Friday, September 24, 2010

John Wills: Gripped by Fear

John began writing professionally after retiring from the FBI. He has published more than100 articles in both print media and online:

· Police & Security News
· Vegas Beat
· The Rap Sheet
· Law Enforcement Technology
· New American Truth

He is a former co-editor of "Suspense Thriller Zine," an electronic magazinededicated to the best suspense and thriller short fiction online, and is an award-winning author of several short stories.
John is presently a book reviewer for The New York Journal Of Books.
He has published a short story in Lt. Randy Sutton’s (Las Vegas Metro PD) latest book: True Blue to Protect and Serve. John is an NCAA approved speaker explaining the dangers of steroids and other dangerous drugs to student athletes. See RoidsAndJocks for more information! He is a former Chicago Police Officer, and has written two Christian-themed police dramas, both part of the Chicago Warrior Thriller Series:  Chicago Warriors Midnight Battles in the Windy City
Gripped By Fear

John offers a situational awareness class, LivSafe, which is available to schools, churches, civic organizations, and neighborhood groups. He also is available to Law Enforcement agencies to present a 90 minute presentation onOfficer Survival. John is a certified Personal Trainer

Welcome, John. Tell us a little more about yourself.

Thanks, Susan. I’ve been writing professionally since I retired from the FBI in 2004. Before joining the Bureau, I was a Chicago cop for 12 ½ years. Both careers have allowed me to enjoy a lifetime of experiences in the law enforcement world. I draw on them to write my novels.

What are your writing goals?

I like to be more than one dimensional, not just known as a novelist, but rather, as a writer. I’ve published over 100 articles about police work, online and in print. I’m also an award winning author of short stories, and I’ve tried my hand at poetry, notwithstanding the fact that I know very little about it.

What is your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

Two things: I’ve enjoyed a catharsis while writing my stories, allowing some pain to flow on to the pages rather than internalizing it. Second, the feedback from readers has been refreshing and inspiring—it makes all the time and effort involved worthwhile.

Tell us about your latest book. Is it available in print and e-book formats?

Sure. My latest book is Gripped By Fear. It is the second book in a series I created, called The Chicago Warriors. Gripped is the story of two Chicago police detectives, a male and female, who track a serial rapist throughout the city, ending with an explosive climax.

Do you think your writing has improved since your first attempt? If so, in what way?

That’s easy: Yes. I’m like many authors who feel their first novel was sub-par. I even say that to people when they ask me about my books. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good read—many people have remarked they enjoyed it immensely and want to know when the next book is coming. I know I have evolved since then. One of the big contributing factors is that I joined a critique group. Getting feedback from a dozen fellow writers is as they say, “priceless.”

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

I’m a Catholic who attended Catholic schools all the way through university. My faith plays a large role in my writing, and is on display in my books. Readers like the hope and redeeming message that can be found in my work, even though I write about the most evil people in society.

Where do you write? When? What do you have around you?

I write wherever I am at. Since I spend a lot of time on the road, I will write at airports, on planes, in hotels . . . but if I’m at home, my optimum writing takes place early morning in the spare bedroom, on the second floor, looking out through a double window.

After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?

That’s an easy one—play with the grandkids.

Any current projects?

I’m finishing up my third novel in the series, tentatively titled: Targeted. I also write book reviews for the New York Journal of Books.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

My website:

John, it has been a pleasure. Continued success!


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, John, it was fun to learn more about you and your books.


John M. Wills said...

Thank you, Marilyn!

Diane Scott Lewis said...

John, I learned even more about you today then I've learned in our local writers group. How do you manage it all?
I'm trying to complete three novels at the same time, and finding it so difficult.
Do you teach time-management classes?

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Very interesting interview!