Our interview today is with a very special mystery writer. I will refer to him as the real deal when it comes to writing police procedurals.
B.J. Bourg is a twenty-five-year veteran of law enforcement and has worked as a patrol cop, detective, police academy instructor, SWAT officer, sniper leader, and chief investigator for a district attorney’s office. He is a former professional boxer and a lifelong martial artist. He loves vacationing in the mountains and is especially drawn to hiking, climbing, photographing dangerous animals, and traversing wild rivers in anything that will float. Above all else, he is a father and husband, and the highlight of his life is spending time with his wife and children.
B.J., before we start, I just want to congratulate you on the fine reviews you received from Library Journal and Kirkus among others.
Question: What is the title and genre of your novel? Why did you select them?
Answer: The title is Hollow Crib and it’s a mystery.
Question: What inspired this novel? How did it come about?
Answer: When Brandon and Grace were young, I’d take them camping in the
in northern Kisatchie National Forest . As we explored the area in daytime and at night, I
thought it was a great setting for a creepy mystery. I’d tell them scary
stories by the campfire and, after they’d go into the tent for the night, I’d
stay up by the campfire and plot out what later became HOLLOW CRIB. Earlier
this year, Grace and I went on a father-daughter adventure hike in the Louisiana . Instead of telling her a scary story by the campfire, I read an
excerpt from HOLLOW CRIB—she didn’t want to stay the night. Kisatchie Forest
Question: Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your novel?
Answer: Brandon Berger works as a detective for the Magnolia Parish Sheriff’s Office. His loyalty to his department and dedication to his job are admirable qualities, for sure, but he finds himself struggling to strike the right balance between his family and his job. This is something that many detectives face in their real lives and there’s no easy way to resolve that conflict. While
always tries to do the right thing in his job, he
doesn’t always make the best choices when it comes to his family, and this puts
a strain on his marriage, which in turn distracts him from his case. Brandon
Question: Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?
Answer: My debut novel is titled JAMES 516 (originally published by Amber Quill Press) and it features a police sniper named London Carter as the main protagonist. I was a sniper myself and, being very passionate about the job, I decided to write something I was dying to read. I didn’t know if anyone else would care to read a book about a police sniper, but I had a lot of fun writing it. It literally flew off of my fingertips and I started to wonder if I’d written it too fast. I was pleased when Amber Quill Press accepted it for publication and later flattered when it won the 2016 EPIC eBook Award for Best Mystery.
Question: What are you working on now?
Answer: I’m currently wrapping up the sequel to my latest novel, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN, where I introduce readers to a new cast of characters. Clint Wolf is the police chief of a small swampy town called Mechant Loup, and his sidekick is Susan Wilson, a no-nonsense patrol sergeant who moonlights as a cage fighter. In case
’s reading this; if this series were ever made into
a movie, I’d want Gina Carano playing Susan Wilson. Hollywood
Question: What made you start writing?
Answer: When I was very young, I started telling stories to get out of praying and reading the Bible. My mom was very religious and she would make my brother and me kneel down in our rooms and pray for what seemed like forever. And then we’d have to read our Bibles. That wasn’t my idea of fun, so I started making up stories to tell my brother. He loved hearing them and I loved telling them, and I later began writing some of them down. I soon discovered Louis L’Amour’s novels and was immediately hooked. I dreamed of being a writer when I grew up and I wanted to write Westerns like my hero. However, life got in the way and it wasn’t until 1998 or 1999 that I decided to pursue that childhood passion. It didn’t take me long to realize the only thing I knew about the Old West was what I’d learned from Mr. L’Amour. I then read a book on writing that suggested I write what I know. At that point, I’d been a detective for about six years and I knew how to solve mysteries, so I began writing in that genre.
Question: What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?
Answer: Approach everything you do with a beginner’s mind, always hungry for knowledge. Once we think we know it all about a particular subject, that’s when we’ll cease to learn. And above all else, never give up on your dream of being a writer. I’m 45 and I’m still pursuing my dream of being a writer when I grow up.
Question: Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?
Answer: HOLLOW CRIB is now available anywhere books are sold. It can be ordered in hardcover through the publisher’s website at www.cengage.com, as well as through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million, and it’s available as an e-book on Amazon.
Questions and/or comments for B.J. are welcome here.