Let Me Introduce You To…Bill Craig

Growing up, my dad used to tell stories about going to the movie theater on a Saturday morning. He’d pay a nickel for admission, a few cents more for a popcorn and coke, and then settle in to watch the serial exploits of heroes such as Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, the Green Hornet, and a plethora of other favorites. His love for such serial fiction must have been hereditary. I’ve probably seen almost every Saturday serial marathon AMC and other classic movie channels has run. It’s why I became a huge fan of modern favorites such as Indiana Jones and the Rocketeer. So what all this have to do with our author, Bill Craig, tonight? Simple…his books, following after the tradition of pulp adventure fiction, is just as fun and exciting as any of those old short films.

Bill’s collection of books are pretty diversified. He has heroes fighting nazis. Classic private detective heroes. Modern detective heroes. And some in between. In his books, you’ll find something for everyone who likes a fun, action-adventure story.

A little info about his characters/books:

  • Hardluck Hannigan – Love Indiana Jones? Are you longing for the old pulp adventures? Then it’s time to discover Hardluck Hannigan. Hannigan’s stories are set in the 30s and comprise the classic pulp feel of those Saturday morning matinees I was telling you about. Nazis. Flying saucers. And all kinds of coolness await you in a Hannigan story.
  • Jack Riley – Follow the adventures of Chicago Police detective Jack Riley and his investigative reporter girlfriend Moria Clark. The classic style pulp hero set in modern day. From mummies curses to insidious secret cults, you’ll find action and intrigue in a Jack Riley story.
  • Sam Decker, PI – Kick back in the Florida Keys with private investigator Sam Decker. The classic private detective tackling the best mysteries you’ll find in Florida.

To be honest, I’ve only read a bit of Bill’s work….but I can’t wait to dig deep into the Hannigan stories for sure! And his other heroes are definitely on my to-be-read list…so I highly recommend you checking them out. But I’m sure you want to know more about Bill Craig. That’s what this blog is all about after all, isn’t it? Well, recently, I was able to talk to Bill about his books and his thoughts on writing and life in general. Here’s what he had to say:

1. Your most prolific hero seems to be Hardluck Hannigan. What can you tell us about him? His origins and evolution?

Hardluck came about in a Jack Riley story. My first glimpse of him was as an 80-something yr old man. He was being targeted for murder by an ancient cult of Chinese assassins called Ghost walkers in a book titled The Mummy’s Tomb. Hannigan was an old pulp character that was a hero for Jack Riley and an old family friend of Archeologist Julie Carr who was the girlfriend of Riley’s best friend and partner, Ken Alston. I liked the character enough that I wanted to see what he was like as a young man. What made him into the man he is in the present. Out of that, Emerald Death was born, the first of the Hardluck Hannigan titles.

2. A number of your books could be considered classic pulp-style fiction. What is your fascination with pulp? What makes pulp so different than other genres out there?
I like high adventure and that was most prevalent in the field of the pulps. Doc Savage was the first set of adventure novels I read after the Hardy Boys. I then went on to The Shadow and The Avenger and The Phantom. Pulp adventures had a knack for grabbing the reader and not letting them go until the final page. I try to ascribe to that formula.

3. Out of the books you’ve written, which would you consider to be your favorite and why?

I would have to say The Butterfly Tattoo is my favorite. It is in the tradion of the old Film Noir detective stories even though set in the present time. It deals with a serial killer in a South Florida spring break town. It was a dark book and took nearly 3 years to write but I feel it is some of my best work.

4. What projects are you working on now? What can people looking forward to seeing in the future?

I just finished the third mystery in my Decker P.I. series titled Death Song. I am currently working on the next Hardluck Hannigan book, The Spear of Goliath which takes Hannigan and friends back to Africa for their first adeventure there since The Sky Masters and Emerald Death. When I finish that, the next Decker mystery and one with a new character called Harry Blaine. One editor compared a Blaine short story to early Mickey Spillane which to me was a great compliment!
 5. Besides writing, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? Any hobbies or interesting activities?

When not writing I read voraciously and I also love to sing Karaoke. A few years ago I was invited to go to Nashville but turned it down to take care of family. For me, Singing is my release and relaxation.

6. Who would you consider to be your greatest influences (whether literary, cinema, etc.) for your books?

Greatest influences are of Course Lester Dent, Walter B. Gibson, Jerry Ahern, and Robert B. Parker and of course, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. I also have to include Jim Steranko and Paul Gulacy because their artwork taught me to write in a very cinematic style. Movie ise, the Lethal Waepon films, Die Hard, and of course Casablanca.
You can find all of Bill’s books on Amazon.com! I highly encourage you to do so. And if you want to learn more about this exciting author, check out his website at http://www.billcraig.webs.com/!

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