Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Billy Craig Interview!

Billy Craig Interview


Hi and welcome to another edition of Ralph’s Rants does Interviews. This week we welcome Billy Craig, author of oh, just about a million things, including The Jack Riley Adventures: Valley of Death, Mayan Gold, Dead Run, Pirate's Blood, The Child Stealers, and The Mummy's Tomb; as well as, The Fantastic Adventures of Hardluck Hannigan among others.

Billy, welcome, how are you today?

Well. I’m just getting over a bad bout of stomach flu so I could be feeling better!
Sorry to hear that Billy, hope you feel better soon.



Let’s jump in feet first shall we? What made you decide to write? Was it something you saw that you thought was fantastic, something you looked at and thought ‘Hey, I can do better than that!’ or did you just have a story to tell?

Well, I taught myself to read by age four and by age six I was already reading stories that I thought I could do a better job of writing.



What was your first written story and how old were you when you wrote it?

My first story was a mystery titled Thing in the swamp that was part of a first grade anthology called Tales to sleep on.



What genre drew you to writing and why?

I have always been a huge fan of “high-adventure” or pulp fiction and mysteries.  I grew up reading Doc Savage and the Shadow as well as The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.  I was reading Raymond Chandler by the time I was twelve along with the Tarzaan books, so I guess it is no surprise really that those two genres is where most of my body of work fits.



Where did you grow up Billy? What city/state and did that play a hand in getting you into the writing game? I grew up and still live in New Castle, Indiana, best known for turning out basketball greats Kent Benson and Steve Alford.  It is the sort of town where very little if anything out of the ordinary happens.  Writing became my way of escaping from the boredom much like reading does.



Do you write year round or is it season specific?

I write year round, and I write every day, even though some days such as the past couple where I have been sick it may not be more than a sentence or two.



Who is your favorite character to write and was he one you created yourself or was it an existing pulp hero?  Sam Decker is probably my favorite character to write and he would fit into the pulp detective genre.  He’s a wise-cracking Former DEA agent turned Private Investigator in the Florida Keys.



Was there ever a character you killed in a story that you felt afterwards you’d like to write again?

There was one, Harlan Esterhaus the main villain from my first book Valley of Death.  Jack Riley faced off against him again in The Child Stealers.  The other one who be Dr. Chi Pei, a Fu Manchu type that appeared in the Jack Riley book Pirates’ Blood, and then The Mummy’s Tomb.  He has also appeared as a villain for my 1940’s pulp Hero Hardluck Hannigan as a much younger villain of course.


What environment makes you the most creative? Nights? Rainy afternoons?

I usually write at night after I have put my 7-yr old son Jack to bed.  But rainy nights when I can have the patio door open and listen to the rain beating down on the tin roof over the patio give me the most inspiration.



How fast do you write normally? How many words per day?

Well my first book, Valley of Death I wrote in a month.  But I was single and lived alone then.  I just completed my latest mystery novel for Absolutely Amazing E-Books, Marlow: Indigo Tide in about 2 months.  I started it right before Dad went into the nursing home and finished it just this past week after dad had gotten home.  I usually do about a thousand words per day.  On a good day that is.  Others not so much.


What is your favorite novel or story that you have written so far, the one that when you finished you thought “This is MY book, the one that I’ll be always associated to as the writer of.”  That would be Marlow: Indigo Tide




What do you read? Who are your favorite authors?

Among my favorites, Robert B. Parker, Kenneth Robeson(both Lester Dent and Will Murray), Donald Hamilton, Jerry Ahern, Don Pendleton, Louis, L’Amour, Max Brand and Zane Gray to name a few.




In line with the previous question, as an author who inspired you the most?  That would be a toss up between Jerry Ahern and Don Pendleton, both men were friends and mentors.



What can we expect to see as upcoming releases from Billy Craig this year? Well my second Joe Collins Mystery Paradise Lost should be released the second week of April, then Marlow: Indigo Tide, then Decker P.I. Best Served Cold, Sabre and the Temple of the Sun, The third Joe Collins Mystery, Freetrader Orion: Meteor Raiders, and hopefully the second Jericho Walls, Texas Ranger western.



Any projects you want to push here, feel free, whether past or upcoming, let the readers know what you think they should have read from you

Well that depends on what the readers are looking for Ralph.  For modern pulp adventure, any of the Jack Riley Books, for traditional pulp the Fantastic adventures of Hardluck Hannigan which I am now bringing out some omnibus editions of.  For mystery lovers The Joe Collins Mysteries and The Decker P.I. mysteries and of course Marlow: Indigo Tide.



Billy, thanks for playing along it’s deeply appreciated. I’m sure many of my readers will enjoy reading what you had to say, thanks again and have a great day.




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