Today we speak to Robert Thornhill.
Q) Tell us something about yourself.
I’m a seventy year old retired realtor that decided to start writing at the ripe old age of 66. My wife, Peg, & I are avid readers and we each consume a novel a week. A friend of ours turned us on to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. We got the first book and immediately fell in love. We acquired all 14 books in the series that were available at that time, and laughed until our sides hurt. After finishing book #14, I thought to myself, “Bob, you are just goofy enough to do this.” So I sat down at the computer, pretended I was Janet Evanovich, and began writing the next Stephanie Plum novel using her characters and my plot. I wrote three chapters and printed them for my wife to read. I hid in the office while she read, dreading the verdict. Soon, I heard her cackling in her easy chair. Now, you have to understand my wife. Even though she has a great sense of humor, she’s not a laugh-out-loud kind of person. She came into the office and with a stern look said, “You’ve got to stop this right now! Forget Stephanie Plum. Janet doesn’t need any help. You need to develop your own characters and plot and write your own novel. I know you can do it.”
You can read those first Stephanie Plum chapters here : http://booksbybob.com/stephanie-plum-free-download_382.html
And so began my journey, writing, publishing and marketing my first novel, Lady Justice Takes a C.R.A.P. City Retiree Action Patrol. In the four years since then, I have written 14 novels in the Lady Justice mystery/comedy series, 7 chapter books for children in the Rainbow Road series, a cookbook and a mini-autobiography.
Q) Tell us about your latest book. Why do you think the readers will like it?
I would rather talk about the Lady Justice series as a whole. The first three novels in the Lady Justice series were very light mysteries interspersed with a lot of laughs.
A review from one of my readers tells the story:
Cathy Doman rated it five stars
“What a great book to start the series! First of all, the title will definitely grab your attention. If you like mysteries, and you like comedy, you will love this book! (Think, Stephanie Plum meets Grumpy Old Men.) It’s the story of Walt, a retired realtor, who witnesses a mugging and decides he needs to help out Lady Justice, and do something meaningful with his life. So he becomes a cop. In this book, you will go along with Walt on his exciting, sometimes dangerous, and always hilarious ride to saving the day. Who says retirement has to be boring? If I didn’t have anything else to do, I would have read this whole book in one sitting. There is never a dull moment, you will find yourself laughing out loud at times, and gripping your seat in suspense at others. I highly recommend this book!”
Once Lady Justice was established and the reader reviews started pouring in, I thought it might be time to take on some more controversial topics, but present them in the same light-hearted vein as the first three. In Lady Justice and the Avenging Angels, Walt becomes involved with religious fanatics. In Lady Justice and the Sting, Walt uncovers the collusion between giant pharmaceutical companies and corrupt politicians. In Lady Justice and Dr. Death, Walt examines the explosive topic of euthanasia. In Lady Justice and the Vigilante, vigilantism is explored. This novel came out about two months before the Trayvon Martin tragedy in Florida. That incident could have come right out of the book. Lady Justice and the Watchers came out about the same time as Hunger Games. While Hunger Games looks at a dystopian society of the future, Walt discovers that ‘Big Brother’ may be in our lives today more than we know. Lady Justice and the Candidate takes a look at our political process and is very timely considering the current state of our government. At first, I was worried that explosive topics like religion and politics might turn off some people, but again, reader reviews were positive:
“With Lady Justice and the Sting, Robert Thornhill has put an exciting and hilarious spin on one of the most important and concerning issues today: our imploding ‘healthcare’ system. As the Founder of the New Medicine Foundation, I stay quite busy delivering scientifically backed healthcare solutions to clients around the world, and await the great transformation of our failing drug and surgery based systems. Rarely having time to read for ‘fun’, it was to my great surprise that Bob delivered to me a manuscript of ‘The Sting’ just a few days ago. Within just a few sittings I thoroughly digested and enjoyed his work while smiling ear to ear, laughing, and with excited anticipation as he efficiently and amusingly described the foundational and malicious problems behind our failing system. With ‘The Sting’ we will have something wonderfully fun and easy to provide for people to read, not only for enjoyment, but to make them aware of how misled the American public has been over the last many decades, as we are literally drugged and fed fake food to our early demise. Nearly more importantly given the current global crisis, the financial criminality and unsustainability behind the system is not only bringing on its own demise, but the demise of our entire country and possibly the current global economic system as we wallow in debt, sickness, mental and physical ailments, and the poor relationships, geopolitical problems, and life experiences that arise from these underlying issues. This may very well be the ‘Rich Dad / Poor Dad’ for the healthcare interested masses who are sick and tired of being SICK AND TIRED! Phenomenal work Bob, you have found a calling and have much more to do!” Be Well, Dr Edward W Pearson, MD, ABIHM
Q) How did you come up with the title of the book?
I knew that as a new author with only one book, I would have to do something special to draw attention. My wife and I struggled with the title for a long time before we came up with Lady Justice Takes a C.R.A.P., City Retiree Action Patrol. The title certainly does attract attention. Many people laugh just reading the title. After that, each title was simply Lady Justice and ‘whatever the story was about’ i.e. Lady Justice and the Assassin.
Q) What kind of research did you do for your book?
Each book required a great deal of research; medical issues for Lady Justice and the Sting, political issues for Lady Justice and the Candidate, etc. My wife and I actually took an Alaskan Cruise to get everything I needed to write Lady Justice and the Cruise Ship Murders.
Q) Which of the Characters in your book are your favourites and why?
I love them all. All of the characters in the first novel appear in all fourteen volumes to some degree, and of course, new characters have been added along the way.
Q) How did you formulate this character? Is it based on someone you know?
Walt, the main character in every novel is based on someone I know very well — me! My high school English teacher told us to write about what we know the best. Walt is my alter ego. Maggie his sweetie who becomes his wife in Lady Justice Gets Lei’d, is my own sweetie, Peg. All of the other characters are based on real people that I have known over the years. As I write, I imagine myself as Walt and I have never written anything for Walt to do that I would not or could not do.
Q) Every Author has a distinct writing style. How would you describe your style and how do you think you came to form it?
I write in the first person. Every novel in the Lady Justice series is seen through Walt’s eyes. As I write, I see and experience exactly what Walt is experiencing.
Q) How long have you been working on this book and what inspired you to write it?
Again, once I start writing, I can’t stop until it’s finished. My wife calls it diarrhea of the brain. Another interesting note; although I have a master’s degree, I have never taken a creative writing class and I never learned to type. I have banged out 25 books with the middle finger of my right hand and the thumb of my left hand.
Q) When did you start writing and when did you realize you want to become an Author?
I started writing at the age of 66. Prior to that, I had never written anything for publication and had no aspirations of becoming an author, but after the first book, when I saw how much people loved the story and the characters, I knew I had found a new career.
Q) Who are some of the Authors you like and how do you think their work inspired you?
Obviously, I like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, as well as Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series and Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole series. I love good mysteries and I love to laugh. There aren’t many authors that combine the two in the same book. I do!
Q) What do you think is the most difficult part about writing and publishing a novel?
For me, the writing and publishing are the easy part. Once I have the story in my head, I just keep writing and it just keeps coming out. Once started, I will finish a book in a month. The publishing business has changed dramatically in just the four years that I have been writing. No longer are authors at the mercy of big publishing companies that only cater to the established writers and celebrities.
I use Createspace exclusively now and publishing a quality novel is a breeze. The most difficult part of the whole process is marketing. No matter who the publisher is, the success of the book is entirely in the hands of the author. I spend WAAAY more time marketing a new release than it took to write it. I have literally spent hundreds of hours at the computer figuring creative ways to market.
I have compiled all of those hours in a marketing program that, hopefully, will give the new author a running start.
Q) What is some advice you will like to give to people trying to write and get their stories published?
If you write because you are expecting huge financial returns, you will be sorely disappointed. Write because it gives you joy. Write because you have something to share with the world. You may sell thousands of copies or just a few, but if what you’ve written has touched someone’s life, it is worth it.
Q) Tell us something about what you are working on or about some of your future projects.
I am currently working on Lady Justice and the Vet, volume #15 in the series. It will be dedicated to the thousands of brave men and women in our armed forces. It should be out by the end of October.
Many of my fans have written that the Lady Justice series should be a TV series or movie. I am working with Stacy Brecht of Carder-Brecht communications in Hollywood to hopefully make that come to pass.
Q) From amongst all the novels ever published if you had to write any one, which one would it be and why?
I’m not quite sure about this one. If I had to pick a favourite novel, I couldn’t do it. The only ones that I would want to write are the ones I have already written.
Q) If you had to convince someone to read your book in 5 lines what would they be?
If you love a good mystery —
If you love to laugh —
You WILL love the Lady Justice mystery/comedy series!
Buy The Book From :
Website : http://booksbybob.com
Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/booksbybob