I was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a Navy man posted for duty in the nation’s capital. From there, my life likely mirrored that of a lot of my readers. We moved around. I got some education, played some sports, and got more education. I was married forty years, it ended in divorce. Along the way, we raised two children. An exercise, as you likely know, that was a great blessing, the source of much joy, and also an experience that helped me find the pleasure of Irish whiskey.
Over the years I mostly worked for myself, changing industries now and again when the boredom of the prior one grew too great. My longest running job was as a business valuation analyst, which means I told privately-owned companies their market value. That led to my co-authoring my first book, a nonfiction work published in three languages. But let’s talk about my current and final career, writing mystery novels.
As a writer I conjure up occurrences designed to quickly bring the story to a roiling boil. Then I decide how I will sustain that tension, inserting interesting respites for the characters and the readers. Along the way I invent people. Victims and villains and heroes are needed, as well as a supporting cast. I want these people to be fun and interesting so you will care what happens to them, and welcome them within your circle of friends. Other characters are designed so you will loath them and want to see them brought down. The primary characters need habits and tics and talents, the qualities that make you love them or hate them. Wish to see them humiliated or hunted down, be successful or seduced, or both. And through it all runs the truism that justice isn’t always best found in a courtroom.
Mysteries include whodunits, howdunits, and stories that focus not on who or how, but whether or not the villain is caught. One of the major challenges of building a mystery is deciding where the clues should be salted within the story. Many mystery readers try to figure out the solution before it is revealed by the hero. Real clues can be left in plain sight to appear innocuous, or obfuscated to encourage being overlooked. Clues can be as large as a log or as tiny as the bump thereon. There are also the distractions of false clues, called red herrings, which point at someone other than the real villain.
You have gotten through your own fearful events, challenges, and tragedies because you have the same qualities as fictional heroes. You have likely done so using less dramatic measures, but you persevere similarly to the protagonists in the best of fiction. In the end, your life is what allows you to relate to the leading and supporting characters of fiction.The last several years I have been writing well enough to allow me to say: My stories are good. Take a journey with me. Laugh. Hold your breath. Cheer. Boo. The characters are rich, the plots are grabbers. I promise most of you that you will be very glad you came along. I’d promise all of you but nothing is liked by everyone. Some people don’t like movies, or chocolate, or apple pie. But I’ll bet you like some of that stuff and I’ll bet you’ll like my mysteries. — Yours Very Truly, David Bishop firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/davidbishopbooks Twitter.com/davidbishop7
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