Interview with William Turner

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Death Comes For the President Paperback – March 28, 2017WilliamTurner

by William Turner  (Author)

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As a confidant of the Queen, knighted for his service, Sir Robert Winchell had grown accustomed to powerful people seeking his counsel. So he was not surprised when the United States government asked him to investigate the death of  Tyler Jefferson, president of the United States. Sir Robert’s investigative and diplomatic skills were put to the test as he retraced the final days of the president—meeting with and investigating heads of foreign governments, and ultimately putting his own life in peril.

Death Comes for the President will delight and shock.


William Turner bio:

William Turner spent his formative years in New England. He was educated in the private, parochial school system, and is presently retired from State service (State of California), as a supervisor. He has one son (Ontonio), and three grandchildren. His grandson is serving in the United States Air Force. His daughter-in-law, Bridgette, is a practicing pediatrician. William had aspired–so long ago–to be a priest, but felt at the time he had not been exposed enough to life to walk away and close the monastery door. His subsequent exposure to life sullied him beyond any aspiration to the priesthood. William now lives in Lancaster, California, spending much of his time doing penance, reflecting on his countless errors in judgment. William’s penchant for writing mysteries stems from his exposure to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and those of Agatha Christie. His mentor was Sister Agnes Bernard–his high school English teacher.



Tell us about how you came up with this story?

I had these two individuals romantically connected, but I questioned what was special about them—nothing.  I therefore separated them, only to have them meet later, become lovers, and marry.

Again, I asked what was special about this.  I decided to have their “union” riveting.  I had one imbued with political ambition which led him to pursue the presidency, which he won. From this backdrop, I developed the novel “Death Comes for the President”.

What is the first book that made you cry?

That would be “The Holocaust:  A History of the Jews of Europe During WWII.”

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both, for it fires the creative juices, and it exhausts you mentally as you are wondering if you’ve written clearly and precisely, so that the story flows smoothly and the readers can follow easily, with few distractions; wondering if the plot and characters are believable, are their responses the same as the readers, are the skills of the criminal evenly balanced with the detective. And finally, will the reader continue to flip the pages until the very last page—finding a surprising twist.


What are common traps for aspiring writers?


Some of the common traps for aspiring writers are the mistaken belief your manuscript has been definitively written.  First, second, and third drafts are always subject to revisions.  Surprisingly, each draft becomes better than the previous drafts.  There are writers who don’t take advantage of a “second” pair of eyes.  Allow others to read what you’ve written, and be open for criticism; learn from it and improve your craft.  Aspiring writers become discouraged when their manuscript is rejected.  Don’t become discouraged.  Believe in yourself and your craft.  Know, and I mean know, the fundamentals of grammar.  Potential publishers will not edit your work.  If possible, have your manuscript professionally edited prior to presentation to a potential publisher.


Have you ever gotten writer’s block?

No.  I don’t undertake writing until the story has fully unfolded in my mind.  It is my opinion writers run into writer’s block when they had not fully developed the story—mentally.


Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?


In each of my books, I endeavor to be original, and my books are genre specific.


Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I strive to have each book to stand on its own merit, and because my books are termed a
‘series”, the only connection is the reoccurring detectives—Sir Robert and Detective Dennis.


What kind of research do you do, and how long do you send researching before beginning a book?


I am aware many of my readers are well-travelled.  I therefore do extensive research to make sure the settings are accurate.  As a male, mystery writer, I don’t have a clue about women’s high fashion.  To this end, especially in Death Comes for the President, I contacted Saks Fifth Avenue.  It was the consultant who advised what high-end fashions to use, and this included gowns and accessories.


How many hours a day do you write?
This depends on what’s on my agenda.  If the story on which I am working constantly
preoccupies my mind—taking front seat—then, I stop what I am doing and commence
writing, especially when the story is still unfolding.



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