Warren Bull has won a number of awards including Best Short Story of 2006 from the Missouri Writers’ Guild, Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave short story contest, The Mysterious Photo Contest in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine , and Best short story in Strange Mysteries Anthology. He was a finalist for the Young Adult Discovery Award in 2010 and a Derringer Award in 2012. He has more than forty short stories published, novels, ABRAHAM LINCOLN FOR THE DEFENSE, HEARTLAND, MURDER IN THE MOONLIGHT available at http://www.warrenbull.com/kindle_editions.html and a short story collection, MURDER MANHATTAN STYLE available at http://www.warrenbull.com/ and http://store.untreedreads.com/ HEARTLAND is available in paperback from Avignon Press. He blogs at http://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/ He is lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and an active member of Mystery Writers of America.
What inspires you to write?
I first wrote about the family in “Bleeding Kansas” for a short story contest sponsored by the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave. I was lucky enough to win the contest. Afterward I was surprised when members of the family kept popping up in my imagination to tell me more of their stories. I was able to have stories about different members of the family published in a variety of places. Eventually, I had enough material to knit it together into a novel.
Tell us about your writing process
Writing Style: I am both a “pantser” and a plotter. I am dragged into a story by some aspect popping into consciousness. If I’m lucky, the piece of the story that appears will be the ending. It’s easiest to write backwards, knowing how the story will end up. Sometimes it is the opening or a remark by one of the characters and I have to excavate the rest of the plot. When I write novels I do more outlining and a timeline is absolutely essential. I list characters (because I forget names) and events as I go along. I also record events I want to include on paper so I can find them as I type.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Of course. My characters appear in my mind and demand that I tell their stories. Luckily, they can’t type. They are especially loud when I try to make one of them do something he or she does not want to do.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was first published by a traditional publisher. When my novel Abraham Lincoln For the Defense went out of print, I retained the rights and decided to publish it electronically. By that time I had written a second mystery involving Lincoln, Death in the Moonlight, which had been read by critique groups and professionally edited. I also had published a number of stories about a family during “Bleeding Kansas” just before the Civil War. I was lucky enough to win an award for one of them. I had woven the stories into a novel, Heartland, which was one of five finalists for the Young Adult Discovery Contest or 2010. I decided to epublish all three novels. A small publisher contacted me and offered to put out a paperback edition of Heartland available at www.AvignonPress.com Heartland was chosen as one of the books reviewed by Killer Nashville in 2012.
A small publishers also published some of my short stories in Murder Manhattan Style which is available as an ebook on Untreed Reads and as a paper back at : http://www.WarrenBull.com
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Publishing is changing so quickly and dramatically that it’s hard to know what will happen next. Technology is changing rapidly. I believe publishing will continue to become more open available and authors will come from all societal groups. On the other hand, the traditional gatekeepers no longer have the influence they once did resulting in a tsunami of new works, which have not been vetted. Right now when a reader wants to give a new author a try, he or she has little idea if an unread book has been edited, sweated over and is a writer’s very best work or if it has been rushed into print by an eager but impatient author. I think someone or some thing will eventually replace traditional gatekeepers.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Young Adult Adventure/Mystery
What formats are your books in?