A thirty-five year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, Paul Bishop’s career has included a three year tour with his department’s Anti-Terrorist Division and over twenty-five years’ experience in the investigation of sex crimes. His Special Assaults Units regularly produced the highest number of detective initiated arrests and highest crime clearance rates in the city. Twice honored as Detective of the Year, Paul has also received the Quality and Productivity Commission Award from the City of Los Angeles.
As a nationally recognized interrogator, Paul starred as the lead interrogator and driving force behind the ABC TV reality show Take The Money And Run from producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Based on his expertise in deception detection, he currently conducts interrogation seminars for law enforcement, military, and human resource organizations.
I was wondering, where you get your story ideas?
My snarky answer is Wal-Mart, but the reality is I get my ideas mostly putting a different slant on real life situations. Something may come up in the news or real life (especially when I was still on the job with LAPD) and my writer’s brain kicks in and starts playing the What If game.
What is the usual process for your fiction writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I used to be a plotter, working from very detailed outlines. Now, with a whole slew of books under my belt, I’m happy to be more of a pantser – trusting the story will unfold for me as I go along.
Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
An idea has to have a fairly long gestation period. My current work-in-progress, Lie Catchers, has been kicking around in my head for two years. I wrote a whole other book, Swamp Walloper, with Lie Catchers running around in the background of my brain. When I started putting words down for Lie Catchers a lot of it was already fully formed and ready to go. The characters especially had already become good friends. I’d been running a Pinterest board for Lie Catchers for the past year, putting in photos I felt applied to the characters of LAPD detectives Ray Pagan and Calamity Jane Randall.
What is your daily writing like?
Usually it’s a slog. I try to get 500 words down after the gym and before breakfast. Then another 1000 words before grabbing a light lunch and running errands. I then usually answer email, do some editing work on the next book in the Fight Card series, and work promotion. Then I go for a run, shower, eat dinner, watch an hour of TV then head back to the computer for hopefully another 500 to 1000 words.
After 35 years of being a professional writer and a full-time LAPD detective (30 years as a sex crimes detective and 15 years running a sex crimes unit and being on-call every other week), I retired from LAPD in 2012. During that time, I wrote twelve novels, a dozen or so hours of produced network episodic television, a feature film, an uncountable projects that went nowhere.
Now, I write full time while keeping my hand in the world of law enforcement by teaching week long courses in interrogation, deception detection, and sex crime investigation.
Can you tell us about your experience working with your current publisher? (Any other publishers?) (Or self-publishing experiences?)
My first twelve books were published by traditional legacy publishers in both hardback and paperback. After struggling for years to break out of the mid-list, I moved away from novels and into television writing. Now, I’ve come back to novels and am loving the freedom of the e-book self-publishing revolution. Fight Card, the series I write for and edit, is now up to 30 titles … not one of which would have found a home at a legacy publisher. However, in the world of self-publishing the series is flourishing and constantly expanding its horizons.
Swamp Walloper is my latest Fight Card tale. It’s the sequel to Felony Fists and takes my LAPD boxer, Patrick Felony Flynn, from the streets of LA to the back alleys of New Orleans.
Currently, I’m putting the wrap on Lie Catchers, the first book in a new series for a new e-book publishing venture called Bookxy. Lie Catchers makes use of my extensive experience as an interrogator, following the cases of LAPD detectives Ray Pagan and Calamity Jane Randall.
I’m also editing a new series of pulp anthologies from Pro Se Press called Pulse Fiction. The first volume will be available in the next couple of weeks.
Can you tell us about some of your other writing and any appearances or signings that you have planned?
All of my books are currently back in print as e-books and can be found on my Amazon page. These include the five books in my LAPD Detective Fey Croaker series and several stand alone mysteries.
As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
I’m not sure I consider myself an author. I think author is a label reserved for somebody whose body of work has had a profound impact. I’m just a guy who loves putting words on paper and telling stories with them.
Becoming an author is something you can’t make happen. Be a writer. Write the best books you can. Write the best backs of cereal boxes you can. If you do those things, the author part will take care of itself.
Who is your favorite author, and can you recommend a book by that author?
Nevil Shute is an author who is somewhat forgotten, although he was a force to be reckoned with in his time. He is best remembered for his books A Town Like Alice and On The Beach, but Trustee From The Toolroom is a particular favorite of mine and Round The Bend had a profound effect on my life.
If you would like more information about Paul Bishop you can find his books on Amazon, and updates about his writing on Twitter, Facebook , Pinterest, blog, and his website.
You can also sign up on Paul’s Amazon page to get alerts when new titles are added.