Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I grew up on a diet of Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, and my grandfather’s collection of Perry Mason mysteries. But my favorite mystery writer was–and still is–the great Raymond Chandler. Out of that reading came my desire to write stories. I began writing and submitting bad short stories in my late teens, and thankfully, no one ever bought any of them. I became a freelance writer, writing hundreds of articles for national magazines and newspapers, and ghosting a self-help book. But I kept writing fiction on the side, this time focused on novels.
Tell us about your books.
While my published books have different main characters in different settings, all have one thing in common: a classic whodunit where I provide the clues in a way for readers to try to figure out the killer. Hopefully along the way they’ll be caught up in the plot and characters. Of late, I’ve found myself attracted to writing protagonists who, for various reasons, are out of their element, their comfort zone. I like to see them squirm and get into hot water. My first two published books, Bonded for Murder and Missing Bonds, featured a feisty Denver bail bondswoman named Ruby Dark. My award-winning Murder on the Tracks is about a 1949 Denver cop who finds that redemption comes at a high price. My award-winning Rope Burn involves cattle rustling and murder in contemporary Wyoming ranch country. Yep, cattle rustling still exists.
How did you go about getting published?
My first two novels were published by the large traditional publisher St. Martin’s Press through the help of an agent. I sold the next two books myself to traditional publishers. I’ve republished my first two books through the self-publishing route.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
Oh, I’m not a morning person. I don’t start writing until the afternoons. I try to work at least five days a week, from my office. No coffee shops for me.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
These days I’m retired from freelance writing, so when I’m not writing fiction I play tennis, travel, and devote time to my love of photography
Any advice for authors about book covers?
I think getting a good book cover is far tougher than writing a good book. Develop some sense of design and balance in a cover, and KEEP IT SIMPLE. The graphic artist for one of my traditionally published books, fortunately, showed me his first crack at the cover. It was awful! Way way too cluttered with competing images. Finally, after multiple tries and my input, the design became simpler and far more powerful. On the other hand, I had a concept for what I thought was the perfect cover for my book but the publisher refused to follow it. After repeated back and forths, they published a cover I disliked.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
I wish I could offer some, but I’m as lost at it as many of us novelists. Probably the best advice is to keep writing and minimize your time marketing. Much of it doesn’t work, anyway.
What’s your favorite book?
any one of Raymond Chandler’s mysteries.
What are you reading now?
A book written by a writer acquaintaince, The Homeplace.
What’s your next book project?
A sequel to my Denver cop novel, Murder on the Tracks.
Bruce W. Most’s Social Media Links