Monday, January 07, 2008

The secret is out!

The secret is that I have been honored with a visit from Billie Williams, author of Small Town Secrets (if you don't have any of Billie's books, get thee to and buy them!!). She is an amazing writer and will keep you spellbound from the first hot, smoldering house til the very last page! Let's meet this lady.

1. I’ve read Small Town Secrets and Bed and Breakfast Murders. Do these books, and your others, have some basis on past real events?
Intentionally they do not, but they seem to reflect some things or a mix of things that have transpired in the places I’ve lived. I have plenty of small town places I’ve lived that fed things to me, they appear as a composite in the books, but not the whole story by any means. I think the only book I wrote lately totally based on reality – well okay there are two Fire at Thunder Ridge (currently out of print – being revised) and Tung Umolomo – this South African adventure story was based on The Witch Hunt Conference held the year I wrote the book. It grew out of a small article about it.
2. The characters in your books have some interesting names, like Taaktu (pronounced take two) in small town Secrets. How do you arrive at such intriguing names?
These particular names needed to suit the twins (they are patterned after my sisters in law {smile}) I thought they were unique. But usually I try to come up with names that mean something that will give the reader the essence of the character using the name. For instance, Chaneeta Morgan in small town secrets named her illegitimate daughter Hope, she wanted her to have hope, she wanted to hope she would be adopted by loving parents. In Bed and Breakfast Murders all the names of the major characters mean something in the ethnic background of the character. I love doing this because it imparts more meaning to the character, for me, if not for the readers. The characters just seem to be more true to life if I do this.
3. I’ve only managed to read the above two books, although I hope someday to read more. But, based on those two, it seems your plots all occur in small, Midwestern towns. Do any of your other books now written or planned on, envelope us in some big city intrigue?

I’ve only ever lived near large a metropolis a time or two in my life. I don’t like big cities. I don’t do well in crowds. I may someday use a city like Chicago, Illinois or Milwaukee, Wisconsin Or Denver Colorado because those places conger up thoughts of dark and sinister — or perhaps Las Vegas with it’s gambling and mob connections to create an atmosphere – but I’d have to do a ton of research to get the flavor right. I am not a big city person.

4. From what I’ve seen in your books, the cases are solved by local sleuths and in small town secrets, it still took a small town detective to beat a state police force in deciphering the clues. Have you considered a series using these sleuths?

All my sleuths are accidental sleuths; they are ordinary citizens with a vested interest in solving the current mystery. So while they are all similar, they are not a series though I have series developed around a couple of those sleuths. The Secrets series while connected will probably not have the same accidental sleuth in any of them. Skull Music has the same sleuth as Ghost Music of Vadeville (release date April 2008), The Bed and Breakfast books (Pink Lady Slipper and Bed and Breakfast Murders) have the same sleuth. Death by Candlelight and Candlelight and Shadows have the same sleuth.

The very nature of the sleuths in my mysteries (accidental) doesn’t lend them to be easily serialized – I don’t want to wind up with a Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote – though I love the series desperately and have started a collection of the books written under her character name with a co-author) You begin to wonder how she has any friends left, and why any one would invite her everywhere she always brings a murderer into the mix.

5. In Small Town Secrets and Bed and Breakfast Murders, there is untimely death and much destruction, but it is only stated. There are no graphic details. This makes these books ‘safe’ reads for the younger audiences. Are all of your books designed this way? I do hope so.
Yes, I do not like a lot of violence on stage and I don’t think it’s necessary to get a point across. While I enjoy reading some of Stephen Kings books – I couldn’t write them. Though I enjoy watching adventure stories I don’t want to see Arnold Swartzineggar get beat up forty times with never so much as a black eye or a gasp for breath or Rambo/Rocky star Sylvester Stallone be killed to with an inch of his life and walk away none the worse for wear. What is the point in all that on stage violence – like sensationalism in journalism there is a place to draw the line and I prefer it this side of the rough stuff.

Small Town Secrets and Bed and Breakfast Murders are very good books. Once you start to read them, you won’t want to stop until the very last word. Below are where these two and all of Billie’s books may be found.
Thank you so much Ron for your kind words and the use of your blog space to talk with you and your readers. I appreciate the opportunity.
Your readers can visit my website where I have information about all my books, my publishers and some free stuff for the taking at Sign up for the Book Club or the writing course if you are so inclined. The chapters and lessons will be archived for those who come in late, also available on my website.
There is a study guide for readers groups, classes, book clubs to download for free on my website front page also. So some on by and take a look see. You may be pleasantly surprised. At least I hope so.
Thanks again Ron.


Anonymous said...

The more interviews I read, the better I know you, Billie--you both did very well on this!!!

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Another great job. Ron's Q's led Billie to some new sides of her we haven't read about yet. I liked your opinions on graphic violence and sensationalism, Billie. Less can be soooo much more if well written.

JanetElaineSmith said...

Wow! Great questions and answers. I expected a funny guy, and instead we get a dead serious one. Well, no, he's not in one of Billie's books--not yet, anyway--so he's alive and well. Relax, folks.
I have read several of Billie's books. I'm looking forward to reading her Small Town Secrets one. If it's half as good as her "Knapsack Secrets," I know I won't want to quit till I get to the last page.
Janet Elaine Smith

Word Crafter said...

HI Joyce
Thanks so much for your comments. I think I'm even getting to know myself better via the questions in this interview.
Thank you for visiting and taking time to comment.

Word Crafter said...

Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to stop by - and find out about me. Multi-faceted - I like that idea. Appreciate your vision and your wisdom.

Word Crafter said...

Hey Janet thanks for your comments - truly appreciate your support. Yeah Ron is the humor guy except when it comes to learning about something or promoting someone else - then he "dead serious" and such a staunch ally.

Cora said...

This is getting good, thank you Ron for interviewing Billie. Another insight to her style.

Pee Wee said...

Great questions and great answers. Billie's style and voice, her choice of words and phrases are top knotch in all of her books. I've read three of her books so far and I'm not about to quit.

Great questions, Ron, but I expected nothing less than great from you.

Pee Wee


Word Crafter said...

Thanks Cora and Peewee - you are always such great supporters - thank you for your kind comments too - and your words about my books Pee Wee. I appreciate it very much!

Word Crafter said...

I wanted to thank you for your questions and your promoting of my tour as well as your support and friendship.
Can't wait until we chat again and we have your books to promote with your blog tour!

Anonymous said...

Very enjoyable interview - great questions and answers. Looking forward to the rest of the tour.

Nina M. Osier said...

A bit late getting here, but I'm glad I came! Interesting questions, Ron. Thoughtful answers, Billie.