Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I joke with family and friends that I’m as local as anyone can be in Utah. My ancestors were pioneers who settled our local community on assignment from Brigham Young. I grew up on mischief and fun, learning to ski, train horses and work with cattle along the way. With it came a love for being outside. Writing seems the antithesis of this, but I love it too.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Since early childhood I’ve had a daily idea for a novel. Not all of them are good, but the ideas come. I always knew that at some point I’d write one. Horses are a passion for me, specifically trail riding, and packing into rugged areas. At the end of one trip, I wondered what might happen if I ran into some bad people in the woods. The idea wouldn’t leave me until it became a manuscript that I called The Samaritan’s Pistol.
How do you create your characters?
The characters come to me like friendly ghosts. Each character has aspects that are influenced by people I know. I’m constantly projecting them into my story ideas. How would a friend or colleague react in this situation? The characters then take on their own attributes and become very real. I’m a discovery writer. I start with an idea and the details, including character nuances, surface as I write.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
I love people—not all of them of course. There are some who don’t care for me, but overall I enjoy meeting folks. I wonder constantly what a person I know might do in a specific situation.
I also love to read. Even though I didn’t tackle a novel until a few years ago, I’ve been writing mentally since birth. The Samaritan’s Pistol bubbled out in the form of words after percolating for a long time.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to
write (music, drinks?)
In my opinion, God’s love for writers is proven with caffeine. Blood to the brain through exercise helps as well. I bounce between a wood stove heated man cave in the barn and a home office, depending on the noise level of my teenage daughters. Occasionally, I crank some old tunes for inspiration. Music is so powerful. It dredges up synapses from decades ago, memories of clothes and smells and feelings. The other day I was listening to a Van Halen song that reminded me of some flower covered Vans sneakers I wore in high school. I hadn’t thought of those shoes in years, but as the music played, I swear they were on my feet.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
My heart beats and they happen. I wish I had a better explanation. My dying thought will probably be the novel I’ll write in the next life or the hereafter.
What do you like to read?
I joke that I read everything except stories about superpowers. But that’s not totally true. I enjoy anything from any genre with a unique character, a premise that interests me, and is well written. As for the overdone superpower thing, in general I’d rather read about a real person, who without some crazy power nobody else in the universe ever had or will have, still finds a way to problem solve.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring authors in regards
Critique, read or write every day. Like an architect, who appreciates the designs of others when he enters a building, a writer has a unique opportunity to study words written by talented people. I’m constantly trying to learn how authors better than me put words together. Then if you can find your inner Winston Churchill and never give up, while walking the critique group tightrope between being vulnerable enough to take constructive criticism while having enough backbone to believe in your story, you’ll eventually get published.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I take every opportunity to thank my family, specifically my wife Janilee and our four daughters. They have supported my writing habit unconditionally. I also thank the writing community in Logan, Utah and the Cache Valley Chapter of the League of Utah Writers. Without their help and expertise my story would never have been published.
Links to check out the youtube trailer, website, author interview and, of course, a place to read reviews, and buy my novel!
My website: http://eric-bishop.com/
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/m4d765f
You Tube Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFG_Scdt4go
Author interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWcC7WzHipA