JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Mike Bove, author of Willowtree A Bruce DelReno Mystery
(self through Create Space)
Bruce DelReno plays a lot of golf. One day he finds bones near the course. This discovery begins his pursuit of the killers of three individuals whose bodies were found nearby, but 30 years apart. This mild-mannered ex-postman is emboldened by the police’s slow progress and encouragement from his wife, and best friend, an Apache Indian.
Bruce’s investigating centers on a group of locals who grew up in Willowtree together. There is murder, humor, golf, food, and local color in this tale, as well as twists and some interesting characters.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Willowtree A Bruce DelReno Mystery?
Mike Bove: I have always read a lot of mysteries. Since retiring, I have been reading a great deal more. I have also been playing a lot more golf. Many aspects of my story come from the golf course that I frequent.
The characters, the setting, the murder weapon (not saying what it is) all are loosely based on observations at the course. I like to say the good characters and their activities in the book are variations of me and my friends in our little town, and the bad things are just made up.
JP: What sets Willowtree A Bruce DelReno Mystery apart from other books in the same genre?
MB: Willowtree is a cozy mystery featuring a senior amateur sleuth. So, there is no global romance, bombs, or car chases. An old guy in a small town simply wants to play some golf and enjoy his retirement, but murders get in the way. There is a unique relationship among certain folks, golf anecdotes, an appreciation for food, dry humor, even a medical thread in the story.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Willowtree A Bruce DelReno Mystery getting out to the public?
MB: I am grateful for the tremendous amount of free information and tools available for writers. If a substantial budget were necessary for me to publish a book, I doubt that I would have attempted any distribution. I gathered information from many companies that offered to publish for me.
I learned a lot about self publishing and Print On Demand. I was willing to put in the long hours after the story was written to prepare a print-ready manuscript.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Willowtree A Bruce DelReno Mystery?
MB: I write notes on paper. I always carry a notebook, and write down ideas that come to me at the grocery store, the golf course, riding in the car, watching tv, reading, or anywhere. Those notes get copied and sorted into note sheets for characters, plots, dialogue, etc. It could be simply a name, a phrase, or a whole scene or plot line.
I don’t really follow an outline, I just rearrange, scratch out, or expand my notes. I also keep notes on research, to be sure the medical, geographical, or other facts are accurate. While actually writing, these note papers are spread around for easy access. Some are useless, but some provide new inspiration as I go. My process is an organized mess.
This is my first book, and it took a year from typing the first words to holding a printed copy in my hands. The time was touch and go, sometimes doing nothing for weeks, maybe only a bit of research. Other times, I would be at my desk for 15 hours in a day.
JP: What’s next for Mike Bove?
MB: Marketing the first seems to be a big job while I am working on the second. I have begun another book in the Bruce DelReno series. It is tentatively titled Stinger after a pro golfer from Willowtree, Arizona, who returns to his hometown and is found dead under unusual circumstances.
Thanks, Joey, for this opportunity.