Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Authors Spotlight- C.L. SWINNEY


I am delighted to have Chris Swinney here taking part in an Author Spotlight, some of this Author's work will be shown at the end of the interview, so let us begin:-

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Chris Swinney (I use the pen name of C. L. Swinney), I’m married, and have two sons. I work as a deputy sheriff in the town of Millbrae, CA (San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office holds the contract for this town at this time). I’ve been in some facet of law enforcement for over fifteen years, six of which were as a detective working narcotics and homicide cases. I use my experience and background to write crime fiction novels with a heavy emphasis on police procedural, narcotics, and murder. Somewhere along the line I picked up writing poetry, short stories, and true crime books.

Tell us about your latest book/series.  If yours is a series please tell us the order they should be read in.

I write a few series, the first is crime fiction called the Bill Dix Detective Series. The books can be read standalone…until the fourth which is due out in December 2015. You’ll need to read the first three to fully appreciate the last in the series. The novels are: Gray Ghost, The Cartel Enforcers, Sin City Assassin, and Full Circle. The series follows two detectives, Bill Dix and Steve Peterson, as they attempt to go on vacation and end up in the middle of drug or murder (or both) cases in Miami, Bahamas, San Diego, Mexico, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Texas.
My second series is true crime, called True Crime Canada Series, which includes serial killers from Canada. I have two books in that series (scheduled to be a 26-book series), Robert Pickton: The Pig Farmer Killer, and William Fyfe: The Handyman Killer. If you’re into true crime and serial killers, both books have been #1 bestsellers in six countries.

Tell us about your Work in Progress:

I just had my third true crime book, Robert Black: The True Story of a Child Rapist and Serial Killer, released on October 30, 2015. It’s already a #1 bestseller in six countries.
I’m currently working on a true crime book about an American Serial Killer from California. I broke ground in a second true crime book, and I have a second chap-book moving forward too. I am writing quite a bit as you can see.

What inspires your writing?

Crime Fiction-I’m inspired by the amazing authors I’ve read over the last 20 years and I like to give the general public a glimpse into the life of a deputy sheriff.
True Crime- I’m inspired to research and tell the story of the serial killers I cover to bring awareness about how and why they become monsters in the hopes of stopping future situations.
Poetry- I’m inspired daily to write poems, of various form, to help me cope with the stress and sadness of wearing a badge.
Short Story- I write short stories because they are fun, and I’ve always been a story teller. I’ve had to re-think writing and trim lots of fat (words) from pieces to make them exciting and fit what publishers are looking for. It’s a challenge and rewarding.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I try to spend as much time with my family as I can. I also enjoy hanging with my close friends while barbequing, camping, and fishing.

How hard was it to get your first book published?

The process of getting published took me almost four years and hundreds of rejection letters. When I finally got published, the publisher turned out to be a fraud and I never received payment for my first release of my first book, Gray Ghost. I pushed through that; however, and I’m linked up with my current publisher, RJ Parker Publications. The process of getting published and finding a legitimate publisher pushed me toward self-publishing. I have two books I published through Amazon. Either way things are difficult, costly, and time-consuming. But, those who can write decently and persevere tend to rise to the top.

Did you find it hard to think of names for your characters or did they just pop into your head?

I’ve never had a short of names for characters. To change things up, sometimes I run contests with my books and let the winners have their name as a character in a book. That tends to make things interesting…

Do you prefer stand-alone or series?
I love both. I’m not a snob about which I read or write.

Do you read the genre you write about or do you prefer something different?

I read mostly what I write about. I have studied what great authors such as Hemingway or King have said about successful writing and tried to model my reading/writing around their sagely advice.

Now tell us about your absolute favourite book that you have read, and why it is special to you.

Geez, this is tough. I’ve read hundreds of books in my life so far. Many stand out. I’d say the first Tony Hillerman book I read, The Blessing Way, drew me in and set the wheels in motion for me to become an author. His ability to paint a picture, weave in a mystery and ability to make you feel what the characters feel through descriptive dialogue is unmatched.

How do you get your books to the attention of the public?

This is a full-time job. I use social media primarily, which includes my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Google, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Wattpad. I attend writing conferences, sit on panels, and give presentations from time to time, which all help with book sales. Ultimately, I try to meet new people to develop friendships and try not to push my books on them.

Do you have a street team or the likes?  If so would you like to share the link so our readers may consider joining?

Unfortunately, I haven’t developed one of these. I have several fans I know who help spread the word about my books, but a full-blown street team hasn’t developed…yet.

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Well I thoroughly enjoyed finding all this information out today, Chris Swinney is definitely on my list to read now as I absolutely love crime thrillers, so today I have been in book heaven.  Thank you so much, Chris for agreeing to take part in an Author's Spotlight for my humble blog.