This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's Pinnacle Writing blog
I’m happy to say that today’s interview will not only cover William’s writing, but will also focus on the Independent Author Network (IAN). I’ll let him explain.
T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography to start.
WRP. I live in New Westminster B.C. Canada with my wonderful wife; my son, Alex 7 and daughter, Meghan 5. I have self-published two books including my short story collection Lighting the Dark Side, which won an editors choice award in 2009.
T. When did you start writing?
WRP. I attempted my first novel at age 11 after watching the first King Kong remake in 1979. Later in my teens I would enjoy poetry and later short-stories before returning to pen my first novel in my late 30’s.
T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?
WRP. No, none that I recall.
T. With a family and full-time job when do you find time to write?
WRP. Whenever and wherever I can find a few minutes.
T. Please tell us about your current book.
WRP. My latest is called Dead of Knight. It’s a murder mystery thriller/police procedural. A synopsis: Believing he is a soldier of justice, a young man begins a callous campaign of terror, murdering women on their birthdays. Convinced of his righteousness, he continues his brutal crusade forcing the citizens of Hanson, B.C. to acknowledge a serial killer is active in their rural community. Anxious to work the biggest case of his career, Detective Jack Staal is forced to the outside when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Integrated Homicide Teams are assigned to the case. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Staal convinces his colleagues to follow his lead and pursue a serial killer who the media has dubbed Birthday Boy. Dead of Knight is told from two perspectives, that of the cat, and the mouse, but who is who? Is the detective chasing the murderer, or is the murderer chasing the cop?
T. What was the inspiration for writing a mystery/crime thriller?
WRP. Writing and publishing a novel has been a life long dream. I made a few attempts at sci-fi novels in my teens and twenties without completing them. Some of my earliest television memories are of gritty 70’s cop shows like Starsky and Hutch, The Streets of San Francisco, and SWAT. As an adult, I couldn’t read fast enough the works of Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell and John Sanford. My first attempt in the genre was a Jack Staal short story. Readers and reviewers of Prominent Couple Slain enjoyed the piece and encouraged me to write a Staal novel.
T. What’s the significance of the book’s title?
WRP. The villain (Birthday Boy) calls himself Damian Knight…and therefore his victims are “Dead of Knight.”
T. What inspired you to craft the story from the perspective of both cop and killer?
WRP. Writing from both points of view allows me to put the reader into the head of a killer and not just the people who catch them. Getting deeper into the why and how a killer does what he or she does paints a stronger picture showing the two sides of a story. Plus it is a great deal of fun to write this way…today I’m the good guy…tomorrow not so much.
T. Is Detective Jack Staal based on a person or people you know in real life?
WRP. Staal isn’t based on real people. After thirty years of watching and reading in the police procedural genre, I have a clear picture in my mind of what I believe a homicide cop is. So many cop characters have a bullet proof, unflinching style. I wanted Jack Staal to be tough but realistic. Staal gets the job done but takes a beating physically and mentally, as I real detectives on the job do everyday.
T. Likewise, who/what inspired the “Birthday Boy” killer?
WRP. Birthday boy was inspired by a teenager in my high school in the mid 1980’s. Like Birthday Boy, he was bullied and teased relentlessly. I remember thinking all those years ago…what if this kid comes back some day looking for vengeance…what if he kills all these bullies? Hmm….
T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?
WRP. I have a stand alone novel coming out this year and two sequels of Dead of Knight in the works.
T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?
WRP. Print publishing is like vinyl LP’s just before cassette tapes and later CD’s took over the recording industry. New e-book formats will continue to improve the e-book reading experience leaving print extinct by 2020.
T. You founded the Independent Author Network. What is IAN and why start up a book promotion website?
WRP. The Independent Author Network is a group of like-minded authors who are self-published or published by a small indie press. The group uses social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote authors as a group. After looking for an affordable and effective book promotion site for 3 years and finding none that truly offered value and increased exposure I came up with the basics of IAN and began to mention the idea to my author friends.
T. Does IAN work?
WRP. I think so. Members can directly affect the traffic to their IAN member page by tweeting and facebooking the page daily. This sends a great deal of traffic to all the membership. Those who are active are seeing over 1200 hits to their IAN page per month. Also, IAN pages are showing up on the first page of Google and Yahoo searches. Members are selling signed copies on their page and seeing increased traffic to their personal website and blogs.
T. Back to your writing. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
WRP. No, quite the opposite. I have too may ideas and not enough time to work on new projects.
T. Do you mainly write by day or by night?
WRP. I do the majority of my writing on Saturday and Sunday between 5 and 9 A.M. I get up at 4:30 in the morning most weekends and fuel myself with gallons of coffee and then type away on my laptop until the kids wake up three or four hours later. I have a fulltime job and throw in two kids under eight and you can see how my writing time is very limited.
T. Thank you.
WRP. Thank you for this interview.