Hello my lovelies!
Today we have a special treat! Do you like mystery? Or maybe you are just a fan of Key West? Well, today I am interviewing author and musician, William 'Bill' Hatfield about his new release, Menu for Murder!
Get to know Bill and enter below for the FREE digital copy of Menu for Murder!
Welcome to My Twisted & Kinky World! I met you at Necronomicon a few years ago and we have tour the same con circuit (what fun!) so, I know when we sit on writer panels we are always asked this question. When did you start writing?
My first effort at writing was short stories in the 70's. I had a roommate with a story published, and I was excited by the idea. I also started a novel, got 13 chapters into it, realized I needed to go back and re-write a major character, and it stopped me cold. I didn't make a serious effort to write again until 1992.
Have you always written mystery? If not, what else do you write/have you written?
My first novel was science fiction. It’s called Captive Audience, and I wrote the first draft in 1992. I followed that the next year with the first draft of the sequel, Duel Roles.
What made you decide to write a mystery?
I spent several vacations in Key West, and the locale intrigued me. I also have a lot of non-science fiction friends and family that wanted me to write something they would read. A conversation with several current employees gave me the inspiration for the main characters. Since I would be basing the story in Key West, I could use a multitude of off-beat characters that wouldn't feel out of place in Key West.
What inspired your first book? What was the title? Was it published? Where can readers find it?
In 1992, I was asked to join a writer’s group of five women. They felt they needed a male perspective in the group. The first meeting I brought one of my short stories from the 70's. A lot of laughter and more than a little embarrassment resulted. The following week, I brought the basis for the first chapter of Captive Audience. It was published in 2004 by a very bad publisher which shall remain unnamed. It was still tied up under contract when I finished Duel Roles. Since trying to sell a manuscript which is a sequel is near impossible without controlling the rights to the first title, I decided to self-publish. Now, both books, along with Menu for Murder and a collection of short stories (Key Notes), some of them vastly improved from their original draft, are available on Amazon, self-published with CreateSpace and also available on Kindle.
How would you classify your writing?
I write fiction. At the moment, I have one mystery, one collection of short stories that span multiple genres, and two science fiction novels. I am currently working on the third installment of the series, to be named Tough Crowd. To be honest, Menu for Murder, although a mystery, is as much about the main characters, and their interpersonal development, as it is about the murder. I feel this book would fit in a contemporary fiction market, or even LBGT. Two of the main characters are young women in love with each other, but not yet ready to concede their gayness. Their coming to terms with this is an underlying theme of the book. It will continue to be a factor in the sequel due out 2014, Winds of Misfortune.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I prefer writing in the third person, and with multiple points of views. There is always a main character, perhaps two, whose eyes the story is seen through, but I like to throw in little glimpses of them and the progressing events, by others in the story.
What is the process you use for writing?
My first book, Captive Audience, had no outline at the beginning. About half way through, I sat down and outlined the remainder of the book. Duel Roles had a fairly detailed outline that survived the first draft, but saw serious adjustments in the re-write. Menu for Murder had a complete outline, which I only strayed from to break one chapter into two, due to length. As a result, I feel it is my best work. The outline to Tough Crowd, especially since it is part of a continuing saga with multiple story lines is proving to be quite a challenge. But the book will be the better for it.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Discipline. Finding the will to schedule writing and editing time, and stick to the plan. Also, any writer will tell you that separating your own personality and personal traits from those of your characters is critical. Everyone in your books can’t have your morals and rules of conduct. Often, you have to make your protagonists do things you wouldn't.
Is there a message in your novel(s) that you want your readers to grasp?
I wouldn't say there was a specific message. Due to my nature, I think I exude a “good will win out” air. It might take a while, but I like to think that eventually the good guys or gals triumph. It’s probably a weakness on my part, but what can I say. I like people. I want them to do well, after a little judicious suffering, of course.
How do you come up with your book titles?
Titles are very important to me. Because my main character in my science fiction series is a martial arts movie star, almost by accident, I decided all the titles needed to be theatrical in nature. Hence, Captive Audience, Duel Roles (yes, I have a weakness for puns), and Tough Crowd. I've already found the other six titles for the rest of my nine-part trilogy, but you won’t find out about them for a while.
Menu for Murder just popped out of me, and it fit the manuscript well. I spent too much time trying to find more alliterate titles (Decibels of Doom, Landscape of Lies, Paying the Piper, were just a few) for the next couple of books before deciding that was the wrong track. The events and circumstances of the story were more important than proving my cleverness. Hence, Winds of Misfortune. I believe in writing about things I’m familiar with, so there are a lot of musicians in my tales. This is especially true in my short stories, so Key Notes, with a cover that enhanced the musical reference was an easy decision.
I also think it’s very important to reveal the reason or basis of the title to the reader.
I like to think I do in all my stories, short or long.
Anything else you would like readers to know?
I like people. I like showing a wide variety of personalities, all with their various strengths and weaknesses. Whether you like science fiction, mysteries, short stories or full-length novels, my characters will interest you. You will care about them and want to know what happens to them. When this occurs, I feel I've hit a home run.
Well, my lovelies, I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Bill as much as I enjoy knowing him. So, now the fun part! Enter below for a FREE copy of Menu for Murder!
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Check out Bill's other titles too!
Until next time... Remember... 'Get Your Read On!'
Check out Bill's other titles too!