Following an injury that forced him to leave his job as a police detective in Detroit, Raymond Jaye went freelance. As a newly licensed private investigator in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ray assumed he’d be tracking down frauds and con artists, not murderers. He was wrong.
Barbara Manetti admitted to her husband that she’d been having an affair, and named Ray as her lover. Three hours later, she’s found sprawled on her kitchen floor in a pool of blood from a knife wound on her neck. Murder is a job for the police, but tracking down her real lover is something a PI could do without stepping on any official toes. That is, until the investigation her to Ray’s life back in Detroit.
Ray begins to see her plan, and it raises two questions. Why would a woman he’d never known want to see him dead? And who knows Ray well enough to kill for him?
In this, the second of the Raymond Jaye stories, Ray finds himself up to his collar in suspects, while the only person that really knew what was supposed to happen lies on a cold, steel slab.
Ernie paused where the pair of short staircases met near the entryway, and called out. “Barbara? Honey, it’s me. I’m back. Can we talk?”
No answer. He put one foot on the stairs, then stopped and turned to face me.
“I know she’s home. Her car’s here. She won’t go anywhere unless she can drive. Maybe she’s in the bedroom.”
If she was in the bedroom at noon on a Saturday, she might not be alone; especially if she’d expected Ernie to be in jail for assault. “I’d better go with you.”
“Bedroom’s this way,” he said and turned toward the half flight of stairs that led up.
The stairs ran along one wall of the living room, but the high ceiling made it feel like a hotel lobby. At the top of the stairs, Ernie froze, then looked at me, then back at…
I pushed past him to see a woman in her mid-thirties, wearing a dark blue dress, lying motionless in a red pool in the center of the kitchen floor.
Welcome, Bill. For those who might not be
familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about
yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Bill) The first “real” thing I wrote was the origin story
of a character in the game City of Heroes. It was for a contest and I came in
second. Another story in a different category won first, and the overall prize.
A third story was one of six selected by the game’s developers to go into the
With a bit of feedback under my belt, I wrote more about my
characters in the game world, then broke out and tried my hand at non-game
related things. That first story was nearly nine years ago.
All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please
tell us how you handle it.
(Bill) I hold a press conference with the voices in my head.
Usually in the shower. They ask me things about what I’m trying to write and
more often than not one will ask a question I hadn’t thought of. If I knew more
about the way my head was supposed to work, that might scare me a little. It
Contrary to what some people envision about a
romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority
of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you
spend your time?
(Bill) I work the graveyard shift in a hotel where I have
two hours of stuff to do and eight hours to get it done. The big block in the
middle is spent staying awake in case something happens. I write to stay awake,
assuming nothing happens.
Some nights I get “research material.” Just before Til Death released, there was a family
fight in a room and the way it played out, I actually had to go in first,
before the cops. While they dealt with the drunk, I had a chance to look at the
blood on the walls and figure out what happened.
At home, I wrangle the three dogs and pass time practicing
with a new digital SLR camera. I can’t seem to write at home, which sucks. Even
if I hit it big, I won’t be able to quit.
I know many writers, such as Dirk and myself, keep
their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so,
what are their thoughts?
(Bill) I don’t keep it a secret, but then, I
write mystery and detective stuff. Sometimes I’ll leave something at work for
feedback from my co-workers, and my dad has read both of my published stories
before the editor had a chance to see them.
Will you share with us your all time favorite
authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Bill) This is one of those awkward questions for me. I don’t
really read that much. My baseline for story telling was the old radio dramas
from around 1950. I drive a lot, so I listen to a lot of old shows on my iPod.
Writers I do enjoy are Rex Stout and Douglas Adams. I like the two things of
Raymond Chandler’s that I’ve read so far, and I’ve got several more waiting
once I get done with the Nero Wolfe collection.
If you could choose one book to go to the big
screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love
see casted in the parts?
(Bill) I wouldn’t mind seeing a good adaptation of Rex
Stout’s Some Buried Caesar. I really
can’t think of anyone to play Nero Wolfe. Dean Winters (Mayhem) or Sam Rockwell
would make a good Archie Goodwin.
Would you care to tell us what you’re working on
now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my
ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Bill) I’ve got the third Raymond Jay story done. It’s a
novella in the first draft stage. I’ve also got the fourth one (a full novel)
done, or nearly there. Once I get them edited and out of the nest, it will be
either book five (which has a great title) or a change of direction to a
supernatural police procedural thing I’ve been working on off and on for a
Where can we find your stories and is there a
particular reading order?
(Bill) They can be found at MuseItUp
as well all the regular e-book vendors. There is an order, but
it’s not critical to follow.
Would you please share how your present and
future fans can contact you?
we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like
to share? The stage is all yours.
(Bill) Writers thrive on feedback. I’d like people to like
my stuff, but I wouldn’t mind if they hated as long as they told me they felt
that way and why.
If you read something, tell the author what you thought of
it. My first story didn’t sell well, but the few people that read, and shared
their opinion of it, liked it. That meant more to me than the sales figures. I
don’t think many people realize how much of a rush some version of “I read your
book. It didn’t suck” can give a writer. The same holds for musicians, artists,
photographers, or anyone that created something. For that matter, anyone who
does anything. Tell a pilot he made a good landing. Tell the person at the
counter the coffee was especially good. Give feedback. It’s more important than
and Gents, I hope you enjoyed our interview with Bill Dezell. If you have any
questions or comments for Bill, by all means, leave him a message below. Thank
you in advance for your visit!