Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, William! What 5 things should readers know about you?
The most important thing for my readers to know about me is that I want THEM to have a great experience reading my books. I want them to feel the stress, thrill, rush, despair and joy of good legal and psychological thrillers. I want to give readers protagonists they care about and can identify with—three dimensional characters facing real human crises. And I want to give the readers truly delicious bad guys (and bad gals).
As for the mundane facts about me: (a) I’ve been a practicing trial attorney for 35 years and have had the honor of arguing before the United States Supreme Court; (b) I live with my wife Lisa and our pit bulls in the western suburbs of Philadelphia; (c) I have a TV show entitled “Sword and Pen with William L. Myers Jr.” in which I interview other authors and attorneys; you can watch it on YouTube; and (d) The best thing I ever wrote (20 years ago, as a younger and more optimistic man) was a “Declaration of Interdependence.”
A lawyer AND author AND YouTuber? When do you sleep? 😉
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
The inspiration for my “Philadelphia Legal Series” was my experience living in Philadelphia (a city I have come to love!) and practicing law here. The inspiration for the third book in the series—A Killer’s Alibi—came from my desire to place Mick (my Machiavellian defense attorney protagonist) in a situation where he has to contend with someone as Machiavellian as he is (Philly crime lord Jimmy Nunzio) and to do it in a context other than a purely adversarial one (in A Killer’s Alibi), Mick represents Nunzio, but they are both control freaks with hidden agendas and they are forced to dance around each other throughout the book.
Oooh, sounds intriguing!
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I first began writing when I was in 5th grade. I wrote short stories and the teachers took me from class-to-class and had me read the stories. Then, as I grew older, I forgot all about writing. But in my thirties I rediscovered my love of writing and have been doing so since. About seven years ago, I wrote A Criminal Defense and sent query letters to publishers without hearing back from them. It looked like the book would gather dust in my drawer forever, until a fellow attorney-author put me in touch with his editor, who got the book to an agent. The agent loved the book and got it to Thomas & Mercer, where it became the #7 best-selling Kindle for 2017.
What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging?
What I enjoy most about being a writer is that it gives me the opportunity to exercise the creative part of my brain. The legal writing I do as an attorney is very different from writing fiction; it is more technical, more constrained. In fiction writing, I can begin a scene and let the characters take me along for the ride. The most challenging part of being a writer, for me, is switching gears between the writing and the lawyering, making sure the dull, technical legal writing doesn’t bleed too much into the fiction. And making sure the fiction writing doesn’t cause me to become too creative in my legal writing. (Some judges frown on the appearance of too much personality!)
LOL, I can imagine they do! And probably your editor lets you know when your fiction writing is veering too close to your legal writing in style…
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I am working on a book called A Criminal Justice. I intend it to be my bracket-buster; a combination legal thriller, psychological thriller, financial thriller and techno thriller. It will be my Bohemian Rhapsody (which was opera, rock and everything in between). I might be biting off more than I can chew. We’ll see.
It definitely sounds like a challenge–good luck!
What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?
I am reading Tangerine, by Christine Mangan. It is a psychological thriller set in Tangiers in mid-century. The writing is fabulous, literary, and I am fully engaged in the characters.
If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?
A KILLER’S ALIBI is a must-read for people who love legal and psychological thrillers. Fully fleshed-out characters face off against each other, some seeking the truth, others hiding it, in emotionally-charged situations leading to a surprising end.
Perfect! Thanks so much, William!
About the book:
For attorney Mick McFarland, the evidence is damning. And so are the family secrets in this twisty legal thriller from the Amazon Charts bestselling author of A Criminal Defense.
When crime lord Jimmy Nunzio is caught, knife in hand, over the body of his daughter’s lover and his own archenemy, he turns to Mick McFarland to take up his defense. Usually the courtroom puppeteer, McFarland quickly finds himself at the end of Nunzio’s strings. Struggling to find grounds for a not-guilty verdict on behalf of a well-known killer, Mick is hamstrung by Nunzio’s refusal to tell him what really happened.
On the other side of the law, Mick’s wife, Piper, is working to free Darlene Dowd, a young woman sentenced to life in prison for her abusive father’s violent death. But the jury that convicted Darlene heard only part of the truth, and Piper will do anything to reveal the rest and prove Darlene’s innocence.
As Mick finds himself in the middle of a mob war, Piper delves deeper into Darlene’s past. Both will discover dark secrets that link these fathers and daughters—some that protect, some that destroy, and some that can’t stay hidden forever. No matter the risk.