Saturday, July 21, 2012

Interview with Trip Williams - Suspense/Thriller Author

 Trip Williams
Suspense/Thriller Author

     Welcome back to our Haven where you can sit back and relax to enjoy reading about this week's author who lives in Calgary, Alberta in Canada! He's busy working on more books for your reading pleasure and he hopes you visit his sites to check out his current and upcoming releases. Trip is also running a contest which is listed after the interview so be sure to read that and leave your comment to be entered. Come on, let's go meet Trip!

Reader’s Haven: Trip, welcome to our Haven! We're excited to learn about your suspense books and are glad you're here to chat with our readers. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Trip: Boy… that’s a loaded question!  LOL  I guess the one thing that they should know about me is that most of what I write is from personal experience.  That may seem like a stretch at times and yes – literary license DOES apply, but I do believe that the best writing comes from actually living, tasting and breathing the experience.  It brings a depth to the writing that is only achieved by living it.

Reader’s Haven:
That does help lend more of a reality to the writing! What made you want to become a writer?

Trip: I have wanted to be a writer all my life I guess.  At about grade nine, I was starting to write but as most kids are, I was lazy!  Didn’t have the discipline to see it through.  In high school, I would write short stories for fun and turn them in to my English teacher.  He would read them and sometimes I would get extra marks for them.  By grade twelve, he wanted me to compile my writings into one uniform theme and write a novel.  The week before his request – I cleaned my room and threw out the entire lot!  Ahhh…that was disappointing to say the least.  Most of my themes back then were about apocalyptic events.  You know, along the lines of “The Omega Man”.

Reader’s Haven: Please share a bit about your new release Silent Waters without giving away any spoilers.

Trip: Silent Waters is a Bandit Creek Books suspense thriller, set in the mountains of Missoula, Montana.  My hero, Jake McCord is awaiting a flight that will take him to Africa where he will begin his new life as a photo journalist.  But not all is calm in Bandit Creek… When the crack of a gunshot ripples across the mountainside and Jake witnesses the murder of a young woman - he begins his quest to find the men responsible and return the favor on her behalf. 
Silent Waters – by Trip Williams

     For Jake McCord, Bandit Creek comes with an expiration date. But when Jake starts to find the bodies of women, whom the town folks have never seen before, that expiration date may become a life sentence.

A screaming Caterpillar diesel reverberated between the giant stands of Fir and Hemlocks.  Spewing a steady column of clear shimmering hot gases, the slow lumbering tracked machine snarled along the narrow cut-line, on the south-eastern slope of Crow Mountain. 
The blue and white Energence Energy seismic data recorder continued climbing higher up the mountain.  The boxy blue Nodwell cab and large white instrument dog-box had been home for Jake McCord for the past twelve weeks as they plied the mountains around Bandit Creek looking for oil.  Under Shell contract, they were not allowed to let the local folk know what they were actually doing. 
Heaven forbid the poor town folk find out that their little part of the world was like the rest of Lolo National Forest and under-siege by the oil companies!  Not a popular bid during an election year.  For now, what everyone understood; they were under contract by the United States Geological Survey Services - earthquake testing.
Best he could figure, this trail was on an old cut line from about ten years past. Tipping back the large three and a half inch brim of his Akubra hat, Jake glanced up at the torn page from a magazine showing an African landscape he had taped to the roof of the cab.  Giving a correction tug on the right steering lever and placing two fingers to his lips, he touched the picture. 
Three more weeks and he was on a jet to Nairobi to join the National Geography Society on a one year contract.  Lead photo-journalist covering the illegal primate trade of the African Bush Babies, this was his big break doing what he loved most.  Adventure, snapping pictures, fame and ladies.
Taking hold of his new Pentax P3 camera from the soft bag he kept beside his seat, he checked the 200 power lens.  Setting it on his lap, he reached for the radio mike.  Lifting it from the dash clip; Jake keyed the button on the aging Marconi radio set.
At the same instant, his world changed.
“Jesus Christ!” Pulling hard on the left steering levers, both man and machine jerked hard to the left and hammered to a stop.  The shrieking engine ramped down, quieting to a low rumble, as the Nodwell lurched to a rest up on the slash pile.  Releasing a huge sigh, Jake lifted off the seat and looked across the cab.  Out the far window was a vast valley reaching towards the Idaho border.  The cut line was gone!  “You’ve got to be shitt’n me!” he stammered.  “Where the hell is my road?”
Snatching his clip board from the metal folder tray attached to the cab door, he flipped through the surveyors chaining notes.  Hand drawn sketches outlining the detour around the beaver dams on the line they were working were supposed to put him back onto the eastern slopes above Lost Lake.  Retracing the drive in his minds eye - it brought him right back to where he sat.
“Those dumb…” Picking the mike off the floor boards from where it had fallen, he keyed it hard.  “Hello, Frank,” he yelled.  Waiting only a moment for a response, he tried again but patience was something that was very thin right now. 
There was only had a few more days on that line before he had to be on the final prospect line that had to be shot.  The drills were finishing off today and it would be just him and his line crew.  Surveyors were still supposed to be here or at least in town but now, there was a nagging doubt as to there existence!
“Hello Frank,” he repeated.  “Hello Bugsy – hello line crew.”  Adjusting the squelch on the radio, he listened to the soft crackle before sending the mike skidding across the dash – no one answered.  Killing the engine, he grabbed the hand hold on the door jam and swung out of the cab.  Lightly dropping onto the track, he jumped to the ground. Jake looked under the machine at the front track that had run up the slash pile.
An athletic five-foot-ten with a solid broad chest, powerful arms and legs.  No gym for this cowboy.  Life had been nothing but hard work and building this body was the result of his thirty-four years of doing so.  Pulling his hat from the cab, he ran his fingers through his dirty-blonde hair, and placed it on his head. Snapping up the Pentax camera, he bent low and looked again at the track embedded in the slash pile – he swore.
“Son-of-a,” Jake spun around in disgust.  Four grouser bars holding the two halves of the rubber tracks together had snapped in half on a tree root.  Carrying only one spare bar, he would tear the rubber off the wheels and loose the track completely, if he tried driving out. Two dead bars together he could do.  Not three—
Noticing the set of the sun, he checked his watch.  It was five-past-six.  That drunk of a mechanic would probably be sidled up beside his new best bud JD at the Powder Horn Saloon. 
The sun was burning a fast trail across the Montana sky and seemed to be in a bloody hurry at that.
Taking a hold of the bush guard, he rounded the front of the Nodwell and looked over at the front right track and at the free air space beneath the first four feet. Nothing but a hundred and fifty feet of clean mountain air held up the front of the Nodwell track.
“Damned close that was,” he said.  Jake lifted the lens of the camera and snapped a few shots of the scree slide that dropped away from his parking spot.  At the base, it splayed out for another few hundred yards and disappeared into the forest.  “No one will believe this.” 
Snapping off a few more pics, he spotted a mountain finch nervously hopping from one branch to another, searching for bugs and other tasty morsels.  The shutter winked rapidly. Lowering the lens, he turned away; time to call for help on the mobile phone.
Jake froze – a terse shiver coursed through him.  Across the valley below, a woman’s scream echoed.  Before he could react, a gun shot ripped through the forest splitting her screams into fragmented reechoes…

Reader’s Haven:
Westerns are very popular with readers right now! That one sound intriguing and we love the cover! Do you write under a pen name?

Trip:  Nope… just Trip Williams. I think that name kind of stands alone.  Don’t you?  LOL  I have been asked a lot about my name and the one thing that keeps coming to mind is; “What kind of mother names her child Trip Williams?”  I always say that my mother was a pole dancer living a wilder side of life.  She doesn’t see the humor in it… 

Reader’s Haven:
LOL  Oh, I doubt she would! What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Trip: Well, for a hero, I always like to portray my characters around me.  Sounds conceded but it’s not meant to be!  I have lived an extremely full life filled with adventures and travel. From the South Seas on a Canadian Navel destroyer, to the East African coastline and jungles, and to the northern arctic - I have seen and done many things.  So I find it a natural fit to see myself in these adventures.  Not only that, I get to live an alter ego through my stories that allows me a whole new experience as well.  Let’s face it, we can’t ALL be James Bond!  LOL
     Now… for the woman!  She has to be a strong independent type of gal.  Physically up to the challenges I throw at her and yet still remain a woman.  I am a romantic at heart and believe every good story should have a great love interest in it. That being said, she doesn’t have to have the matched experience of the hero but she has to measure up when the boots hit the pavement and be up to the challenge. Now THAT… is a gal that catches my attention! 
Reader’s Haven: No pun intended, but those are big boots to fill for your heroine! Our readers love to hear how days are spent writing. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Trip: Well as of late, not much to tell!  Lol.  I’m just settling into my new ranch along the banks of the Highwood River, just south of Calgary, Alberta. But when I am writing – I like to start my day with welcoming the world as the sun breaks the eastern skies.  With a hot cup of good coffee, I let my mind start to drift off into my stories.  For the next few hours, I recant the story as I run through dialogue and scenes.  You have to understand, that my mind runs a book like the scenes in a movie.  I see, feel, smell and breathe the story as it unfolds.  So for me, a book is a movie.  As it plays out – I write it.  Once I get myself immersed into the story, I then put pen to paper, so-to-speak, and that - is when I start to write. 
     Usually, I write for about four hours before I take a break.  Sometimes I’ll come back but other times, I call it a day.  Depends on my characters moods mostly.  After all, they are the ones writing the story!
Reader’s Haven: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Trip: So far, they all are a series actually.  My first story is in the Bandit Creek anthology Fools Gold.  It’s a light hearted tale about an April Fools joke played on a young girl on a seismic crew.  She is unwittingly drawn in by Jake and his cohorts into a wicked little gem of a spoof.  In fact – this little story is an actual true story!  I was working as an operator a number of years back south of Brooks Alberta in the early winter.  I played this exact joke on this gal and believe it or not, LOL, it actually played out the entirety right down to the end scene as it is written.  I had a great time with that one!
     This first tale set the stage for Jake McCord and Colleen McWilliams.  They both return in Silent Waters as the main characters but I am building the stage for the next series of full length novels that are underway.
     I also have a Steampunk Paranormal that I have been working on nut it had to hit the back burner while I finish the Mkeri series.  It’s a fun muse for something different.  My first love, though, are the action thrillers.

Reader’s Haven: You definitely are busy! How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Trip: Wow… that is loaded. LOL  When I’m serious!?!  About three months start to finish for a full length novel.  Novellas I can write in under three weeks and edits takes about another two.  Depends on the distractions on my life!  I usually am, VERY distracted, in the summer months but come fall and winter, I am pretty darned serious.  This year will be the exception as I am working on the Mkeri series completion for Christmas but that doesn’t mean all four will be bookshelf ready by then.  The first three however, will be.

Reader’s Haven:
 Do you have to be alone to write?

Trip: Absolutely!  I can’t have any distractions at all when I’m writing.  The conversations in my head start getting confused!  LOL   …and then, there are the characters.  The great thing about my new ranch, is that there is no one else out here and that allows for some very peaceful writing.  Don’t let that fool you though, I’m a social butterfly!  LOL  I love mingling and chatting with people so I won’t be bound to this place all the time.  Hanging at Chapters with my friends or chill’n with a brew at the Wild Rose Brewing Company is my preferred haunts back in cow-town.

Reader’s Haven
: Those breweries do have some good beers! How do you go about naming characters?

Trip: Cool factor for guys – unless I plan to kill them.  Women, they have to have either a sexy, or sensual name that suits who they are.  Have you ever read any of the books on names and their meanings?  Very interesting reading. The name HAS to suit the character first and foremost.  I draw from those books and from names of the nationalities surrounding the origins of the characters as well.

Reader’s Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Trip:  I actually do both.  But quite often, I have already visualized the person before I find the picture.  Wow… this is where a very careful character building is important.  Too easy to lose sight of whom your character is.  Pictures help keep you focused.  Especially if you take a break longer than a few months from the story. happens!

Reader’s Haven:
 We agree about the pictures keeping you focused. How do you pick locations for your stories?

Trip: That’s easy.  It is all based on the story itself.  What is the overall theme and where would that be best placed. It has to suit the characters as well; at the least for their home port.  After that, you throw in the mix of the challenges and new locations; usually foreign to the character themselves.  Adds another depth.  But more to the point – it’s all about the story content.  That itself will set the location.

Reader’s Haven: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

Trip: My new series is called Mkeri.  I have finished the first in a series and am working on the second novel now, but I don’t plan to release any until the third in the series of four, is completed.  Has to do with marketing and all that jazz.  The first however, will be launched before Christmas of 2012.   This series carries on the themes set in the first books.  The pronunciation of the name Mkeri [pronounced Ma-Keer-ee] is a bit off from how it reads.  The first book is titled “The Bridge”.  It’s followed by “Beneath Mkeri Waters”, “Mkeri Rising” and “Mkeri Blue”.  Can’t give it away but I am really excited about these books.  You’re going to learn to love and hate Jake in these books.
     Not sure how Jake will fair overall, but I suspect he will be on his way to a whole new series once he leaves Mkeri.

Reader’s Haven: Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Trip: You can follow me on Twitter @TripWilliams, or through my blog, I haven’t launched my Facebook page but I will be very soon.  I’m sure it’ll be Trip Williams – Author. But who knows!  LOL  Readers can also write me at if they have any questions or comments for me.  I promise to respond.  Well… unless they get nasty! LOL

Reader's Haven: Trip, it's been great talking with you, thank you so much for hanging out with our readers all week! Readers, thank YOU for stopping in to meet Trip. Enter his contest and leave him a question or two!

CONTEST: I will give (5) book sets of Bandit Creeks "Fools Gold" anthology with my short story in it and my novella "Silent Waters".  The first five people to email me the name of the boat I was raised on will do for a bit of a scavenger hunt. All available through my blog.

Twitter:  @TripWilliams


  1. Hi Alexia! Thanks for stopping by and showing Trip support.
    Trip, we're so excited to have you visiting with us this week. I love your book covers and I absolutely love to read suspense/mysteries.
    Who are your favorite authors to read?

  2. Hello everyone!

    Been a busy day here for me so I was a little late getting a chance to stop by and say hi.

    Alexa - thank you so much for taking the time to read the interview. Glad you liked it and I hope you enjoy the rest of the weeks chats and give-aways. Also I want to thank Louise James and An Avid Readers Haven for taking the time and interest to interview me.

    So I was a little delayed as I just spent the day wreck diving on the Canadian warship HMCS McKenzie. She was sunk as an artificial reef September 16th, 1995, near Isle-de-Lis and Gooch Island. That's out in the Georgia Strait of British Columbia. Lots of mixed emotions for me with this one. I served along side her on the M
    HMCS Qu'Apelle and roomed with a chap who served on the McKenzie. Sad to see those days slip by into the recesses of our minds - but they were good times and it's nice to see her still being used opposed to reduced to razor blades! Lol.

    I.m looking forward to seeing you all around this week and getting to know everyone.

    To answer your question Louise, my favorite authors are Wilbur Smith, Robert Ludlum and Clive Cussler.

    Throughout this week, I will be giving away (5) sets of ebooks for those readers who like treasure hunts. Lol. So good luck to you all and I will be announcing the winners as they come in.

    Have a great week and we'll be chatting soon.