Author Interview: Eric Bishop

080113-TSP-blog-banner1: Would you rather listen to the Beatles or Green Day?
Green Day Monday through Friday, the Beatles on Saturday, and then my favorite hymn, Nearer My God to Thee, on the Sabbath. I try to live the words of the Hymn most days, but that’s not what you asked. It’s a tough thing choosing something over John, Paul, Ringo, and George, but Green Day freaking rocks! I have to be in a mellow mood to enjoy the Beatles. By comparison Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day’s music is so vibrant and alive I usually hit replay to hear it again.
2: How long did it take you to write your book?
I wrote the first draft in a little over two months. Active verbs were an endangered species, and telly language was as pervasive as weeds in an untended garden. I joined a critique group through the League of Utah Writers, and with their help started cleaning up my beginner mistakes. Over the next three years, I rewrote The Samaritan’s Pistol eight times. While every word and sentence was changed, the story remained ninety percent the same. As writers say: it is “shown” better.

3: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
There’s an elderly ranch hand named Brody that I patterned after a dairy farmer I worked for as a teenager named Oscar. Oscar died a few years ago, and he never would have done what Brody does in the book. But the persona is the same. Brody is a tough, no nonsense guy who has a moral code all his own. By comparison the protagonist is a choir boy. Without giving too much away, there’s a scene with some bear traps in the book that most people have enjoyed.
4: Do you prefer salty or sweet snacks?
I have a sweet tooth for everything but raisins.
5: What authors do you look up to and why?
I’m drawn to authors who can say much in few words. Brevity and lean will keep me reading longer than flowery prose. As a reader, I want the author to let me in, allow me fill in some details. Here’s the list: Steinbeck, Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, Andrew Smith, Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, and Mark Twain. I’m amazed by Utah’s Lehua Parker who has only one published book. She let me read her second manuscript, which she wrote during a Diet Coke fueled, two week insomnia binge. I struggled to find any errors from pacing to sentence structure.
6: Which author do you think you write like the most?
I’d never claim to be close to any on my list, but I’m grateful to each of them for their influence. If I could choose who I’d like to eventually be compared to it would be Elmore Leonard. His wit, sarcasm and lean writing is as good as any.
7: What’s your favorite food?
My wife’s Lasagna. My willpower fades when Janilee makes it. I crave the leftovers, because it just gets better for a few days.
8: What’s your favorite movie?
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It’s laborious and long, and I love every second. I even have the extended version they released a few years ago when they found additional footage. Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach came back to do the audio. Their voices have aged, which all adds to my enjoyment. Like Janilee’s Lasagna, the movie gets better with time.
9: If your book was turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?
While writing, I was hooked on the television series Lost, so Josh Holloway was who I pictured as the protagonist. My favorite character, the elderly ranch hand Brody, was Clint Eastwood, but I’d love to see Kris Kristofferson in the role.
10: Describe your book in one sentence.
A wilderness guide shoots three to save one, and his life is forever changed.
11: What kind of interaction do you hope to see from your fans?
I like people. I like to entertain. I hope they like the things I write enough to buy them.
12: Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m a huge extrovert. Each day I wake and do my best to listen more and talk less. Mostly I fail, but at least I make the attempt.
13: If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Clint Eastwood. Nobody does the gray areas better. I love how the characters in his movies, especially over the last twenty years, aren’t totally good or bad. Unforgiven was a masterpiece. Clint’s character stayed true to his dead wife’s memory but had no problem killing once he got liquored up. In contrast, Morgan Freeman’s character would cheat on his wife at every opportunity, but probably wouldn’t swat a mosquito. I love movies or books that examine nuances in morals. When the audience has to ask “who’s on first?” like the Laurel and Hardy skit, when puzzling over the villain, victim, and hero the movie maker or author has done their job!

EricBishopTwit (1) ERIC BISHOP is known to to his friends and family as an “author
version of Clint Eastwood.” As the owner of a successful marketing firm,
Bishop spends most of his time on his Utah ranch writing with the music
of his adolescence bouncing off the walls. When he’s not writing, Bishop
enjoys spending time with his wife and four lovely daughters at his
home in Nibley, Utah. Unlike Jim, Bishop hasn’t had any run-ins with the
Mafia. Yet. Find him on Facebook, or Twitter. His book is available on Barnes&Noble and Amazon.