Title: The White River Killer
Author: Stephen Wilson
Publisher: Stephen Wilson
File Size: 501 KB
John Riley Hubbard is a young farmer and part-time reporter in a small southern town. After the body of an Arab college student is found near his home, Hubbard reluctantly agrees to cover the grisly story for the local paper. When he discovers there is a surprising link from this crime to his father’s unsolved murder, he becomes obsessed with uncovering the killer’s identity. Since he was a child, Hubbard has been haunted by nightmares and suspicions that his father’s killer may be the man closest to him – his wealthy uncle.
As his investigation progresses, he must face mounting threats from an unseen adversary and managed his growing attraction to Maria, a young Latino woman who might be part of the conspiracy.
The White River Killer is an exciting mixture of mystery, romance, and suspense.
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IT WAS THE FLOWER GARDEN THAT DID MARIA IN. Hubbard agreed to till up his mother’s old flower garden that had gone to seed for a new garden. Maria, through Emily’s translation, had requested a fun summertime activity.
Emily was a born salesperson. “It will teach me responsibility if I water it every day. I need that bad.”
The flower garden was followed by an irrigation request for the home’s vegetable garden.
Neither of the planting activities was unusual for a farm. That’s not what drove Hubbard to act. What troubled Hubbard was that Emily now referred to them as Maria’s flower garden and Maria’s vegetables.
There was no time to waste. From his tractor, Hubbard called Mr. Carlos and told him that Maria wasn’t working out. After his obligation at the Tomato Festival, they had to find new work for her. Mr. Carlos didn’t understand the connection between Maria and the annual event, but he reluctantly agreed to look for a new opportunity for the girl.
Hubbard feared he would eventually screw up with her. She was always within arm’s reach and he was too damned attracted to her. Sometimes the pain of his growing desire made him feel like he was burning alive. It made him want to drink to deal with it. That’s why she had to go.
Interview with author Stephen Wilson
Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Yes, I work in marketing and advertising. I’ve written professionally, but this is my first work of fiction. I began it at the Aspen Institute’s Summer Words program about three years ago…. Time flies.
Which project are you currently promoting?
The White River Killer which is a mystery that takes place in a small southern town.
Can you tell us what the book is about?
John Riley Hubbard is a young farmer who makes extra money reporting on high school sports for the local weekly newspaper. He tries to avoid covering the murder of a young college student fearing that it might bring up too many memories regarding his father’s unsolved murder many years previously. But as he begins his rather cursory investigation, he begins to uncover clues that might lead to his wealthy uncle as the culprit. Small town rumors, that Hubbard has always disavowed, suggested that his uncle may have been responsible for his father’s murder. He becomes obsessed with the case because he knows that if his uncle is capable of this murder, then he must have been capable of his father’s murder.
How did you come up with the title for this book?
It’s really a repeating thread through the story. The eccentric owner of the paper insists, despite all evidence, that it’s the return of a serial killer now presumed dead. But there might be another white river killer that’s hiding in plain sight.
What inspired you to write this book?
I really liked the idea of a mystery where the stakes are very personal for the protagonist. What will he do when he learns the truth? But until he knows, he must face threats from an unseen adversary and sort through all the other suspects.
What made you decide to become a writer?
I love story telling and developing unexpected twists and turns. I hope the reader will enjoy them as well.
What genre do you generally write?
I typically write non-fiction. I’ve written one biography published by August House Publishers before this.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
In Latin class in middle school I wrote a funny story about the Roman gods that I read aloud. The laughs and applause from my peers got me hooked.
What character out of your most recent work do you admire the most and why?
My main character. He has overcome personal demons and now is building a new life while facing a challenge that will take every ounce of his resolve.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to the culmination?
Hmmm. If this one is any indication three years.
How do you deal with negative reviews?
Ignore them unless I can learn from them.
What other projects are you currently working on?
A young adult novel about time-traveling teens.
When you begin a new MS, does it start with an idea, concept, or both?
When I can view the story in my mind (like a movie) I know I’m ready.
Is there a message you’d like to get across through your story?
The importance of family in helping you find peace.
Is there a genre you’d never consider writing? If so, why?
Military thrillers – just don’t know enough on the subject.
What is your least favorite part about getting published?
Oh, having it finished is the best feeling in the world. I also lucked out with a great cover.
Was the road to publication a long one for you?
Yep. Three years.
Do you use a pen name? If so, why?
Nope. After putting this much work in it, I want people to know who wrote it.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Watching the move: The White River Killer
What is the best advice you can give to a new author?
Just jump in.
Where can the readers find more information about you?
Don’t have a website yet. Still a little new at this.
Stephen Wilson is an American author. His first book was Harvey Couch – An Entrepreneur Brings Electricy to Arkansas, published in 1986 by August House publishers. He also has won awards for his screenplays which have been presented by the Writer’s Workshop program at the American Film Institute. His latest work, The White River Killer was developed as part of the Summer Words program at the Aspen Institute.
In addition to writing, he is a marketing and advertising professional.
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