Everyone, please put your hands together for, R. L. Crump, the Author of The Bad Shepherd. Okay, Becky, you’re on.
We all have favorite people. If you could meet a favorite character or author who would it be and why?
I would like to meet Sherlock Holmes. I grew up reading those stories and have never seen a representation in the movies that I liked. I have a different persona in mind.
I read many of the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was growing up. What’s your bad quality?
I am disorganized/messy.
Many authors are the same, especially in their writing spaces. If you could have a luncheon with any three people, which three people would you choose and why?
I would like to invite Jesus, Charles Darwin and Madeline O’Hare. I would like the latter two to meet Jesus, know that He is real, and upbraid them about how much damage they have done to our country’s moral fabric by spreading doubt about the existence of God.
That would be an interesting meeting indeed. What prepared you for becoming a writer?
I’ve always liked to write, even when I was a teenager. It was my work as an attorney that brought out The Council series. The Bad Shepherd really touches on many issues I dealt with on a daily basis because I often worked with domestic violence victims. I saw how hard the abuse was on the kids. I saw how often the courts would downplay the trauma and allow the abuser around the very children he, or even sometimes she, had harmed, if “only” mentally. I saw how the courts ignore the fact that abuse of a parent is abuse to the child, whether the child witnessed it or not. Verbal and mental abuse to the children is completely ignored in the courts, even though it leads to many mental health issues as adults. I saw how the justice system treats domestic abusers differently from stranger assault cases, as if the violence is not as big a deal if it’s done at home. I’ve seen others, including myself when I first started, judge the women for staying more than the guys for abusing them.
There are many inconsistencies in the American court system. Perhaps, over time, many will be worked out. What is your writing style? Why do you think your writing style is such as it is?
I like to use dialogue and action to speed up the story while also developing a character. How a character reacts to a certain situation and what that character’s words are go a long way to showing a reader what they’re made of. I hate a lot of narrative. To me it’s boring unless it is kept to a minimum. My books are quick reads and I have quit apologizing to myself for that. My readers enjoy them. I enjoy stories that move quickly and that is why I write in that style.
That goes back to the, show-it-don’t-tell-it principle. How do you keep yourself motivated to write?
I don’t force myself to write. I’m always on the lookout for themes when I’m reading the news or working but I don’t just sit down every day and force something onto the paper. If something doesn’t compel me to write, I consider that it isn’t really worth putting it down on the paper.
Many authors have different motivation strategies. I like yours rather much. Which one of your publications will you be sharing in the interview?
The Bad Shepherd. It is the second in a series that starts with The Council.
That’s at title weighted with a lot of symbolism. What do you think and feel about this publication?
I actually enjoyed writing this book because I got to work on my main character’s personality some more and go through the changes with him. It has more heart to it because he has become more open and personable than he was in the first book. He faces challenges; he overcomes obstacles; and he faces his past. While the first book covers some of these issues, I got to really expand his character and introduce some others who go through the rest of the series with him.
It’s a plus when character development continues to progress across the books in a series. Who is your favorite character?
Drew, who is the main character. I absolutely adore this guy and enjoy “spending time” with him. I wanted a character who was fallible but also principled and kind.
It’s always a plus when an author likes their characters. Are any of the scenes or storylines in your book from real life experiences?
I’ve been an attorney for almost twenty years. Most scenes are based on a compilation of the experiences of my clients and their children. In The Council, I dealt mostly with domestic violence as it affects the adults. In The Bad Shepherd, I continue the theme to show how domestic violence traumatizes children as well. The theme doesn’t hit you over the head; I just have characters who are dealing with the trauma and other results that such violence causes. The main character is a retired police officer, so his views on domestic violence differ, both as a male and as a law enforcement officer, from the other characters who experienced the abuse directly.
And there you go folks, an interview with Author R. L. Crump. Give it up for today’s author, everyone! Thanks for stopping in, Becky. It’s been great having you. Please do visit again and don’t make us wait too long!
R. L. CRUMP, known as Becky to her friends, is an attorney in East Texas. She worked at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (formerly West Texas Legal Services) in Lubbock for fifteen years before moving to Quitman. Her experiences working with victims of domestic violence are woven into her novels, the first of which is The Council. Her unique point of view comes from interviews and court experiences, as well as extensive research into the issues of domestic violence and custody.
Becky loves camping and fishing and will sit on a dock for hours at night waiting for that monster catfish to strike. Of course, the big ones have always gotten away. She loves to drive down country roads just to see where they lead and to visit new places. It doesn’t matter if it’s mountains, oceans or museums, if it’s a new experience, it must be wonderful. Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks are tied for her favorite locations. One day, she hopes to tip the refrigerator over with the magnets she keeps collecting from places she visits.
After the devastating loss of the first woman he’d loved in more than a decade, Private Investigator Drew Kaufman is back. He must find a way to free himself from a self-imposed isolation, because he is the only one who is good enough to find and catch a group of serial killers operating in East Texas before they choose their next victim. As he tries in vain to prove that his primary suspect is the one behind the murders, Drew is suddenly forced to face his past and the issues that he has avoided for more than a decade: why he has been incapable of sharing his emotions, why he’s taken so long to find love again, and why Lily—the woman responsible for the first two issues—left in the first place. And just as he is about to realize his wildest dreams, he risks everything to keep the murderers from claiming another life.
Also check out, The Council, by R. L. Crump.
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