Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My First Novel

by Paul Bishop

Ed Gorman has featured me on his blog with a ripping tale about writing my first novel, Citadel Run (a.k.a. Hot Pursuit in the current e-book version).  With the pending publication of my latest cop novel, Lie Cathers, it was a little strange to go back and think about the process of beginning my writing career, but also somewhat cathartic...


Technically, my first novel was a title in the Diamondback series of adult westerns. Written under the house pseudonym Pike Bishop, the series of paperback originals was created by Raymond Obstfeld and published by Pinnacle. My entry was Diamondback #6: Shroud of Vengeance. It featured plenty of six-gun and sagebrush action built around the two required explicit sex scenes – the raison d’etre for the very existence of the successful adult western genre.

I would never disparage the genre or disavow my connection to it, but despite my gratitude to Ray Obstfeld for taking a chance on a novice, and the coolness of the Pike Bishop pseudonym echoing my name, I actually consider Citadel Run to be my first novel – I created the characters, the plot was uniquely mine, there were no required sex scenes to wedge in, and my real name was right there on the covers of both the hardback and the paperback.

To understand how Citadel Run evolved, I need to digress. In 1977, I joined the Los Angeles Police Department. As I moved from uniformed patrol to the detective squad, I  still pursued my writing aspirations on the side. For most writers, life necessitates another career – one that pays the bills, provides health insurance, and has all the other perks of a real job.

Still, I’ve always considered myself a very lucky guy being able juggle two careers and doing the work I enjoy – putting villains in jail and putting words on paper. One career is a lot more dangerous, but it is also a lot more financially secure. I spent thirty-five years with the LAPD. For thirty of those years, I also worked as a professional writer, completing twelve published novels, multiple hours of episodic television, and a produced feature film.

Police and detective work often fed my creative muse, but there were also many times the creativity I honed as a writer led to a breakthrough in a case.

Originally published at: http://www.paulbishopbooks.com/2015/08/my-first-novel.html