doctoral dissertation back in my college years. Now that was tough.

Book ‘Em:  What sort of research do you do for your work?

Bill Crider:  I don’t research much. I like to make things up. When I do have to research, I rely heavily on the internet, which has been a real blessing. It’s made research much easier than it was when I had to thumb through a lot of reference books.

Book ‘Em:  Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?

Bill Crider:  I read mysteries and science fiction for the most part, but I like mainstream novels, too, both bestsellers and literary ones. I’m inspired by many writers, but the inspirations for my crime fiction are the ones I’ve read for many years: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ross Macdonald, Harry Whittington, and the list goes on and on.

Book ‘Em:  Was there a person who encouraged you to write?

Bill Crider:  My late wife, Judy, was a constant encourager. She had a lot more faith in my than I did, and she never stopped supporting and encouraging me. If not for her, I would never have gotten anywhere with my writing career.

Book ‘Em:  What would you say are your strengths as an author?

Bill Crider:  I think I write humor well, which isn’t easy. I’m also versatile, and as mentioned above I’ve written in a lot of genres.

Book ‘Em:  How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?

Bill Crider:  When I’m working on a book, I try to write every day. I do have a routine, as I write at the same time every day and I try to meet a strict word count.

Book ‘Em:  Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?

Bill Crider:  Considering that I’m 76 now, I’ll be happy just to be around in five years. I hope I’m still writing, but you never know.

Book ‘Em:  If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?

Bill Crider:  Read, read, read; write, write write.

Book ‘Em:  What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?

Bill Crider:  If readers say they enjoyed a book and the writing and the characters, that’s high praise indeed. I think any writer would be happy with that.

Book ‘Em:  Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.

Bill Crider:  Excerpt from the opening chapter of Survivors Will Be Shot Again:

Sheriff Dan Rhodes was standing at the back of the Pak-a-Sak looking at the Dr Peppers in the big cooler when the man with the gun came inside. Rhodes hadn’t had a Dr Pepper in years, and he’d missed the taste a lot. He was thinking that maybe it was time to give up his boycott of the company since it didn’t appear to have hurt their business one bit and since nobody even knew about it except him and his wife. A Dr Pepper sure would taste good.

Besides that, Rhodes had read an article about a 104-year-old woman in Ft. Worth who attributed her longevity to drinking three Dr Peppers a day. She’d told the reporter that her doctors told her that drinking Dr Pepper in that quantity would kill her, but the doctors kept dying and she kept right on living. That sounded good to Rhodes, but looked as if he wasn’t going to get a Dr Pepper today.

“Gimme all your cash,” the man with the gun said to the clerk. His voice was muffled because he had his black sweatshirt pulled up over the lower half of his face. He wore a black knitted cap pulled down low on his forehead.

The man hadn’t noticed Rhodes. He was short and jittery, full of nervous energy, hopping from foot to foot and waving his pistol in front of Chris Ferris, the clerk on duty.

Rhodes wasn’t in any mood to deal with an armed robber. He supposed he’d have to, however, since he was the sheriff.


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