Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Let's Head West Where The Cowboys Are At!

 Though I haven’t yet read The Samaritan’s Pistol, the reviews I’ve seen so far have been phenomenal. This book has been described as a contemporary western, complete with the mob-thriller action and a main character you can fall in love with. I won’t recommend it for kids, but from what I hear, adults will love it. Don’t just take my word for it though.

Even among his small town neighbors, Jim is a content man. Despite the emotional baggage from his time serving in Desert Storm, he successfully runs a ranch, owns several beautiful horses, and makes extra cash as a wilderness guide for wealthy tourists. He’s a modern day cowboy. 

That is, until he runs into an ongoing mob-hit while riding in the mountains. Now, his most beloved horse is bleeding to death, three mobsters are dead from his smoking gun, and a wounded criminal is begging for his help. Jim has to make a decision. He can either high-tail it out of there, or accept a tempting offer made by the criminal—a promise of millions in stolen mafia cash for any help he gives. 

Of course, only an idiot would turn down such an appealing offer when they’re marked for death anyway. Besides, Jim’s good nature cannot allow him to leave someone for dead, even a criminal. 

Soon, Jim finds himself on a trip to retrieve a truckload of stolen money near the Las Vegas strip, right under the Mafia’s nose. But even if they escape with the cash, will Jim’s conservative neighbors provide sanctuary for their local Samaritan, and how far will the mafia    

AMM: Welcome Eric.

EB: Thanks for having me today, Ann Marie.

AMM: It’s my pleasure. Tell me something about yourself that no one knows.

EB: Talk about starting with the good stuff! The number 10608 holds special significance for me. My wife, Janilee, and I are volunteer ski patrollers for our local area. Each year the National Ski Patrol gives a number to veteran patrollers. To be considered, a patroller needs advanced certifications in first aid, avalanche, ski and toboggan handling and experience working lots of accidents for the skiing public. The coolest part of receiving a national number is that you are nominated by your peers, fellow patrollers you’ve worked shoulder to shoulder with taking injured skiers and snowboarders off the mountain. It was a great honor after a decade of patrolling with folks who are my closest friends.

AMM: I’m impressed! Kudos, and well deserved I can tell. Is there a specific place where you write?  Do you stick to a routine?

EB: I bounce between a man cave in my barn and an office in the house. I heard someone quote Stephen King as saying he reads, writes or critiques every day. So depending on the temperature of the barn and the noise level of my teenagers, twenty-four hours seldom passes without my doing one of those three things in either place.

AMM:  LOL. What are you reading now?

EB: I’m on the final chapter of an old Dean Koontz book,’ The Door to December’. I plan to start Teri Harmon’s ‘Blood Moon’ next. Here’s something else few people know. I read very slowly. Authors who read two books a week, work on their own project and balance family inspire me. I try to finish one book a month, but struggle to get it done at that pace.

AMM:  Well I definitely fall into that category of writer who can read very quickly. And, so you know, you are going to love Blood Moon! Tell me, what are you favorite books? Who are your favorite authors?

EB: I love stories that balance character, premise and writing. One of my theories on writing is that the best stuff creates magic beyond the sum of the three parts. Few books get to that sublime place where all three interact in a way that immerses me mind, body and soul. But there are some. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn stands alone in literature as a cross genre classic. Cormac McCarthy sending John Grady Cole to Mexico and Back in All the Pretty Horses left nothing undone for me. Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. I recently read Andrew Smith’s The Marbury Lens and Passenger. Stephen King’s Under the Dome still haunts me. Robert Olmstead’s Coal Black Horse made me forever grateful I didn’t live during the Civil war.

AMM: You hang with some amazing writers! Is there a muse in your life? 

EB: I have four daughters. When it comes to writing, they’ve each inspired me. I’ve blogged about rambunctious toddlers and teenagers regularly. I heard a Kevin Costner interview where he mentioned humor as a natural thing that presents itself when the circumstances are right. It made me think about the give and take of family life, the richness and heartache, and how there is a never-ending stream of stories that present themselves. Even as a writer I struggle for the words to use for my wife, Janilee. Smart, athletic, happy, caring, hopeful and pretty all apply, but I can’t quite put it together. She’s the love of my life. Perhaps I’ll know I’ve arrived as an author when I can put my feelings for her into words.

AMM: Aw, that’s so sweet… Can you tell me about your experience getting published?

EB: This was really my experience as a writer. With my family’s support, I sat down to write five years ago. The itch became a full-blown allergy as I blasted out a rough draft for ‘The Samaritan’s Pistol’ in two months. The creativity, story details, characters all came to me while writing. In some ways it was spooky, like watching a movie in my head that flowed onto the screen as words. The first draft frankly sucked. At least the word for word writing did. Making good sentences from the right words that then become paragraphs chapters and ultimately a novel is a learned skill. At least that’s my assessment. I’ve always enjoyed the art of storytelling verbally, but putting it on paper takes practice. As time passed I rewrote my original story eight times. The original premise and story are intact but hopefully much better written. Rejections piled up here and there as I was working, but eventually I got a ‘yes’ from Jolly Fish Press.

AMM: Well I’m glad you held on, and now you’re at the point of living your dream. My final question for you is this. What’s behind The Samaritan's Pistol?

EB: I’ve always loved stories about tough resilient problem solving people, real men and women who persevere. Additionally I love cross genre stories that appeal to more than one fan base. Music is the perfect metaphor. The Samaritan’s Pistol is my attempt to create the Johnny Cash of novels. I grew up in the west and always felt it was the perfect setting for any story. All this percolated into what Jolly Fish Press is promoting as a Rocky Mountain thriller. My story has elements of western, crime, thriller, suspense, gangster, and with the title taken from my favorite parable there’s even some inspiration. 

ERIC BISHOP is known to his friends and family as an “author version of Clint Eastwood”. As the owner of a successful marketing firm, Bishop spends most of his time on his Utah ranch writing with the music of his adolescence bouncing off the walls. When he’s not writing, Bishop enjoys spending time with his wife and four lovely daughters at his home in Nibley, Utah. Unlike Jim, Bishop hasn’t had any run-ins with the Mafia. Yet.

Here's where you can find Eric: 

Twitter: @EricBishopWords
Barnes and Noble:

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