Author Spotlight Interview: Bentley Turner
Being able to have a candid one on one conversation with an author is an absolute honor and for our first published interview of 2023, we had the opportunity to get to know mystery and thriller author Bentley Turner. Having written for most of his adult life, Mr. Turner shared with us details about his writing career and life outside of writing. If this is a new-to-you author, we hope you’ll consider checking out his stories. And if you’re already a fan, we hope you enjoy learning a bit more about the author!
HG: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Let’s start with the basics. How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?
BT: I write short stories and primarily mysteries or thrillers. So far, I have written The File on Thomas Marks, a police procedural; The Prize Winners and Other Stories, a collection; A Killing in Oklahoma, a legal thriller; and The Agency, a thriller about the CIA’s investigation into UFOs and a possible rogue agent who reportedly died but is alive.
HG: Oh, that’s fantastic. Interesting stuff! Could you please tell us what inspires your stories and why is that important to you?
BT: I have written most of my adult life. At first, I focused on short stories and poetry–several of which were published in literary journals and anthologies. Then I started writing nonfiction articles and books for academic journals and academic publishers. When I retired, I turned to fiction again. So far, I have written three mysteries or thrillers. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what inspires me. I only know I have to write or edit something most days.
HG: That’s great. Thank you. So, what feeling do you hope readers are left with when they finish one of your novels?
BT: I hope they have enjoyed what they have read. I believe this is what every writer wants.
HG: Very good point! Switching gears, would you tell us a bit about your publishing journey. Has being an author always been your dream job?
BT: It has always been in the back of my mind. Thankfully, because of my professional career, I was encouraged to produce nonfiction for journals and/or publishers.
HG: That’s great that you had encouragement! It seems all authors face struggles in their writing career. What have been the challenges you’ve faced in your publishing career?
BT: Trying to write something well enough to interest a publisher. This has been my biggest challenge over the years.
HG: Ah. Thank you for sharing that. Is there anything you’d do differently? Advice to aspiring authors?
BT: I started writing before self-publishing existed. Today, writers have all sorts of opportunities–from publishing with Amazon and Barnes and Noble to Ingram. This does not include all the other companies that publish material–for a fee.
Many years ago a writer said, “If you are serious about becoming a writer, you have to write.” In other words, writers need to write or edit something they have written most days of the week. A few rejection letters will not discourage the person who wants to become a writer.
HG: That’s helpful and practical advice, thank you. And you’re so right; the publishing world is always evolving, sometimes rather rapidly. Will you please tell us a little bit about your actual writing process. When and where do you write?
BT: I have an office that is part of a larger room. Generally, I’ll start writing or editing something I’ve written early in the morning. I may work several hours before I take a break. I try to do this most days of the week.
HG: Wonderful. Thank you for sharing your process with us. What can you tell us about any other projects you have in the works?
BT: I have a nonfiction manuscript with a publisher that sends manuscripts out to reviewers. According to the editor, I will not hear anything for several months. While I’m waiting I’m promoting my latest thriller, The Agency.
HG: Best wishes with your nonfiction manuscript! Surely the waiting can be hard. For fun, who would you cast if The Agency, your latest thriller, was turned into a movie?
BT: This would be fantastic. Daniel Craig or someone younger could play the main character.
HG: Great actor. Before we wrap up, for fun let’s finish up with a fast five! Essentially, I’ll ask you some “this or that” questions and you can let us know which you prefer. First one…cookies or cake?
BT: Although I like cookies, I prefer cake more.
HG: It’s a terrible choice to be faced with, right?! Okay, bonfire or fireplace?
BT: Fireplace, especially if I’m with my wife.
HG: Beautiful. That’s lovely. How about a night out or night in?
BT: Night in.
HG: Wonderful choice. Our most controversial question yet…eBook, paperback or audiobook?
HG: And last one of this type…pool or ocean?
HG: Great! Can’t be the salty air. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself and your work. Our readers love getting to know the person behind the pen and pages, so to speak. For readers that want to find out more about your stories and keep up with you and any of your future projects, where should they go to connect or learn additional information?
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