Interview with mystery author Bentley Wells

Mystery
author Bentley Wells
joins me today to chat about his new novel, The
Paradise Coven.
Bio:
Bentley Wells
is a pseudonym. Under the author’s legal name he has written short stories and
poems for literary magazines, articles for academic journals, chapters for
nonfiction books, entries for encyclopedias, and several nonfiction books.
Please tell us about your current release.
Homicide
detectives Michael McConnell and Aaron Simmons of the Columbus (Ohio) Police
Department investigate the brutal murders of two women. There are no witnesses
and few clues, except for unfamiliar words the killer has printed in lipstick
on each victim. The detectives learn the words have demonic connotations,
making the detectives wonder if they are dealing with a serial killer or a
demon from Hell. As McConnell and Simmons dig for the truth, they discover a
decades-old third murder with the same MO. This victim had ties to “The
Paradise Coven,” a mysterious club that may be responsible for all three
murders. Unfortunately, the terrible secret the detectives unravel may have
far-reaching consequences.
What inspired you to write this book?
The
inspiration for this novel actually came from a short story that I had written
years ago. I had completed the first draft of the short story, but I had not
polished it. One day I found it and started reading. I realized that I liked
following two detectives as they investigated crimes. Of course, the plot in
the short story is not the same as the plot in The Paradise Coven. In fact, the detectives are different. For
instance, in the short story the detectives are older and have different names.
They are completely different from the detectives in the novel. On the other
hand, the leading suspect in the short story is similar to the leading suspect
in The Paradise Coven. Of course,
readers learn more about this suspect in the novel.
Excerpt from The Paradise Coven:
            McConnell and Simmons walked toward
their respective offices. They saw Captain Black through his office window. He
was motioning to them. McConnell opened the door and followed Simmons inside.
            Captain Black stood. “Sit down,” he
ordered.
            McConnell and Simmons glanced at
each other, shrugged, and sat down.
            “What’s up, Captain?” McConnell
asked.
            Captain Black crossed his arms and
shook his head. “Guess who called about an hour ago?”
            “Who?” McConnell asked.
            “The DA.”
            “What about?” Simmons asked.
            Captain Black uncrossed his arms,
moved to the front of his desk, and sat down on top of it. “It seems Thomas Marks’s
attorney informed him that Marks saw you two this morning,” he replied. “She
said that he saw you two when he left his apartment and again when he arrived
at work.”
            “That’s true,” McConnell admitted. “We
followed him.”
            “McConnell, leave him alone.”
            “But—“
            “McConnell, if you don’t leave him
alone, his attorney will file a lawsuit against the department.”
            “How do you know?” Simmons asked.
            Captain Black sighed. “She told the
DA.”
            “She’s bluffing, Captain,” McConnell
said.
            Captain Black glared at McConnell. “We
can’t take that chance, McConnell. Now, leave Thomas Marks alone. Do you
understand?”
            McConnell lowered his head. “I
understand.”
            Black stared at McConnell for a
minute. “Get back to work.”
What exciting story are you working on
next?
I have
completed the first draft of a second mystery, but this novel doesn’t feature
Michael McConnell and Aaron Simmons. Instead of Ohio, this mystery is set in
Oklahoma. It concerns a man in his late twenties investigating the murder of
his father, a prominent businessman and pillar of the community. In this
mystery, I focus primarily on the characters first and the plot second.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
When I wrote
something that was published. This was a short story that was published in a
literary magazine. I was in college at the time.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I don’t write
full-time. If I’m writing fiction, I try to write two or three pages a week. If
I’m writing nonfiction, I have to research the subject. I do this to make sure
what I’m working on is current. Then I write. Sometimes, I’ll research a
subject, then write, and then do more research, until the article or book is
written. I also read a lot. Although I read mostly books of nonfiction, I will
read a mystery from time to time. For instance, I just finished a novel by
Linwood Barclay and another by Raymond Chandler.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I do a lot of
research even when I write fiction. Whether this is a “quirk,” well, I don’t
know. I just enjoy it.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
This is a
good question. However, my interest in writing grew when I was in my teens. I
enjoyed reading fiction at an early age. My interest in writing nonfiction grew
when I was in college, especially when I was in graduate school.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I hope
readers will enjoy The Paradise Coven,
which is filled with twists and turns.
The book can
be found through: Black Opal Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million,
Smashwords, KOBO, iTunes, and Scribd.
Thanks for being here today, Bentley!

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