Wednesday 27 July 2011

Paul Bishop interview: Croaker: Kill Me Again

Croaker: Kill Me Again by Paul Bishop

A thirty-five year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, Paul has twice been honored as Detective of the Year. As well as numerous novels, he has also written scripts for episodic television and feature films. As a nationally recognized interrogator, he appears regularly on the hit ABC reality series Take The Money And Run . . .

Can you sum up your book in no more than 25 words?

L.A.P.D. detective Fey Croaker and her crew get put through the ringer when a current murder victim appears to have also been murdered ten years earlier.

Who designed your cover?

Keith Birdsong designed the covers for all my e-books. I lucked into finding Keith through another writer friend. He is a professional illustrator working for many Legacy publishers, so it was a big break for me to get him to work on my covers – and I’m delighted with them.

How important is a book's central character?

A strong central character can make up for a lot of other flaws in a novel. For me, a central character has to have some redeeming feature, something to make me like the character and spend time in their company. If a central character is too whiney, too crass, too stupid, or simply not fleshed out, I toss the book aside.

What's the best piece of craft advice you've been given?

There is no such thing as writing, only rewriting. It’s an old saw, but no less true because of it.

What's the best piece of business advice you've been given?

It isn’t going to get done unless you do it yourself – trust no one.

Do you enjoy writing?

I enjoy having written. Writing is an immense pleasure on the rare days it flows straight onto the page. The rest of the time, writing is hard slog. Typing The End is cathartic. Sometimes, I do it all day long, over and over again.

What aspects of marketing your book do you enjoy?

I’m currently fascinated by the use of social media to reach new readers. Everybody knows Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and most writers are making use of blogs and websites, but there is a lot more out there (such as Ning and its ilk) to discover and use to your advantage. It’s fun, social, interesting, and staying on the cutting edge keeps you sharp.

What are your views on eBook pricing?

$.99 to $2.99 seems to be the appropriate price range. I refuse to buy an e-book listed above $9.99 – even at that price it’s still gouging the reader. Legacy/traditional publishers have still got their heads in the sand when it comes to e-books. The music industry was turned on its ear by MP3s, and e-books are doing the same thing in the publishing world.

What are the greatest opportunities facing writers these days?

When self-publishing was ignored – and often rightfully so – as simply vanity publishing it was the kiss of death. Today, however, the paradigm has completely changed. As authors like Joe Konrath, Amanda Hocking, John Locke, and Barry Eisler lead the charge into e-publishing, authors are realizing how much opportunity there is in the e-publishing world. Opportunities abound and are increasing daily. It’s a great time to be a writer.

How do you feel about the ease with which anyone can publish?

I think it’s fabulous. Those who grouse about the ‘tsunami of crap’ supposedly heading our way as more and more self-published authors find an e-platform are alarmists of the worst kind. The sky is not falling – the cream will rise to the top. All you have to do to separate the wheat from the chaff is look at an e-author’s cover and read the product description blurb. The quality of those two things will immediately tell you if a book is worth taking a chance on.

What are you currently reading?

I’m making my way through several novels by British thriller writer Stephen Leather. The last book I finished was Anne Perry’s Traitor at Lisssen Grove, which was riveting.

Do you have any other projects on the go?

Along with two other writers, I’ve created a new e-series called Fight Card. The stories will be boxing novels set in the 1950s, emulating the sports pulps that were as popular as the traditional mystery and hero pulps with which we continue to be fascinated. The first two novels in the series, The Cutman and Felony Fists, will be released in late August. A third book, The Knockout, will debut later in the year.

Keith Birdsong has done the covers for us and they are dynamite. We had such a blast writing the books because not only do we love the genre, but we have control over the whole publishing and promotion process. The books have a niche appeal no traditional publisher would have taken a chance on reaching. However, as the authors, with all the tools of blogs and twitter, we know how to reach our following.

After the Fight Card series premieres, I have another series, The Interrogators, due out in early 2012.

Croaker: Kill Me Again by Paul Bishop


  1. Always interested to hear of a real detective writing fiction. He most likely has a lot of ideas taken from true crime!
    crime fiction