Bill Rogers – Successful Self-Published Detective Thriller Writer
Bill Rogers is the author of nine novels in his DCI Tom Caton crime thriller series, set in and around Manchester. The first, ‘The Cleansing’ was short-listed for the Long Barn Books Debut Novel competition and has also received the ePublishing Consortium Writers Award for excellence in writing, cover design and publishing.
The sixth in the series, ‘A Trace of Blood’ reached the semi-final of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
His detective series is characterised by his attention to detail, meticulous research and vast knowledge of police procedures. He goes so far as to visit all the sites featured in his novels, taking along a video camera and a notebook, in order to capture the scene and the atmosphere thoroughly, which lends a refreshing authenticity to his descriptions and to the settings in his books.
In addition to the Tom Caton series Bill has published a collection of short stories and novellas, under the title ‘Breakfast at Katsouris’ and a novel aimed at the young adult market. ‘The Cave’ is the story of a group of teenagers who are trapped, and thrown on their own resources after a tunnel they are exploring collapses.
Prior to his career in fiction Bill already had numerous publications to his credit, in the field of education. He is a former Principal Inspector of Schools for the City of Manchester, Head of the Manchester Schools Improvement Service and Fellow and Judge of the Teaching Awards. For four years he was a programme consultant and panelist on the popular ITV Television programme Which Way.
I met Bill in 2011, through his involvement with the Six Book Challenge. He was a visiting speaker at The Royal Bolton Hospital, one of many venues working hard to promote reading among those who do not regularly read for pleasure, in connection with World Book Day.
He gave us an interesting insight into his research techniques, his love of writing, making the breakthrough as a successful novelist; which by no means ends when the last page is written, and his self publishing career.
For me it was an introduction to his books as well as I had not previously read any of them. I have since read several, the latest being ‘The Cave’ which I enjoyed enormously. As a former teacher I do like reading books aimed at teenagers and young adults and I can see Bill´s own teaching background at work in his sensitivity and empathy towards young people. He has also worked with the police on innovative programmes to help disadvantaged young people to avoid a life of crime.
Bill Rogers was a finalist in the Simply Business 200,000 customers competition and this interview was videoed at his home.
When I approached Bill with a request that he have a look at writersend.com he very generously offered a very positive response. It is a pleasure to welcome him as a contributing guest on the Blog and to wish him continued success in his writing career. Please have a look at his own website where you can also order his work.
Novels by Bill Rogers
In the Tom Caton Series:
The Head Case
The Tiger´s Cave
A Fatal Intervention
A Trace of Blood
The Frozen Contract
A Venetian Moon (added January 2014)
A collection of short stories and novellas: Breakfast at Katsouris
A novel for young adults and adult readers: The Cave.
Bill has very kindly allowed us to post an excerpt from his book THE HEAD CASE. Thanks Bill, hope you all enjoy it.
The car was still there. He edged a little closer, hugging the side of the towering railway viaduct. He stopped for a moment and listened. Other than the sound of his own breathing, and the rustling of the trees beyond the archway, there was silence.
He decided to wait for a while, to recover his breath, and take stock. This was not a place that people would come, approaching midnight, unless like him they had mischief in mind. The car, parked close to the kerb, just short of the entrance to the arch, had been there for over five hours. At first he had thought it a Mercedes saloon, but the arrow head badging with the double M logo was one that he had never seen before. Whatever; it was large, and flash, and worth a mint. He still could not understand why it was parked here, rather than on the car park further down the street where the CCTV camera kept watch.
The first of the iron gates creaked noisily as he made the dog-leg exit between the railings. He paused, before stepping out from deep shadow into the pool of moonlight spilling over the cobbled street, glinting silver on the gaping radiator grill. He ducked instinctively, and cursed, as a bat swooped low above his head. His fingers closed reassuringly over the tool that lay deep in the zipped compartment of his bomber jacket. He pulled his baseball cap further down over his forehead and walked quickly towards the passenger door.
Crouching low, he peered inside the car. It was still there, in the front passenger foot well. He unzipped his pocket, withdrew the centre punch, and pressed it against the bottom right hand corner of the window. The sound, like a muted gunshot, echoed in the tunnel created by the archway walls, and hung for a moment above the parkland beyond the gates. A fraction later, it was replaced by the wail of the car alarm. Golden flashes from the wrap-around headlights threw his silhouette into sharp relief. Straightening up, he placed the punch in the centre of the window, against the now crazed glass. A hole appeared the size of a golf ball. Two blows with his elbow were sufficient to allow his arm inside. The door release catch refused to respond. Cursing, he hammered the window with his elbow twice more until he was able to squeeze his right arm, head, and shoulders, into the car. With his body pivoted over the door panel he was able to grasp the handle of the briefcase. The shoulder strap caught momentarily on the rake adjustment lever before he was able to tug it free, and flee towards the park gates.
He jinked through the dog-leg like a rugby league winger, and sped onto the broad cobbled way his Nan still referred to as Fitzgeorge Street. He took the first right fork uphill, not slowing until he reached the exit at the side of the Mayflower pub. Pausing only to stuff the briefcase up the front of his jacket, he stepped out onto the pavement on Rochdale Road.
The steel grey shutters were down on Mays’ Pawnbrokers and Second Hand Jewellers, the bright red walls a muted glow in the glare of the street lights. To the right, he could just make out the communication mast of Collyhurst Police Station, less than half a mile away. He hurried across the road, and jogged by the side of the Youth Centre, past the impressive mural on the outside wall that he had helped to create. He slowed crossing Teignmouth Street, and entered Ryder Street, briefly disturbing an ancient German shepherd and a mangy sheepdog in one of the back yards, before disappearing like a phantom into the maze of maisonettes and three storey flats.
The sound of the alarm ceased as suddenly as it had begun. The lights flashed despairingly for several seconds, and gave up. Only then was it possible to hear the feeble tapping inside the car boot. A long-eared owl, attracted by the sound, perched on the fence beside the car. With three dimensional hearing it was acutely, if indifferently, aware of the futility of the struggle within. The owl sat there for a full five minutes, his head rotating from time to time through three hundred and sixty degrees. He listened as the sounds became weaker, and finally stopped.
Scanning the horizon one last time, he ruffled his feathers, spread his wings, and soared imperiously away, leaving the arches to the bats, the silence, and the night.