I recently got the chance to interview Bill Crider, the incredible author who is so prolific that this entire post could be devoted to his books. Let’s get a quick list going: A Knife in the Back, Compound Murder, Too Late to Die, Dead Soldiers, and young adult titles like A Vampire Named Fred. It was an honor to get in touch. Here’s the interview:
1. Tell us about yourself.
I’m an old retired English teacher, who’s written a lot of books, many of them under my own name, many of them not. I’ve been collecting paperback originals for many years, and I have way too many of them, not to mention too many other books as well. My kids are going to have a wonderful time at the recycling center when I’m gone.
2. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Some kids like to do math problems, some like to play sports, some like to write. I was one of the writers. I didn’t get serious about publication until I was nearly 40, but I’ve made up for lost time.
3. Which of your novels is your favorite?
My favorite book is always the one I’ve just finished working on and sent off my agent. In this case that would the one called HALF IN LOVE WITH ARTFUL DEATH, part of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. My second favorite book is the one I’m going to write next or have already begun writing, which in this case would be one I’m calling BETWEEN THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, another Sheriff Rhodes epic. I suspect that will be the publication title, too.
4. What’s your process when you sit down to write? What time do you write? What do you have to drink? etc
When I sit down to write, I always revise the work from the previous day. It gives me a way back into the story, and it saves me from any number of egregious typos on the final draft. Not that there aren’t plenty of them in there, anyway. I always write in the evening. That’s because when I was teaching, the evening was the only time available. So I got into the habit, and I can’t seem to break it. I almost always have Dr. Pepper by my side in some form or other. I tried to quit drinking it when the parent company give the old scroogie to the Dublin plant, but I found that I couldn’t.
5. You’ve written over 35 novels. What’s your secret for staying so productive?
Actually I’ve written about twice that many. Those are just the ones under my own name. Some of the others are things I can’t reveal and will never reveal. That’ll give the collectors fits in the future, assuming there are any collectors, which I have serious doubts about. The way to stay productive is to sit down and write every day. Have a time and a place and do the work. That’s all there is to it. That sounds easy, right? I wish it were as easy as it sounds.
6. Where do you find all the awesome content for your blog? (I especially liked the prison-break article on the 16th.)
I started by blog the week before I retired from teaching back in 2002. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with it, but it eventually settled into whatever it is now. Lots of links, plus book reviews and movie reviews, and whatever else I put in there. I look at a lot of news sites, and people even send me stuff to use. The blog is my way of entertaining myself. I find I spend too much time on it, and I need to cut back, but so far I’ve kept it going.