Monday, March 25, 2013

Bill Noel: Folly Beach Mysteries Highly Acclaimed – Part 2

Source: iUniverse Author Focus

iUniverse publishing continues its interview with the Star Author of the Folly Beach Mysteries series, Bill Noel.

iUniverse: Where did you get the inspiration for the series and the character of Chris Landrum?

“Noel: It started when my wife and I vacationed on Folly Beach for the first time in 2003. We were walking on the beach and about a hundred yards in front of us we saw a body that had just washed ashore. It proved to be an accidental drowning, but a small seed of a story was planted in my mind. After all, that’s not a sight you see every day. And, it struck me in such contrast to the peaceful, pleasant vacation we were having.

I didn’t give writing a novel another thought until spring 2006 when we took my in-laws to Folly for a vacation. As Confucius should have said, “A week in a condo with ones mother-in-law leads to thoughts of murder!” So, the drowning a few years earlier combined with the inspiration of my wife’s mother, allowed the seeds to germinate more. The series was born.

Folly Beach is close to the drastically different world of Charleston. It’s small; one-mile-wide, six-miles-long. It has been described as being bohemian with a fairly large community of artists and writers who are “unconstrained by the conventional standards of behavior.” To me, it has an “aging hippy, beer-for-breakfast, shared-with-your-Doberman” feel. What it does have is character—lots of character, and characters. It was the ideal setting for something to happen. In other words, Folly Beach is a main character in the Folly Beach Mysteries.

Another reason for the series is that Chris, protagonist, struck a nerve with me. I’m in the first wave of baby boomers and thoughts—glimmers—of retiring are on my mind. I’m an avid photographer, and so is Chris. And, not unlike many of us—especially those of from the middle of America—the allure of the ocean enveloped him.

Chris is a couple of years younger than I. He’s slightly better looking; he has more hair and more money; has a good sense of humor, or irony, or sarcasm (things I’ve been accused of possessing). We both enjoy photography, the ocean, vacations. He has most of my good traits plus a few others. Chris is what I think I look like until I look in the mirror.

On a more practical, structural level, while writing the series, I needed a core, a foundation that I could fall back on. Chris gave that to me—I know him pretty well; after all, I’ve lived with most of him for six decades.”


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