INDIE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Robert Thornhill (@booksbybob)
Where are you from?
The Kansas City, Missouri area, specifically, Independence, Missouri.
How long have you been writing?
I didn’t start writing until after retirement from the real estate industry at the age of 66. My wife, Peg, & I are avid readers and we each consume a novel a week. A friend of ours turned us on to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. We got the first book and immediately fell in love. We acquired all 14 books in the series that were available at that time, and laughed until our sides hurt. After finishing book #14, I thought to myself, “Bob, you are just goofy enough to do this.” So I sat down at the computer, pretended I was Janet Evanovich, and began writing the next Stephanie Plum novel using her characters and my plot. I wrote three chapters and printed them for my wife to read. I hid in the office while she read, dreading the verdict. (If you’re a Stephanie Plum fan and you’d like to read those three chapters, go to my website, http://BooksByBob.com and click on Stephanie Plum.) http://booksbybob.com/stephanie-plum_294.html
Soon, I heard her cackling in her easy chair. Now, you have to understand my wife. Even though she has a great sense of humor, she’s not a laugh-out-loud kind of person. She came into the office and with a stern look said, “You’ve got to stop this right now! Forget Stephanie Plum. Janet doesn’t need any help. You need to develop your own characters and plot and write your own novel. I know you can do it.” And so began my journey, writing, publishing and marketing my first novel, Lady Justice Takes a C.R.A.P. City Retiree Action Patrol. In the three years since then, I have written 9 novels in the Lady Justice mystery/comedy series, 7 chapter books for children in the Rainbow Road series, a cookbook and a mini-autobiography.
What’s your genre of choice for writing?
Mystery/comedy – I love a good mystery and I love to laugh, so it was a no-brainer to write about a 65 year-old-retired guy that decided to become a cop. Plenty of mystery filled with hilarious anecdotes about Walt and his senior citizen cohorts who give a helping hand to Lady Justice.
What’s your genre of choice for reading?
Same as above. Obviously, I like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, as well as Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series and Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole series.
Tell us all about you and your writing!!
I had never written a thing until I sat down at the computer at age sixty six. Although I have a Master’s Degree, I never learned to type, so all 19 of my books were typed with the middle finger of my right hand and the thumb of my left hand (I use that to shift). I soon discovered that once I started a new novel, I couldn’t quit writing. I call it diarrhea of the brain — it just keeps on coming. The first three novels in the Lady Justice series were very light mysteries interspersed with a lot of laughs.
A review from one of my readers tells the story:
Cathy Doman rated it five stars
“What a great book to start the series! First of all, the title will definitely grab your attention. If you like mysteries, and you like comedy, you will love this book! (Think, Stephanie Plum meets Grumpy Old Men.) It’s the story of Walt, a retired realtor, who witnesses a mugging and decides he needs to help out Lady Justice, and do something meaningful with his life. So he becomes a cop. In this book, you will go along with Walt on his exciting, sometimes dangerous, and always hilarious ride to saving the day. Who says retirement has to be boring? If I didn’t have anything else to do, I would have read this whole book in one sitting. There is never a dull moment, you will find yourself laughing out loud at times, and gripping your seat in suspense at others. I highly recommend this book!”
Once Lady Justice was established and the reader reviews started pouring in, I thought it might be time to take on some more controversial topics, but present them in the same light-hearted vein as the first three. In Lady Justice and the Avenging Angels, Walt becomes involved with religious fanatics. In Lady Justice and the Sting, Walt uncovers the collusion between giant pharmaceutical companies and corrupt politicians. In Lady Justice and Dr. Death, Walt examines the explosive topic of euthanasia. In Lady Justice and the Vigilante, vigilantism is explored. This novel came out about two months before the Trayvon Martin tragedy in Florida. That incident could have come right out of the book. Lady Justice and the Watchers came out about the same time as Hunger Games. While Hunger Games looks at a dystopian society of the future, Walt discovers that ‘Big Brother’ may be in our lives today more than we know. And finally, Lady Justice and the Candidate takes a look at our political process and is very timely considering the upcoming Presidential election. At first, I was worried that explosive topics like religion and politics might turn off some people, but again, reader reviews were positive:
“With Lady Justice and the Sting, Robert Thornhill has put an exciting and hilarious spin on one of the most important and concerning issues today: our imploding ‘healthcare’ system. As the Founder of the New Medicine Foundation, I stay quite busy delivering scientifically backed healthcare solutions to clients around the world, and await the great transformation of our failing drug and surgery based systems. Rarely having time to read for ‘fun’, it was to my great surprise that Bob delivered to me a manuscript of ‘The Sting’ just a few days ago. Within just a few sittings I thoroughly digested and enjoyed his work while smiling ear to ear, laughing, and with excited anticipation as he efficiently and amusingly described the foundational and malicious problems behind our failing system.
With ‘The Sting’ we will have something wonderfully fun and easy to provide for people to read, not only for enjoyment, but to make them aware of how misled the American public has been over the last many decades, as we are literally drugged and fed fake food to our early demise. Nearly more importantly given the current global crisis, the financial criminality and unsustainability behind the system is not only bringing on its own demise, but the demise of our entire country and possibly the current global economic system as we wallow in debt, sickness, mental and physical ailments, and the poor relationships, geopolitical problems, and life experiences that arise from these underlying issues.
This may very well be the ‘Rich Dad / Poor Dad’ for the healthcare interested masses who are sick and tired of being SICK AND TIRED! Phenomenal work Bob, you have found a calling and have much more to do!”
Dr Edward W Pearson, MD, ABIHM
I write because I love it and I keep writing because I love to receive correspondence from my readers and fans telling me how much they enjoy Walt and his gang and that they can’t wait until the next exciting adventure. For the entire story of my wacky three year journey in the writing world, click on this link for a free download of Tears and Triumphs of a New Author. http://booksbybob.com/free-download_339.html
Any new releases that we should be watching for?
I just released Lady Justice and the Candidate, the ninth novel in the Lady Justice series, a few weeks ago. It is a ‘must read’ in these months before the 2012 Presidential election.
Do you have a website? If so, what’s the link?
Do you have a Twitter? If so, what’s your user name?