Friday, December 23, 2011

A Kindle Christmas!

More than a week ago, on December 15th, a press release from stated that "Kindle devices remain the hottest products this holiday season – for the third week in a row, customers are purchasing well over 1 million Kindle devices per week, and Kindle Fire remains the #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on since its introduction 11 weeks ago."

I wonder what the number will be by year's end. 5 million??

Whatever the number, as an author with numerous books at Kindle, I am happy to hear this news.

I like my Kindle, a gift from my son, daughter-in-law and grandson, last Christmas, and I also use Kindle on my PC.

So many book to chose from, including many from those of us who have chosen to self-publish many of our books. Here are some ideas to check out for books to put on your new Kindle or Kindle Fire.

Last week I read Andrew E. Kaufman's second book, The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted. It is a very good psychological thriller. You won't be disappointed! Andrew's first book will also keep you in suspense: the best-selling book, While the Savage Sleeps

Read the Interview I did with Andrew E. Kaufman here following the release of his first book.

For something different, yet suspenseful, is The Fourth Awakening Series by Rod Pennington and Jeffrey A. Martin, Ph.D. The first book in the best-selling spiritional fiction series is The Fourth Awakening. The second in the series, The Gathering Darkness was publ ished recently.

I also interviewed Rod Pennington.

Don Pendleton's Joe Copp Private Eye Series of six books are now all priced at .99 cents for the holidays.

I reduced the price on my own Catherine Winter Private Eye Series, Shattered Lens and Fractured Image.

Roulette, a crime novel by Don Pendleton and Linda Pendleton is now 3.99. This book turned out to be Don Pendleton's last novel. Don was the "father of the Action/Adventure genre."

The Death Gods by Richard S. Prather. It is his last novel, 61 years after the publication of Prather's first book in his best-selling Shell Scott Mystery Series.

A fascinating nonfiction memoir you might take a look at is Athena Demitrios' book, The Seasoning of the Soul. An inspirational read!

Check my Author Page at Amazon and you may see a variety of books, nonfiction and fiction, that may interest you. The California Gold Rush nonfiction books seem to find their home on Kindles all the time.

Happy Holidays! Happy reading. Don't you just love the new technology?!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sixty-One Years of the Shell Scott Mystery Series by Richard S. Prather

It was in 1950 that Richard S. Prather's first Shell Scott mystery novel, The Case of the Vanishing Beauty, was published by Fawcett's Gold Medal Paperback Originals. His successful and best-selling Shell Scott series of thirty-six novels plus four short story collections, published between 1950 and 1987, have sold over 40 million copies in the United States and have enjoyed foreign language publication, selling millions more world-wide. In addition to the Shell Scott mysteries, Richard penned three novels under pseudonyms. He wrote the first Dragnet novel based on the television show, Dragnet, titled, Dragnet: Case No. 561, published under the name, David Knight; used that same pseudonym for the initial publication of Pattern for Murder, later republished by Gold Medal Books as The Scrambled Yeggs by Richard S. Prather; and used the pen name Douglas Ring for The Peddler, which was later republished under his own name by Gold Medal. He also published a number of short stories; and lent his name to the Shell Scott Mystery Magazine.

Richard S. Prather's book, Shellshock, was published in hardcover in 1987 by Tor. He received the Private Eye Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986, and was twice on the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America. His Shell Scott mysteries are now back in print with and available as POD paperbacks and ebooks, and a number of his novels are at as unabridged audio books. The Peddler, a non-Shell Scott mystery, is now back in print, published by Hard Case Crime, November 2006.

I met Richard and his wife, Tina, in 1989, when my husband, Don Pendleton and I were vacationing in Sedona, AZ. Don and Richard had shared the same literary agent for a number of years, yet the two of them had never met. Don picked up the telephone and called Richard and we spent a delightful evening with them at their home.

About five years later, Don and I moved to Sedona, so we often got together with Richard and Tina.

Richard had given me a wonderful endorsement quote for my first Catherine Winter PI novel, Shattered Lens, and encouraged me to make it a series, which I have done. Fractured Image is the second book in the series and I hope there will be more Catherine Winter in the future.

In 2006, I asked Richard if I could do an interview with him. We did it by mail, and due to his declining health, it did take some time. I published the long interview in December 2006. During that time, Richard asked me to take his unpublished 1,000 page manuscript, The Death Gods, at his death and to do my best to market it. Following his death in February, 2007, I received the manuscript, all 1,000 pages, only a few of those pages typed, the balance, handwritten with lots of his blue felt pen notes squeezed between lines.

The task seemed overwhelming and due to the length, agents and publishers did not find it an attractive opportunity. But I did not give up on publishing Richard’s work, as I felt strongly that his fans and new readers should have the opportunity to read the last Shell Scott mystery.

So sixty-one, yes, Sixty-One years after Richard S. Prather’s tough, yet happy-go-lucky, Southern California detective, Shell Scott hit the pages of a book, the last Shell Scott mystery is now in print and in ebook formats. I am pleased with his story, with the book and with the cover I designed with Judy Bullard. I hope readers will enjoy Richard S. Prather’s last creation.

Read more here

Richard S. Prather, The Death Gods, Shell Scott

Exclusive Interview with Richard S. Prather by Linda Pendleton, at Kindle


Richard S. Prather's The Death Gods, Shell Scott: The Death Gods

Richard S. Prather's The Death Gods, Shell Scott: The Death Gods: “Even I—and I am not a doctor, and thus can’t know for sure about such things—understood that civilization must be face-to-face with its gre...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Richard S. Prather and Shell Scott Series

Richard S. Prather's "The Death Gods" is now in Kindle, in print at Amazon, and at Smashwords. Coming soon to other ebook retailers.

Happy-go-lucky, Los Angeles Private Eye, Shell Scott, bulldozes his way thru thugs, often with light-hearted humor, and with a beauty or two along the way, in this final novel of the long-running and best-selling classic Shell Scott Series by Richard S. Prather. More than 40 million Shell Scott books sold in the U.S., and millions more worldwide.

This was Prather's last book. Richard S. Prather (1921-2007) received the Private Eye Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986.

Cover by Judy Bullard , Published by Pendleton Artists.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Death Gods, A Shell Scott Novel by Richard S. Prather

The Death Gods

Happy-go-lucky, Los Angeles Private Eye, Shell Scott, bulldozes his way thru thugs, often with light-hearted humor, and with a beauty or two along the way, in this final novel of the long-running Shell Scott Series by Richard S. Prather. More than 40 million Shell Scott books sold in the U.S., and millions more worldwide.

Coming soon to Kindle, print and Smashwords.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sales Soar as E-Books Go Mainstream

According to The Authors Guild, Inc.: “e-books are now mainstream. Year-over-years sales of e-books increased 160 percent, to $389.7 million, in the first five months of 2011, exceeding sales of adult hardcovers and gaining fast on adult trade paperbacks.”

And the Authors Guild states that the Book Industry Study Group reports that the percentage of book buyers reading digital titles rose from 5 percent last October to 25 percent in June.

I’m sure e-book sales will continue to “soar,” especially as more and more authors choose to go the self-publishing route with Kindle, Smashwords, and receive a decent royalty, much higher than any traditional publisher offers. It also gives readers opportunity to buy e-books at reasonable prices for their Kindle, iPad, Kobo, Smartphone, computer, tablets, or other devices. And some we haven't even heard of yet....


Monday, September 26, 2011

Author Interview, Rod Pennington

I am pleased to do this interview with Rod Pennington. He has just released the second book in The Fourth Awakening Series, written by Rod Pennington and Jeffery A. Martin, Ph.D. The first book, The Fourth Awakening, has done quite well, often topping Amazon sales lists in the U.S. and in the U.K.

This is the Amazon Kindle Description for The Fourth Awakening:

“A group of top scientists, lead by a legendary Nobel Prize winning physicist, has made a discovery so startling and with such deep religious implications that it sends shockwaves through the corridors of power around the world. As the federal government moves to suppress the research, all of those involved vanish without a trace.

“A mysterious call from the editor of The Washington Post starts Penelope Drayton Spence off in search of the missing scientists. After she crosses paths with enigmatic industrialist Michael Walker, Penelope becomes a fugitive in a wild, hold on tight to the edge of your seat race to expose the truth about the Hermes Project before the government can cover it up.

“While a work of fiction, The Fourth Awakening is grounded in cutting edge science and an emerging new spiritual reality. It offers readers a glimpse of their future.”
The spiritual quest continues in the second book of The Fourth Awakening Series., The Gathering Darkness.
"Be careful what you wish for. A year earlier, with the help of enigmatic industrialist Michael Walker, all of Penelope Drayton Spence’s dreams had come true. Now, as one of the country’s top journalists, she has discovered what she thought would make her happy was only making her busy. After months of avoiding her, Michael Walker burst back into her life with an outlandish plan to launch his controversial “Hermes” satellite into space. But she soon learns someone just as resourceful and well-financed is willing to go to any lengths to stop the launch. After the Hermes Project’s facility in Jackson Hole is attacked, Penelope gets a ringside seat as two of the world’s most powerful men go toe-to-toe in a battle of wills that could change the course of humanity. "
Rod, I’m pleased do this interview with you. On my bookshelf containing autographed books is a copy of your novel, Devon’s Way, The Quicksilver Solution, which you autographed a number of years ago to my husband, Don Pendleton.

Rod: I remember sending it to Don. I actually did a work-for-hire a few years later and wrote two novels based on characters Don had created for Harlequin: Lethal Trade and Death Hunt.
Linda: When did you become interested in writing? Did you write as a kid? I don’t mean for school but for yourself? Do you recall the first story you ever wrote? If so, do you want to share what it was about?

Rod: I started writing in high school. I helped write two produced school plays and I was one of the editors of our weekly newspaper. My first major sale was when I was the tender age of 18. I did an interview with one of my college professors who was on the last plane out of Prague in 1968 when the Soviet tanks rolled in. It was picked up by the AP and made the wire services.

Linda: Was your Devon’s Way novels your first books? Do you plan on making them available again through Kindle?

Rod: The Devon’s Way series were my first three novels but I had done a ton of freelance and ghostwriting prior to that. I would love to release them on Kindle but while I hold the copyright I’m not sure where I would stand legally. The original publisher went bankrupt owing me money in 1989. The contracts I signed hit the landfill years ago so it is a gray area.

Linda: Who or what has influenced your writing and in what way?

Rod: The two most important nuts and bolts people are Joseph Campbell and Syd Field. To me they are the master storytellers. If you want to understand story and character development read the famous Chris Vogler's coverage of Joseph Campbell The Hero with a Thousand Faces that changed Hollywood forever. Bill Moyers did a 6 hour documentary on PBS about this. If you have Netflix it is available for instant download. If you want to understand cinematic pacing, then Syd Field is the best I’ve ever seen.

In terms of writers, I’m a huge Rex Stout fan. I like his books because he created a pair of truly original characters in Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Beyond that, there are 50 to 100 great writers whose work I appreciate.

Linda: I love Joseph Campbell. Bill Moyers' interviews with Campbell (Power of Myth) are priceless. And of course, Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces is an excellent look at the mythical hero. I’ve not read Chris Vogler’s work on it, though.

Rod: I’ll put a
link to it on my webpage. It is possibly the best thing ever written about how to craft a story.

Linda: I know of Syd Field and his expertise in screenwriting. I’ve adapted several screenplays myself, and written an original one. Maybe one day I will do more screenwriting, as I did enjoy it. It is a tough market to break into.

I discovered not long ago while doing family genealogy that I am related to Rex Stout. Our connection goes back to the early 1600s to Richard and Penelope Stout, my 9th great-grandparents, his 6th great-grandparents.

Rod: Penelope? Now that’s a great name for a character!

Linda: I understand you are not only a novelist, but also a screenwriter. Would you tell us a little about your screenwriting and what led to that?

Rod: I had just been orphaned by my second publisher in less than three years when the phone rang. A guy introduced himself and said he had seen my novels and wanted to know if I had ever written a screenplay. I told him not only had I never written one, I had never even seen one. He said he would send me a script then we’d check back to see if I had any interest in working with him. The next day, overnight mail was a much bigger deal in those days, a package arrived. It was the script for a recently released summer blockbuster movie. I read it and he called me back. I had just seen the movie and it was slightly different than the script he had sent me. I asked about it and he said the author of the book it was based on didn’t like this version so they hired other writers. I asked what they had paid for the script they didn’t use and he casually answered $500,000. This was 1990. He had my undivided attention for the next 4 years. I didn’t find out until years later that it was unusual to have the VP of Creative Affairs of a major studio track down a writer in Ohio and offer them work.

Linda: Oh, boy. What a lucky break that was!

Rod: Indeed. It was one of those moments that changed my life.

Linda: As most writers, I have read a number of books on creative writing and techniques of novel writing. What books on writing have you found to be of value early on in your career, and why? And I understand you now teach writing yourself, is that right?

Rod: I used to teach writing. I was an instructor in the Writers’ Digest Novel Writing Workshop and the Advanced Novel Writing workshop. I’ve also taught some Adult Ed classes and occasionally speak at writers’ conference. My biggest influences were Joseph Campbell and the skills I picked up in Hollywood. My novels, because of screenwriting, are long on dialogue and short on narrative. The plots move right along and I try to leave a gasp at the end of each chapter. The Amazon reviews I cherish are the ones who say they lost a night’s sleep because they couldn’t put my book down.

I’m currently writing a brief little eBook for a nice group of people who are trying to encourage first time writers entitled Writing the Spiritual Novel. It’s only about 15,000 words but it goes over Joseph Campbell and how I craft a story.

Linda: Thanks for sharing the draft of Writing the Spiritual Novel with me. It’s going to be a help to new authors, Rod. It’s very good.

Rod: Thanks. Mostly it’s just a cut and paste of my classroom notes, the Vogler memo and a few other nuggets I’ve picked up over the years. If any of your readers would like the draft copy send me an email to

Linda: I find it fascinating that you moved from writing action/adventure into writing New Age Thought with The Fourth Awakening Series. (I know someone else who did that—Don Pendleton). What brought you and Dr. Jeffery Martin together? I see Dr. Martin is a Harvard- educated social scientist and researcher of human potential—and his concept of non-symbolic consciousness. How easy was it for the two of you to blend the metaphysical concepts into a suspense novel?

Rod: Jeffery and I have been friends and business partners for nearly two decades. He’s currently spending a year in Hong Kong as a guest professor. We are basically fire and ice when it comes to novel writing. I’ve had 8 novels published and he has written all or part of over 2 dozen non-fiction books. He doesn’t read fiction and I don’t read non-fiction and I particularly avoid the academic gobbledygook that tends to make his heart go pitty-pat. Here’s a hilarious story about The Fourth Awakening. There is scene where Penelope wants to talk about Michael Walker but had been warned not to mention his name in public. Penelope called him, “He who must not be named.” Jeffery didn’t get it because he didn’t have any idea who Lord Voldemort was.

We’ve had some Titanic battles over these novels; in fact we thought The Gathering Darkness would have been out over a year ago. But we hit a loggerhead and it sat for 8 months with neither of us working on it. Still, because we have great respect for each other, we got past it.

Linda: Do you have plans for several books in The Fourth Awakening Series?

Rod: This was intended as a trilogy but the characters have developed a nice following so they may live on. We’ll see. The third book will be much darker than the first two. We plan to explore the dark side of enlightenment. This may completely turn off our core audience because this is a subject many of them ignore. By the time Return to the Light has been around for a few weeks the desire for more of Penelope and Walker could be over.

Linda: What is your usual writing routine, Rod? I know readers often want to know how many hours a day do we spend at our computers? Do we outline? How long does it take to complete a book? Where do we get our ideas?—our inspiration?

Rod: I’m an early riser and most of my creative stuff is written early in the day. I’ve found if I try to be creative for more than 5-6 hours in a day and push myself, the next day the tank will be empty. As for how long it takes to write a book it depends. I wrote The Linz Trust in six weeks. The novel adaption of a screenplay I sold is still unfinished after 20 years. Everything else falls somewhere in between.

Linda: Of the elements that go into a novel such as characterizations, dialogue, action scenes, plotting, sex scenes, and setting, among other things, which do you find easiest for you personally in your art of writing? In other words, what do you consider your strength to be?

Rod: That’s easy. Dialogue. I love to let two characters with opposing viewpoint go at each other. I think this is why I caught the eye of the folks in LaLaLand. Movies and television are almost all dialogue.

While I’m uncomfortable writing sex scenes, I do think I may have written the best non-graphic one of all time in The Gathering Darkness. Not to spoil it, but it is the first 40 words of Chapter Thirty-Two.

Linda: What is your favorite quote?

Rod: I’ll give you two. "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." Charles Schultz.

“I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.” Mother Theresa

Linda: Great quotes! Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Rod: This is the new Golden Age of writing. We’re entering an era similar to the 1930s up until the 1960s. Cheap pulp fiction was everywhere. From Louis L’ Amour westerns, to fantastic mystery and detective yarns to incredible science fiction, you could get anything you wanted for .35 cents at the local drug store. As the cost of printing and distribution began to rise fifty years ago these “pulp” books and magazines couldn’t compete with “free” TV so it dried up. I see a new renaissance on the horizon.

Thanks to places like Kindle, even if you hire a professional editor and cover design person, you can have your book online for less than a $1,000. After that if you’re selling your book on Amazon for 99 cents, if you can get only one tenth of one percent of the American population to buy your book you’ll make over $100,000 dollars. That’s .001.

Go out and write what you would like to read. But remember this. In rock music, the bands that come up with a new sound that resonates, play to packed venues every night. Good cover bands are working the lounge at the airport Holiday Inn.

Thanks to eBooks we’re going to be seeing a lot of cover bands. Tell good stories and create fresh original characters and the universe will find you. Don’t try to repackage stuff that has already been written. Derivative characters and tired plots lines are a dime a dozen.

Find your voice and use it.

Also, read an article that was in the Wall Street Journal back in March. “
Cheapest E-Books Upend the Charts”. This was the article that motivated me to get back into the novel writing business.

Linda: Great advice, Rod. I was visiting your website the other day and found your article, “
What’s In a Name” quite interesting. I have always thought you had the perfect name for an author. :-)

Rod: LOL! I had never really thought about that.

Linda: Tell us more about The Fourth Awakening, if you’d like, and tell us about your new action/adventure novel, A Family Reunion (The First Charon Family Adventure).

Rod: The Fourth Awakening was an attempt to wrap some cutting edge science in a fast paced suspense novel. We also wanted to present the history of mankind in a way most people had never considered. The second book, The Gathering Darkness, is a much more personal story. I throw everything at poor Penelope. The last book in the trilogy will explore the dark side of enlightenment. This one will be a stunner.

I wrote A Family Reunion to blow off some steam after the Fourth Awakening books. You have no idea how hard it is to keep the tension level up when there is no violence. No sex. No foul language and one of your lead characters is devoid of emotion. There’s a reason most murder mysteries, thrillers and action stories have a dead body in the first chapter.

The Charon Family Adventures are right in my wheelhouse. Funny, bawdy, fast paced and long on dialogue and short on narrative. To separate them from my more serious work, I’m putting outrageous covers on them. A Family Reunion, has a dark and shadowy Grim Reaper holding a brightly colored picnic basket. The next book in the series Family Business, has the Reaper holding a bunch of bright “Grand Opening” balloons. That’s my fair warning to the reader that they are about to start on a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Linda: Thank you, Rod, for taking time to do this interview. I wish you and Dr. Martin the best with The Fourth Awakening Series. It is such an unique concept—really a new genre—New Thought Fiction, and I’m sure the books will continue to do well. And I wish you the best for your other novels, too.

Rod: Thanks!

Rod Pennington’s Website
The Fourth Awakening
The Gathering Darkness (The Fourth Awakening Series)A Family Reunion (The First Charon Family Adventure)

Jeffery Martin’s
Amazon Author Page
Rod Pennington’s Amazon Author Page
The Fourth Awakening FaceBook Page

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In Memory

Angel Copyright by Danny Hahlbohm

In Memory
We will always remember those who lost their lives
and those who so gallantly risked their lives to save others.
May peace and healing come to the families and friends of those lost,
and to the many rescue workers and others who were touched by this tragedy. – Linda

"America, America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!"
Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929)

"The land of the free and the home of the brave."
–Francis Scott Key (1779–1843)

"I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.
There have been tyrants and murders, and for a time they seem invincible.
But in the end they always fall. Think of this. Always."
–Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear."
–Mark Twain (1835–1910)

"This land is your land, this land is my land,
from California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me."
–Woody Guthrie (1912–1967)

"There is nothing we cannot live down, rise above, and overcome."
–Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1855–1919)

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
–Bible, 2 Timothy 1:7

"Okay, there's a group of us and we're going to do something...
If they're going to drive this plane into the ground we've got to do something."
–Thomas Burnett (1963–2001)
Passenger, Flight 93, Sept. 11, 2001

"We've decided, we're going to do it."
–Jeremy Glick (1970–2001)
Passenger, Flight 93, Sept. 11, 2001

"Are you guys ready? Let's roll!"
–Todd Beamer (1917–2001)
Passenger, Flight 93, Sept. 11, 2001

"Imagine there's no country, it isn't hard to do,
nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too.
Imagine all the people living life in peace."
–John Lennon (1940–1980)

"Never in this world can hatred be stilled by hatred;
it will be stilled only by non-hatred–that is the law Eternal."
–Buddha (568-488 B.C.)

"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living."
–Seneca (c. 4 B.C.–65 A.D.)

"We should always be at war with injustice. Always."
–Maya Angelou (1928–)

"Only the just man enjoys peace of mind."
–Epicurus (371–270 B.C.)

"To correct the evils, great and small, which spring from want of sympathy
and from positive enmity among strangers, as nations and as individuals,
is one of the highest functions of civilization."
–Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

"When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters.
One represents danger and the other represents opportunity."
–John F. Kennedy (1917–1963)

"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting."
–Sun Tzu (c. early 4th Century B.C.)

"If you want to heal, give. When you need comfort and strength,
give to others. By helping other people, you can begin to heal."
–Dr. Phil McGraw

"Until you have become really in actual fact a brother of everyone,
brotherhood will not come to pass. Only by brotherhood will liberty be saved."
–Feodor Dostoevski (1821–1881)

"Life has its ups and downs. When you are down,
the angels are waiting to lift you up."
–Linda Pendleton

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
–Joseph Campbell, (1904-1987)

“I believe that peace becomes possible when we choose to make peace an attitude and a habit.
I believe that the reality of peace begins within each of us….”
~Mattie J. T. Stepanek, (1990-2004) Just Peace, A Message of Hope

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pixels or Fonts; A Meeting of the Minds

In 2002, I wrote a letter in response to a local librarian who had put down the value of ebooks. A copy went to the librarian and was published in the local newspaper. I quote from it: “I have always believed it should be the goal (and desire) of librarians to encourage people to read. It should not matter what format the reader chooses. The author’s words are there to be shared—a meeting of the minds—whether in pixels or fonts.

I had also commented: “The popularity of e-books is growing, and unfolding technological advances will improve formats. Young children are becoming proficient in computer knowledge, and computers are becoming the norm for many of them. E-books will not fully replace paper books on library shelves, but will give millions of readers the opportunity, 24 hours a day, to download their choice of reading materials from home or work. A trip to the local library will not be necessary.

We’ve come a long way in nearly a decade!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Creating Credible Fiction

Andrew E. Kaufman, author of While the Savage Sleeps, and the upcoming book, The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted, wrote an interesting blog post, “Why the Decision to Kill off a Character can be Murder on an Author.”

Andrew said it well! Fiction has to be larger than life and credible. We have to build a realistic world as we create our stories. So I agree with his comment: “Our job, although writers of fiction, is to depict life in a realistic manner, make the reader forget she's actually reading.”

Our characters tell the story they want to tell and sometimes it can be difficult to kill of one of the characters. But the important thing in writing realistic characters is that even the bad guys may have some redeeming features. That makes them human. My husband, Don Pendleton, the “father of action/adventure,” was very good at that. Sometimes you hated when his bad guys were knocked off. He wrote in his book, Metaphysics of the Novel: The Inner Workings of a Novel and a Novelist:
“If you have villains in your story make sure you have made them powerful and resourceful, not reduced to the idiot level. In real life, the bad guys are highly formidable and dangerous individuals. Real life is full of grim games played by grim people. So should your fictional world be, if that is the type of story you are presenting. Do not indulge in some juvenile misunderstanding of the forces that move and shake this world. Some people are dangerous, not because a gun is in their hand, but because something cold and deadly is in their hearts. So make sure you are presenting a credible world with the world of your novel.”

After all, we are writing about the human situation, no matter what predicaments we place our characters in. Life itself presents challenges, drama, pain, joy, grief, wonder, and more, and a successful novelist is called upon to examine and develop deeper insights into the moving forces that power creativity. Writing is an art, and it is up to the artist to produce a living image of reality.

The author is in charge of his own fictional world, and that fictional world needs to be understandable, coherent, and credible. But it is our own story to create, and not everybody may like it. And that is just fine.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Aunt Willie, and Catherine Winter, PI, Could Easily Be "Superman!"

My Aunt Loretta, age 89

Today I was thinking abut women, women who I have either personally known or who I have admired. Women who have been intelligent, daring, curious, humorous, outspoken, independent, strong, and determined. Women who I consider to be heroes.

The first woman who comes to mind is the late Elisabeth Kubler Ross, M.D. I first saw her on television shortly after her book “On Death and Dying” was published. I admired the way she put her medical career to the test by standing up for what she believed. Years later I had the opportunity to meet her and spend time with her. That was in 1989 not long after she gave my husband Don Pendleton and I an endorsement for our book, “To Dance With Angels.” When Don nearly died from a heart attack and brain hemorrhage in 1991, Elisabeth was there for me by phone to tell me how important it was for me to stay centered and rested as I might be called upon to make a life/death medical decision and no matter what happened to Don, he would be just fine. I was thankful for that advice at a very difficult time. Then in about 1996 or so, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with her at her home in Arizona. Just her and I. She’d had a stroke, but we shared time together, laughing, eating chocolates, and me putting food out for her coyotes. I shared with her the impact her grief work had on my life. It was a day I will always remember. She was a hero to me: outspoken, determined, not afraid to write and speak of her spiritual experiences, and dedicated to her work. An impressive and inspiring woman.

Another woman who had that innate determination, humor, intelligence, and curiosity about life was my Aunt Loretta, Willie, as I always called her. She died in 1994 at the age of 97. I’ve written about her before. From horse and buggy to rockets to the moon and beyond–all in one lifetime. She was one of those to have seen all this splendid technology unfold before her very eyes. Don and I spoke with her shortly before her death about her long life and all the changes that had taken place since her days as a little girl in the small coal mining towns of Pennsylvania and Colorado at the turn of the twentieth century. She told us, "Yes, I have seen it all from the beginning–automobiles, jet airplanes, television, man on the moon, those computers–so much–and it has been a good life."

So in one lifetime, and five-generations, the advances of mankind have been tremendous. Her great-great grand-children now have high-speed computers beguiling them into a world of "virtual reality" with both educational and entertainment values, state-of-the-art medical technology available to them if the need arises, satellite television programming, DVR's, digitally recorded music, and the vision that they may one day be taking a pleasure cruise to a destination beyond our planet Earth and into the far reaches of space instead of jetting to Europe for the summer.

Aunt Willie told us that it had been a good life but we know that it was her attitude that made it so because she had endured a lot of suffering and pain in those ninety-seven years. It is hard to say how many of us could have come through it all with such strength, dignity, grace, and humor.

These two women personified the word hero.

I believe it was the inspiration of these two older women, and women like them, that led me to create the personality of my fictional character, Catherine Winter in my Catherine Winter, Private Investigator Series. I believe I modeled her after the likes of Elisabeth and Willie. If you read my "Shattered Lens" and "Fractured Image," let me know if you see those traits in Catherine: daring, curious, intelligent, humorous, outspoken, and determined. In my mind, when I conceived Catherine Winter, I envisioned the determination and strength of a hero. She does not wear a "Superman" costume but a “skin” that bounces off disappointments, failures, and set-backs, and loves to tease and laugh, not only laugh with you, but even at herself.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

California Gold Rush Books and Blog

Last night I started a new blog, The California Gold Rush, for my nonfiction history books on the 1849 California Gold Rush, and other 19th century books I've written Introductions for.

Most are Kindle books at this time, and two are also available in print. I may soon put two more of the gold rush books into print.

Take a look at my
new blog


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Neil Diamond Billboard Icon Award

Photo from the Billboard website

After “suffering” though a good part of the Billboard Music Award Show it was so refreshing to see and hear Neil Diamond. He sounds as great as ever as he sang Sweet Caroline and America, closing out the show with an enthusiastic choir and audience singing along.

He accepted the 2011 Billboard Icon Award, honoring the cultural impact of an artist whose extraordinary talent as a creator, writer, and entertainer has stood the test of time. He has sold more than 128 million records worldwide, achieving 39 top 10 singles and 18 platinum albums over more than 40 years. At age 70, he looks darn good!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ethics of the Greek Philosophers

Now in Kindle

In 1896, Columbia Professor of logic and ethics, Dr. James H. Hyslop's stated his lectures "on the Greek ethics attributed to Plato, Socrates and Aristotle is an attempt to reduce the conceptions of Greek ethics to the same terms as those in which modern problems in this field express themselves. Too many philosophers merely transliterate the language of antiquity instead of translating it. The consequence is that we as often fail to discover that in the past we are dealing with the same intellectual and moral problems as in the present. I have endeavored, therefore, to see the Greek thought on ethics with the eyes of a modern student." Dr. Hyslop also had an interest in psychical research which came about as a result of his friendship with Harvard Professor William James and the study of famous Boston MA medium, Lenore Piper.

Linda Pendleton has written an Introduction to these two works of Dr. Hyslop. Linda is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The California Gold Rush Books

I published a Kindle book yesterday and the print book is now available.

The book was written in 1857 after J. D. Borthwick spent three years in Northern California during the Gold Rush. He was an artist and his written words are descriptive and colorful as he recorded the establishment of the Golden State as thousands upon thousands arrived in California from around the world with hopes of finding riches.

I currently have four books in the top 20 Amazon Kindle list under California Gold Rush. These book are great for anyone interested in Early California, the pioneers, and miners.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shattered Lens, Catherine Winter, Private Investigator..Book Trailer

Book Trailer for Shattered Lens: Catherine Winter, Private Investigator by Linda Pendleton.
First book in the Catherine Winter Series

Available at Amazon, print, Kindle, Smashwords and other ebook retailers.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Andrew E. Kaufman on 'The State of the Indie"

Andrew E. Kaufman, author of the #1 Suspense Thriller, While the Savage Sleeps, has written an excellent and insightful blog on Independent Publishing and his attendance at the Left Coast Crime Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico last week, over at Ctrl+Alt+Pub Blog.

His views and those of others he mentions, reflect the dramatic changes taking place in publishing with many of us chosing to self-publishing and not rely on agents and publishers but to take control of our works.

It's an exciting and invigoroting time not only me, but for many authors and for readers.

Also read my interview of Andrew here, and hey, buy his book, it will give you goosebumps, that's for sure. LOL


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fractured Image: Catherine Winter, Private Investigator Series

My Second Novel in the Catherine Winter Series
Now at Kindle and Smashwords. In print in a few days.

“Whenever I am confronted with death, I cannot help but be aware how fragile life is and how vulnerable we are. Everything can change in a split second.”
~Catherine Winter, Private Investigator

Private Investigator, Catherine Winter has seen it all in her many years as a Southern California PI. Widowed and in her sixties, she has no desire to retire. She frequently says she will not give it up as long as she can hit a target with a .357 slug. Determined, and dedicated, she often works alongside the Los Angeles police in investigating crimes.

On an early spring morning in Los Angeles, the badly beaten body of USC professor of astronomy, Frederick Holloway is found outside Griffith Park Observatory. In their hunt for his killer, Homicide Commander John Anderson and his detectives must determine if the professor is the victim of a hate crime, a random attack, or a premeditated killing. Found in Holloway’s wallet is a business card belonging to Catherine Winter, Private Investigator. Catherine does not know why this stranger has her card. The mystery surrounding his death begins to unravel as his significant-other, bestselling author Andrew Bartain hires Catherine Winter to locate Frederick Holloway’s son, and to find his killer. In the search for truth and justice, the images of the victim and persons of interest become fractured and must be meticulously and precisely put together into a solid pattern to find his killer.

“Linda Pendleton’s first private-eye novel is a brilliant debut. Shattered Lens is good enough I hope it becomes a series.” ~Richard S. Prather, Author of the Shell Scott Mystery Series

(Thanks Richard for the suggestion. At the time I did not know if there would be a series. Now there is.) ♥


Monday, March 21, 2011

Author Barry Eisler Turns Down Half Million to Self-Publish

At first glance some may think best-selling thriller author, Barry Eisler is nuts to walk away from a half million dollar publishing deal with one of the Big 6 NY publishers. But I don't think he is. I believe he's smart and visionary in his decision to self-publish ebooks.

Many new or midlist writers, as well as best-selling authors are now putting their books at Amazon Kindle, Smashwords (which distributes to a number of retailers in various ebook formats), and publishing print on demand through Amazon Creatspace for -0- or $39. What is nice about all of these, is the author sets the price on his or her book, and can change it at any time. It appears the books that are selling the large numbers, especially at Kindle, are priced from .99 cents to 4.99. But you never know. It all depends on what someone might want to read, fiction, nonfiction, and the many subjects and genres. Lots of choices.

If you are an author, new or old, thinking of e-publishing backlist books, or new manuscripts, but still unsure about taking the leap, read what Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath have to say in this discussion of ebooks. It is possible it may remove any resistance you have to the idea of self-publishing. (Be prepared to have a cup of coffee at your side before you start reading as it is a long discussion, but well worth the read.)

Also you may be interested in this previous blog I did on Barry Eisler some time ago, and this one.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Ebook Sales Continue to Rise

According to The Association of American Publishers, the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry:

"March 17, 2010, New York, NY – E-books and downloadable audio books continue to grow in popularity according to the January 2011 sales report of the Association of American Publishers. Figures for the first month of the new year show that E-book net sales increased by 115.8% vs January 2010 (from $32.4 Million to $69.9M). Sales of Downloadable Audio Books also rose by 8.8% vs the previous year ($6.0M to $6.5M). As AAP reported last month in its December 2010 monthly report and full 2010 analysis, E-book sales have increased annually and significantly in all nine years of tracking the category."

I know for my ebooks sales over the last decade, there has been a nice increase, especially since Kindle came along, and now Smashwords, which has given me the opportunity to pulish more of my books as e-books.

I'm sure e-book sales will continue to go up and up. I would imagne the ability to download mp3 digital audio books will continue to increase audio book sales also.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Don Pendleton's Mystery Series Facebook Pages

I recently added Facebook pages for Don Pendleton’s two mystery series. The pages, which include information on the books in each series, videos of booktrailers on several books, and additional information, can be found at Facebook.

Don Pendleton's Ashton Ford, Psychic Detective Series of Novels

Don Pendleton's Joe Copp, Private Eye Series of Novels


Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview of Author, Linda Pendleton by Brian Drake

Brian Drake interviewed me about my novel, Shattered Lens: Catherine Winter, Private Investigator on his Blog: “Where an independent author talks about books, writing, and anything else that comes to mind.” Brian is the author of three books, Show No Mercy, Justified Sins, and Reader’s Dozen, 12 tales of Crime & Suspense. I really enjoyed reading his Intro to my interview and he asked me some great questions about writing.

Brian is also a member of Jon Guenther’s Blog, Ctrl+Alt+Pub: "A blog for independent authors interested in self-publishing, alternative publishing, and non-traditional publishing."

You may read my Interview here at Brian’s Blog.



Singer, songwriter, musician Chris Spheeris has put out some beautfiul CDs. Two of my favorite songs of his are Where the Angels Fly and Walk with Me.

Here is a short inteview with Chris about creativity, and the lyrics of Where the Angels Fly.

Where the Angels Fly Lyrics
Chris Spheeris

I'd like to know the secrets of your heart
I look into your eyes and that's a start ...
Watch over you, all the moments that you are away
It's here we'll meet between the earth and sky
Where the angels fly ...

You'd like to know the secrets of my heart
Just look into my eyes and that's a start ...
You open me to the all the colors of the night and day
It's here we'll dance between the earth and sky
Where the angels fly ...

I'd like to know the secrets of my heart
I journey deep inside and that's a start ...
The mystery and miracle of love that lights the way
It's here we'll dance between the earth and sky

And his Instrumental:


Friday, February 18, 2011

Soul Expressions, Poetry Collection, Linda and Don Pendleton

Poetry Collection Linda Pendleton and Don Pendleton, now in Kindle. Coming in the next months to print.

Poetry, A Bridge Between the Physical and Spiritual Worlds.

Poetry is the language of feelings and intuition. As such, it structures the feelings and intuitions of the inner world in a form that can be apprehended by the outer world. Since it uses the mental matrices of emotion, feeling, and intuition, it does not have to conform to any idea of linear logic, which can be the antithesis of spiritual knowingness.

Within this Poetry Collection by Linda and Don Pendleton, you will discover a variety of themes, Life, Love, Family, Angels, and a variety of styles such as rhyme, free verse, narrative, and a few humorous or limerick styles. For the most part, the poems are expressions of ideas, of emotions, without much thought to a specific style or form. Also included are a number of poems inspired and given to Linda by Don after his death.

Don Pendleton (1927-1995) was creator of The Executioner: Mack Bolan Series of action/adventure novels; Joe Copp Private Eye Thrillers; Ashton Ford, Psychic Detective Series; and other novels. He wrote poetry and metaphysical essays for many years. He also wrote nonfiction.

Linda Pendleton has written fiction and nonfiction. Together, Don and Linda wrote the nonfiction books, To Dance With Angels; Whispers From the Soul, the Divine Dance of Consciousness; and the novel, Roulette: The Search for the Sunrise Killer. Linda's novels include Corn Silk Days, Iowa, 1862; Shattered Lens: Catherine Winter, Private Investigator; and The Dawning, a Novel of Mystery and Suspense.

Linda dedicates this book to her family and to young "Heartsongs" poet,
Mattie J. T. Stepanek.

Cover design by Judy Bullard

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"How a revolution comes to be is a mystery to me," he says. "It's important to credit the brave people that take chances to stand up to regimes. They're the star. What I like to think of services like Twitter and other services is that it's kind of a supporting role. We're there to facilitate and to foster and to accelerate those folks' missions." ~Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter

Listen to an Interview with Biz Stone on NPR "Twitter's Biz Stone On Starting A Revolution"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ozzy Osbourne on Show Biz

This quote today by Ozzy Osbourne can easily be applied to writing, and even the changes in publishing, i.e. e-books, because, after all, as novelist, we are entertaining. people.
“It’s show biz. The only difference between vaudeville and rock and roll is a microphone. It’s just entertaining people. Some like it. You can please some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time and if you don’t like it, you don’t like it, if you do, you do. It’s show biz, you know.” ~Ozzy Osbourne, February 8. 2011, The Talk Show

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Creating a Fictional World

“So unleash your creative power, let it flow in all its beauty.
Yes, Novelist, you are in charge of your own bright world.”
~Don Pendleton, The Metaphysics of the Novel

A few years ago, my husband, Don Pendleton, wrote in his nonfiction book, The Metaphysics of the Novel, The Inner Workings of a Novel and a Novelist:

“One thing that every novel needs is credibility, and as a novelist you must never forget that. Your story must be plausible, meaningful, and entertaining.

“Before the final draft of any story is set to paper, you must have resolved all your story problems and structure problems. Then, and only then, can your characters have the freedom they need to carry the story, to handle their conflicts, and to finally reach resolution.

“As you review your manuscript, begin by studying your opening paragraph. Read it and re-read. If it sounds weak as you read it silently, and then out loud, rewrite it. Study it again. Polish it until it shines.

“If you discover you have "padded" your story with unnecessary dribble, or if you come upon a place where you wonder where the hell it is going, it is because you did not know where you were going. So get out the scalpel and start carving away. Do it delicately but deftly until you feel you are in command as god of your novel.

“Watch for the spots where you come across even a page or two of nothing. If nothing was happening, change it, make something happen.

“Make sure your dialogue is sharp, and real. If it is not, beef it up until you hear the voices singing. Be sure those characters talk like real people.

“Are you satisfied that you have properly dimensioned each character? If you have villains in your story make sure you have made them powerful and resourceful, not reduced to the idiot level. In real life, the bad guys are highly formidable and dangerous individuals. Real life is full of grim games played by grim people. So should your fictional world be, if that is the type of story you are presenting. Do not indulge in some juvenile misunderstanding of the forces that move and shake this world. Some people are dangerous, not because a gun is in their hand, but because something cold and deadly is in their hearts. So make sure you are presenting a credible world with the world of your novel.

“The paradox of good fiction is that the fictional world must seem more understandable and coherent to the reader than the world in which he lives daily. So to connect with the readers, the writer had better be in complete charge of the world he creates at the keyboard. Pointless defiance of real world logic is available all the time on television. Don't expose your readers to anything but a setting of characters in a logical cause and effect world.

“When you have edited your manuscript to a high polish, when you love every word you have placed there, set it aside for a few days. When you pick it up again, and you find you still love every word there, you are then ready, novelist, to present it to the world.
“But brace yourself. Your presentation may not be received with the open arms you expect and hope for. The days ahead can be filled with frustration and rejection. In those times, though, the important thing to remember is, you have fulfilled your dream of becoming a novelist, and you have taken your vision from that place inside, to that place where books really are–outside.”

Don went on to write about marketing your book and hopefully selling it. At the time he wrote the book, the only way to publish was via a traditional publisher, or with original vanity publishing which could cost you a small fortune, or self publish and sell your books out of the back of your car, as a few well-known authors have done. James Redfield and The Celestine Prophecy comes to mind, as does Richard Paul Evans who also wrote another best-seller, The Christmas Box; and a more recent book, The Shack.

Today we consider the Internet and the incredible technology to be so much a part of our lives, and I believe if Don were still alive he would be in favor of what many authors are now doing with self-publishing and e-books.

He wrote: “Play the game and give it all the artful attention you possess. I shudder to think of all the talented writers I have known who are still unpublished because they never learned to play the game to their best advantage. In a card game, you know, there is a time to sit tight and a time to fold. Play your publishing moment to its best advantage.

“If you have not yet found that moment then you need to get actively involved in your own destiny. Even a moment that may be pre-ordained needs a willing and active interest in those whispers from the muses, a driving force that propels you into that fateful encounter. It will not come looking for you unless you have already "prepared the soil" for a fertile encounter.

“Develop an understanding of the publishing world. “

Get actively involved in your own destiny. Yes, Don would be in favor of self-publishing especially when you know you have produced a credible and quality work. You have a choice and you don’t have to waste time and seek permission to share your book with the world.

The time can be now! Go for it!

Kindle, Smashwords, Createspace, not only give us darn good royalties that are not found in traditional publishing, but give us opportunity to share our works worldwide.

The Metaphysics of the Novel is available at Kindle, Smashwords, and other ebook online stores and in print at

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Don Pendleton's Joe Copp Mystery Series

Today I put up a Facebook page for Don Pendleton’s Joe Copp Private Eye Thriller series. It includes the covers to the books, designed by Judy. Judy and I have worked together now for ten years. She’s done my websites and my POD and ebook covers. If you have a need for Kindle, Smashwords, ebook covers, or POD covers, take a look at Judy's website. She does good work.

The first book in the Joe Copp series of six, Copp for Hire, is now on SALE for .99 Cents at Kindle and at Smashwords, with the five other novels $2.99 each. If you like hard-boiled, fast paced stories, check the books out. The popular novels were originally published in hardcover and then in paper.

They are also available in print with the new covers that we did recently. All six ebooks should be available very soon in Nook, Kobo, iPad and other formats. I believe three or four are currently available in those additional applications, but all six will soon be, if they are not already.

Many people do not know they can download the Kindle app for their PC, and other devices. You can then sample Kindle books at Amazon, in addition to buying ebooks in seconds.

Check out Don’s Author Page at Smashwords and the Joe Copp series Amazon Kindle.

And if you are on Facebook, visit “Don Pendleton’s Joe Copp, Private Eye Series” Page.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Interview With Author, Bill Craig

I’m pleased to have this interview with Bill Craig, who is author of the Jack Riley Adventure Series; the Sam Decker, Private Investigator Series; the Hardluck Hannigan Adventure Series; and a Joe Collins suspense thriller. His books are available in print and as Kindle e-books.

Welcome, Bill. You’ve been busy these last few years and have published now a number of books. Years ago, I know you corresponded with my husband, Don Pendleton. I believe you were just starting out with your writing career, at that time, or at least considering writing for publication, is that correct?

Bill: That is correct. I had been writing for awhile and reading everything I could but it was during that time that I actually began to seriously pursue writing. That was when the need to write really settled over me.

Linda: Bill, these are two of my favorite questions I like to ask of writers: Did you write as a kid? When did you know you wanted to write?

Bill: Oh yes, I can remember one of my first projects being a compilation of short stories for a third grade project titled: Things in the Night. I won an award for it. That was when I first realized I wanted to write.

Linda: If you would care to share, who has influenced you the most in your life? And why?

Bill: I was heavily influenced by my parents who introduced me to books at a young age. I taught myself to read at age four and have been doing so now for 47 years.

Linda: What books have most influenced your life and/or your world view? What books do you believe have influenced your writing? Favorite author/authors?

Bill: Well, when I was about ten years old when I was introduced to Doc Savage, which began a life-long love affair with pulp fiction. Then came The Shadow, The Phantom, and I picked up a copy of War Against the Mafia and was hooked all over again. Writers that have influenced me would Lester Dent, the author behind the Kenneth Robeson house name, Walter Gibson aka Maxwell Grant, Don Pendleton was a tremendous influence, as were Jerry Ahern, Robert B. Parker, and a comic book writer named Doug Moench.

Linda: I could ask if you have a favorite series of the three, or at least a character that you love more than one of the others, but I won’t ask that. I know how it is. We love all our characters, even the bad guys, huh? So, instead, tell us about your Hardluck Hannigan character and the series.

Bill: Hardluck Hannigan is just pure fun to write. It is a throw-back to the pulp novels of the thirties and forties with slam bang action and rollicking adventure. Hannigan is a bit of a soldier of fortune from the heartland and he is surrounded by friends that help him make it through his adventures due to the fact he has the worst luck imaginable.

Hannigan started his career when he left a tramp steamer in Africa and got involved in a race to recover the fabled Emerald of Eternity from the Priest King Prester John. He faced off against Nazis, the evil Dr. Ragnarok, and deadly River Pirates. Then he was captured by the Kondor Legion and battled the fabled Nazi pilots and their three flying saucers that had been recovered from a secret base in the Arctic circle. After that, Hannigan was sent to the Amazon to search for Colonel Percy Fawcett and a lost Atlantean outpost.

His fourth adventure began on an ocean liner that was sabotaged and set adrift in the Sargasso sea where he battled a several centuries old colony of pirates and a mad Russian Scientist that had set up a city beneath the sea and was plotting to destroy all life on the surface. A trip back to the States reunited Hannigan with his father and brought him face to face with a Nazi spy ring and a Demonic creature haunting Kill Devil Hills. Tragedy struck Hannigan during that adventure and sent him fleeing back to Africa where he was caught up in a search for yet another lost city and battling Nazis for the fabled Spear of Goliath.

The current book I am working on finds him in Egypt fighting desert nomads, a Chinese villain, and being a pawn in a battle between two ancient Egyptian goddesses. The Golden Scorpion will hopefully be out by spring.

Linda: I always like to ask writers how they receive their inspiration. Many writers feel the inspiration comes from beyond them at times as they are working with their characters. Do you experience that in your writing?

Bill: I would have to agree that it does come from beyond. Many times the characters just take over and I feel like I am just channeling them to get the story on paper. There have been times when I sit down to write and totally lose time, yet when I stop I have 5-10 pages written that are completely new to me.

Linda: Do you visualize your scenes as you write? Do you “walk” in your character’s shoes?

Bill: Very much so. For the most part I tend to write in a very visual style, but I love to do a lot with dialog as well. And yeah I am in there every step of the way. One of the more fun pieces I have done lately was an old west werewolf story for Six-guns Straight from Hell, an anthology put together by Laura Givens and David Riley.

Linda: I believe you have chosen to do what many of us are now doing—publishing e-books. What encouraged you to do so?

Bill: The potential to build my fan base with the advent of the multiple e-reader systems out there. And so far word is spreading and sales are picking up.

Linda: Tell us about your other series and about your next project?

Bill: I have about seven or eight books in the works at the moment, the next book out will be either The Golden Scorpion from the Hardluck Hannigan series of Smuggler’s Blues, the fourth Decker P.I. title. I have several more Hannigans plotted out, a fifth Sam Decker, and three more books featuring Joe Collins the hero of The Butterfly Tattoo which has been my best selling title both in print and on kindle. The Decker books follow an ex-DEA agent turned Private Investigator in the Florida Keys. Joe Collins is a cop on the Gulf side of South Florida who gave up part of his soul to find and stop the infamous Butterfly Killer who he suspected was behind the death of his wife. The subsequent books are about his journey back to being what he is: A good and dedicated cop.

I am also working on some stuff for Airship27 which includes a Masked Rider Western, and the lead off story for a south sea series I created called Tales of the Hanging Monkey. Plus I have a western novel in the works.

Linda: And my last question, Bill. What is your favorite quote?

Bill: My favorite quote. There are so many, however the one that carries the most important lesson for me comes from a western character I am working on named Hannibal Tucker. The Quote: “The most trouble I ever got into was because of a woman,”—Hannibal Tucker, from an upcoming western novel that is as of yet untitled.

Thanks so much, Bill, for taking time for this interview. Good luck with your books.

To read more about Bill Craig’s book, visit his Amazon Author Page.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Line Crossed--and No Way Back?

"I think the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business and what (we) see on TV and how our youngsters are being raised, that this has not become the nice United States of America that most of us grew up in. And I think it's time that we do the soul-searching," ~Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, Saturday, January 8, 2011, following the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford; the killing of U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63; 9 year old, Christina Greene; Dorwin Stoddard, 76, pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ; Dorthy Murray, 76; Phyllis Scheck, 79; Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords' director of community outreach; and twelve others wounded by gunshot from the Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol of Jared Lee Loughner.

On Sunday, today, the Sheriff also said, "When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government--the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous” He also added in response to a question, “And I think that people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol."

I agree with him and I have been saying that for a long time now that the hate, bigotry, and inciteful political comments being made in recent time, including Palin's cross-hairs target, are dangerous. Actions like this massacre are likely the result of someone grabbing on to the too- common vitriolic rhetoric in our country, much of it by people in positions that used to generate respect, such as those in politics, those running for political office, such as Palin, or media personalities who most often distort truth. All it takes is for someone who may be angry or a little unstable to find a reason to commit murder.

Palin took her map down from her site, I understand. Maybe feeling a little guilty? And what about Giffords' opponent using this line: Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly and Palin backing him, "Getting on Target," and phrases like that. That is dangerous stuff, and intelligent people in the limelight of the political or media arena should know that.