We have a guest today. So please be polite, listen carefully and try not to text while you're reading.
Meet Eric Bishop
Author of The Samaritan's Pistol (which just came out and which I highly recommend) and in general, a pretty good guy. He answered the questions, anyway. :)
<> If you could eat anything for breakfast, what would it be?
It depends on the morning. Usually I eat a bowl of Wheaties with some uncooked oats. If we have bananas that are still tart, I’ll slice some chunks for the top. They have to still be a bit green or it won’t happen. If uncooked oats are good enough for my horse, they might help me live longer than bacon for breakfast.
<> Do you prefer leather or cloth seats in cars? Why?
I’m a cloth guy. Leather is like sitting on an ice block during the winters in Northern Utah.
<> If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Who would you take with you?
My wife and kids and I would spend two weeks on a Grand Canyon float trip again. We did it in 2009, after I waited fifteen years to get a permit.
<> What is the most interesting job you've ever had to this point?
I went to work on a dairy at fourteen. Each night my best friend, Wayne, and I would milk fifty or so cows. We were in charge of cleaning the equipment, monitoring the milk tank, the animal medical needs, feeding calves and dozens of other necessaries. The responsibilities placed on us, made me realize what I was capable of. The milk parlor smells, the sound of the cows hooves on the cement, the weight of the Folgers can of grain in my hands as I gave each cow it’s ration to bait them through their headstall visit my dreams over thirty years later.
<> Tell us about a strange writing habit that you have.
I critique lots of other writers, especially published authors. When I see something I would have written differently there’s this thing I call a “hypocrisy alarm.” A sledgehammer of a voice that says, “Okay Eric, you sanctimonious, self-serious writer, if you’re going to nitpick someone else’s words, you first must admit you did the same thing on a specific place in your novel!” There’s nothing like it to help me find my own mistakes.
<> What is your favorite quote/saying about writing? What does it mean to you?
Mark Twain wrote, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter—it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” I could try and improve on this but would fail.
<> What scene of this novel proved to be the most difficult for you to write?
When the protagonist, Jim, shoots his horse to end the animal’s suffering.
<> What scene turned out exactly as you imagined it?
I love the scene when the elderly ranch hand, Brody, kills three gangsters in the barn. At the time I was working hard to show people a character through their actions. This scene shows readers exactly who Brody is.
<> What aspect of your life has most influenced your writing?
I’m a total people person. I can be wiped out, not willing to do anything. To recharge my exhausted energy stores I’m sure I’ll have to sleep around the clock. Then I meet someone or an old friend stops by—and I can visit for hours. Tasks sap my energy, but interacting with people is my never ending energy source. My favorite part of writing is spending time with the characters that are combinations of people I know.
<> Why should people read your book? What does it have to offer them? (This is the part where you brag it up!)
Critics have called The Samaritan’s Pistol genre defying, and bending. While writing, I wanted to author a western that crossed into crime, thriller, inspiration, adventure and romance. I love when a reader tells me they caught the spiritual undertone or the complexities of the characters. I also love it when someone says they didn’t think they’d like my story, but then couldn’t put it down. I’m a reader and a writer and yearn for books that move fearlessly in unexpected directions.
<> If you could write a spin-off novel about a side character, who would you choose?
I actually have one planned. My publisher has asked me to finish The Samaritan’s Pistol trilogy. Then I’ll write a prequel centered on Brody, the elderly ranch hand. Why he came west as a teenager and has been hiding in Wyoming his entire life.
<> Tell us why you love this story.
As my first novel, it’s reflective of my writing journey. The five years of writing and rewriting has been as fun as anything I’ve ever done, with the exception of the 2009 Grand Canyon float trip with my family!
So there you have it!
If you like thrillers, and maybe some western bad a**-ness thrown in, check out The Samaritan's Pistol by Eric Bishop.
And if you want to stalk Eric, which you should (every author longs for stalkers) here you go!