authors, books, interviews, murder-mystery, mystery, Uncategorized

In the Words of An Author: An Interview with William Turner

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

I was influenced by, none other than, Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

My favorite character is Sir Robert Winchell. He’s college educated, and he’s a diligent, detail-oriented individual. Nothing comes easily for him.

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why?

Two scenes come to mind. The first is when Sir Robert woke in a coffin. He had been transported to an all-white mortuary. Hearing a noise coming from the rear of the mortuary, this red-haired youth goes to investigate. He’s gripped in unimaginable horror when he sees an African-American coming out of a coffin.

The second is when Sir Robert decides to take a late-night swim. While he’s swimming, he notices it is getting darker and darker. One can see the sky above. Sir Robert was unaware the indoor pool has a protective cover. It closed—trapping Sir Robert.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?
The most rewarding aspect of being an author is seeing your work in print. Then, there are the reviews. It is gratifying and humbling when your work is well-received.

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

I strongly suggest authors to have their work edited. They must be prepared for criticism. To this end, they cannot be thin-skinned. They are urged to use the criticism to perfect their craft. For example, if they are told their work doesn’t make sense, ask why it doesn’t make sense. Pay attention to details. By this, I mean they must be knowledgeable of the setting. Seek the assistance of a proofreader. Above all, they must possess an above average command of the English language.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I am a profoundly lazy writer. I don’t undertake writing until the story has completely unfolded in my mind which tends to preclude writer’s block. I don’t undertake writing until I have finished my chores; otherwise, I would be distracted

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

No. I had aspired to be a priest. Feeling I had not been exposed sufficiently to life
to walk in the monastery and close the door, I found myself, much later, having been sullied beyond any aspiration to the priesthood.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to have a conversation with Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe, and Hermann Hesse.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

Sir Robert was more exhausted than he’d realized, for after having taken a quick shower he slid beneath the warm covers and dozed off.
William had been right, for it started to rain. The wind-swept rain beat against the window, sounding like tiny fists.
There was the lightning, too, jagged and persistent, streaking violently across the night sky. But most numbing was the thunder, which sounded like distant cannons being fired on a fully engaged battlefield.
This was one of California’s worst winter storms—the Pineapple Express, so named by the weather reporters. Winchell loved it, for he slept soundest during such weather. But on this particular night, he couldn’t, for of all things he’d awakened with dry mouth.
Angrily, he sat up and cursed beneath his breath—frustrated in the awareness that a storm such as the one now raging was a once-in-a-lifetime rainstorm, especially in California where it seldom rains.
He was missing out on a storm that had every ingredient conducive for sleep: rain, thunder, and lightning, especially a lightning so fierce, with winds so strong, that they’d combined to down trees and power lines.
So in a house lit only by the lightning, he stumbled downstairs to the kitchen where he poured himself a glass of water. Anxious to get back to bed, he moistened his lips and raised the glass. But just as he’d opened his mouth to take a hearty sip, a shot rang out which coincided with a loud clap of thunder and a streak of lightning.
The glass shattered and the shards of glass fell to the floor, and so did Winchell. It was later, much later, however, when he’d come to, and when he did he was most apprehensive, as he couldn’t see, nor could he move; his hands seemed pinned to his side. It was dark, so terribly dark. He called out, but found that the sound of his voice was most deafening.
He couldn’t afford to panic, reasoning he had to keep focused, especially since he knew he was inside of something, but what he didn’t know.
His call for help, albeit faint, had been heard. For Wayne Peterson, a sixteen-year-old who was working part-time, thought he’d heard something, but what—he wasn’t quite sure.
He looked around, and he even walked over to the door that led to the room in the back, thinking this might be from where the sound had come. “No—it can’t be,” he kept saying to himself. “No way. Impossible.” As far as he could tell, and he was sure of this—he was alone—an assurance that hardly steadied his hands that were now trembling. He’d begun to perspire, and his eyes darted back and forth.
“Naw,” he said again and again while shaking his head. “Can’t be. Just can’t be. Not from back there. Get a hold of yourself, dude.”
Returning to the table to finish his homework, he heard it again, so again he walked over to the door and stood listening, with his ear pressed hard against the door. This time, however, he was determined to go inside, even though his better judgment dictated otherwise.
Ever so slowly, he turned the knob with one hand, while holding the lit candle with the other, for this was all the light available, since the storm had downed the power lines. There in the dark, with so little light from the candle, he stood trembling. Suddenly, there was a flash of lightning and a loud crashing sound. The boy’s eyes darted furtively about the room, trying frantically and most desperately to see, and Winchell was more exhausted than he’d realized, for after having taken a quick shower he slid beneath the warm covers and dozed off.
William had been right, for it started to rain. The wind-swept rain beat against the window, sounding like tiny fists.
There was the lightning, too, jagged and persistent, streaking violently across the night sky. But most numbing was the thunder, which sounded like distant cannons being fired on a fully engaged battlefield.
This was one of California’s worst winter storms—the Pineapple Express, so named by the weather reporters. Winchell loved it, for he slept soundest during such weather. But on this particular night, he couldn’t, for of all things he’d awakened with dry mouth.
Angrily, he sat up and cursed beneath his breath—frustrated in the awareness that a storm such as the one now raging was a once-in-a-lifetime rainstorm, especially in California where it seldom rains.
He was missing out on a storm that had every ingredient conducive for sleep: rain, thunder, and lightning, especially a lightning so fierce, with winds so strong, that they’d combined to down trees and power lines.
So in a house lit only by the lightning, he stumbled downstairs to the kitchen where he poured himself a glass of water. Anxious to get back to bed, he moistened his lips and raised the glass. But just as he’d opened his mouth to take a hearty sip, a shot rang out which coincided with a loud clap of thunder and a streak of lightning.
The glass shattered and the shards of glass fell to the floor, and so did Winchell. It was later, much later, however, when he’d come to, and when he did he was most apprehensive, as he couldn’t see, nor could he move; his hands seemed pinned to his side. It was dark, so terribly dark. He called out, but found that the sound of his voice was most deafening.
He couldn’t afford to panic, reasoning he had to keep focused, especially since he knew he was inside of something, but what he didn’t know.
His call for help, albeit faint, had been heard. For Wayne Peterson, a sixteen-year-old who was working part-time, thought he’d heard something, but what—he wasn’t quite sure.
He looked around, and he even walked over to the door that led to the room in the back, thinking this might be from where the sound had come. “No—it can’t be,” he kept saying to himself. “No way. Impossible.” As far as he could tell, and he was sure of this—he was alone—an assurance that hardly steadied his hands that were now trembling. He’d begun to perspire, and his eyes darted back and forth.
“Naw,” he said again and again while shaking his head. “Can’t be. Just can’t be. Not from back there. Get a hold of yourself, dude.”
Returning to the table to finish his homework, he heard it again, so again he walked over to the door and stood listening, with his ear pressed hard against the door. This time, however, he was determined to go inside, even though his better judgment dictated otherwise.
Ever so slowly, he turned the knob with one hand, while holding the lit candle with the other, for this was all the light available, since the storm had downed the power lines. There in the dark, with so little light from the candle, he stood trembling. Suddenly, there was a flash of lightning and a loud crashing sound. The boy’s eyes darted furtively about the room, trying frantically and most desperately to see, and see they did. It was a most frightening sight, for what he saw belied belief. He stood frozen. He stood screaming.
In a room lit only by flashes of lightning and by the faint flickering light of the candle, the boy stood horrified, for he saw a man clumsily rising from an overturned coffin. He screamed again and again; he swayed, and then he collapsed into a heap. He’d fainted.

BookCoverPhoto

Interested? Head on over to Amazon and pick up your copy of “A Murder In Our Midst” today!

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Our-Midst-William-Turner/dp/1592994628/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464726108&sr=8-1&keywords=william+turner+a+murder+in+our+midst

Not quite convinced this is the book for you? Here’s a little more information…

WILLIAM TURNER’S NEW NOVEL:
“A MURDER IN OUR MIDST”
BLENDS PERIOD DRAMA WITH RACE-RELATED THEMES
“Walter Mosley Meets Agatha Christie With Classic Twists”

LOS ANGELES, CA– The historical mystery, “A Murder in Our Midst,” is a 1950’s era novel by Billy Turner that blends period flavor with the race-related themes of Walter Mosley as well as the classic twists and turns of an Agatha Christie novel.

The Story:
A handwritten letter arrives on the desk of decorated Scotland Yard detective Sir Robert Winchell.  It’s from renowned oil magnate Raymond Beevant, claiming that somebody is trying to kill him.  As a confidant of the Queen, knighted for his service, Winchell has grown accustomed to powerful people seeking his council.

Except this is different.

Winchell always knew that to have a friend was to be one.  But back when he entered Harvard as man of color in the 1950’s, he wasn’t sure how many friends he’d make – if any.  It was Raymond Beevant who proved him wrong in more ways than he could imagine.  Rushing to Beevant’s estate, Winchell discovers that Raymond has suddenly passed away.  His demise is about to test how far Winchell will go for his dearest friend.

Though the doctors rule Beevant’s death a suicide, Winchell begins to investigate and soon learns that even one’s closest companions keep secrets.  As Raymond’s share of the vast Beevant empire is hotly contested, Winchell discovers that Raymond’s own father unwitting set the stage for his son’s murder and that somebody has been using the family’s influence in the Middle East to acquire and leak sensitive U.S. defense documents.

With the military leaning on him hard, the police doubting his skill despite his credentials, and more suspicious killings at every turn, Winchell uncovers an illegitimate child as well as duplicitous land leases that will unravel his friend’s family yet tie up the mystery of Beevant’s death.  Winchell must decide what Raymond’s dying wish would have been – to solve his murder or save his name.  For the sake of his friend, Winchell must try to do both.

Tense race relations, a clash of classes, and international intrigue collide in this taut mystery, which will keep readers guessing.
“My background in government and my experience as an African-American raised during this turbulent time give me unique insight into this subject.  I’ve always had a passion for mysteries and now that I’ve retired from my position as a supervisor for the State of California, I’ve devoted myself to writing,” says author Billy Turner.

“A Murder in Our Midst” is the first in a proposed series following Sir Robert Winchell and the cases that will challenge his intellect along with his nerve.  Turner is currently at work on his first novel’s sequel:  Death Comes for the President.

William Turner bio:

William Turner spent his formative years in New England. He was educated in the private, parochial school system, and is presently retired from State service (State of California), as a supervisor. He has one son (Ontonio), and three grandchildren. His grandson is serving in the United States Air Force. His daughter-in-law, Bridgette, is a practicing pediatrician. William had aspired–so long ago–to be a priest, but felt at the time he had not been exposed enough to life to walk away and close the monastery door. His subsequent exposure to life sullied him beyond any aspiration to the priesthood. William now lives in Lancaster, California, spending much of his time doing penance, reflecting on his countless errors in judgment. William’s penchant for writing mysteries stems from his exposure to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and those of Agatha Christie. His mentor was Sister Agnes Bernard–his high school English teacher.
For more information and interviews, Media Contact: Jerome Cleary
310 920-2424, JeromeCleary@aol.com

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