A Genre Writer’s Journey: A Guest Blog by Billy Kring

9781548537456I’ve read books and stories in magazines since I was a tadpole, and that’s where my love of them began. When I started writing, it was a combination of things that kicked it into gear for me. The first was Amazon opening the gate wide for writers. I took that route because I knew I needed to work at the craft to become better, and to see if I would stay at it.

I learned one thing fast: writing the story is only the first part, and the fun part. The rest of it was tough. Doable, but not easy, at least for me. I got into Amazon writing after it had been going for a while, so didn’t get to ride the “newness” wave of it that some others did. But, I learned something every day. So, after puttering around for a bit, I decided to write a suspense/mystery (because I like to read them) that would allow me to use my background to help the story along, and made a female Border Patrol Agent the protagonist. In the first book, Quick, I had such a strong character with her (a Florida Homicide Detective), that a couple of readers told me it shouldn’t be called a Hunter Kincaid Mystery. Like I said, every day is a learning experience.

It still happens today, with over a dozen novels out there. And for me it has been a fun, wonderful ride, and still going strong. I still base my stories on real incidents, and don’t have any desire to change that way of doing it. I’ve made friends in both the traditional and self-published venues. They’re great people, and I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention having a legendary authority on crime and mystery writers like Book People’s Scott Montgomery as a friend.

I’ve co-written with two authors, and that is a different, fun experience, too. The first was with George Wier, who had the idea of a steampunk series. The first two novels we wrote were Journey to the Moon, and Journey to Mars. These weren’t mysteries, but a lot of fun to do. The other collaboration (just out) was my newest novella, Iron 13, co-written with my friend Manning Wolfe. My background helped with this one as well, and dealt with the brutal terrorist/smuggling group, Mara Salvatrucha joining with an Al-Qaeda genius bomb-maker to assassinate high ranking political figures in Washington, DC. Manning and I created some realistic protagonists in it, each one with their own weaknesses and problems. You know, like real people have!

The novella is one of Manning’s great ideas, called Bullet Books, made for speedy reading when time is tight, and she has a number of these out now, and more to be coming in the future.

My next novel will be another Hunter Kincaid adventure/mystery on the Texas border, and will be out by Thanksgiving. It is called A Cinnabar Sky, and involves a car trunk full of liquefied bodies, a fingertip, an orphan, cartels, hitmen, a billionaire, and Hunter getting in trouble with her bosses (again). I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Billy Kring is the author of twelve novels that include two mystery series, The Hunter Kincaid series, and the Ronny Baca series. Before taking up writing, he was a Border Patrol Agent and consultant on international border issues and anti-terrorism in locations such as Eastern Europe, South America, the Caribbean, the Pan Pacific, and Mexico.

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