Some people ask me, “Why Bill Reyner?” I suppose that’s a good question, as I don’t really have an answer. I like Bill, but I think I like poor old Newf more. Bill’s a little bit of a bully and a show off, whereas Newf merrily wends his way through life absorbing Bill’s derogatory remarks. Bill has a knack of finding trouble – he’s the magnet and disasters are the iron filings. If there’s any problem in any neighbourhood Bill will surely stumble into it. I particularly enjoyed writing Lions and Christians. For some reason that story just flowed, I could see every detail through my mind’s eye. Wilson was just asking for it and poor Bill wasn’t up to it, but the Canadian Air Force surely did a fine job on him, and the Major, I just loved giving him his comeuppance.
In Damp Graves Bill was up against a man of high intellect but none-the-less managed to confuse him into making mistakes, even so Newf was the hero and actually did all the rescuing. I think the Dutchman is my second favourite. The story is loosely based on the London gold robbery. They got caught because they were too greedy. In the Dutchman my bad guys were smarter, but not quite smart enough. I visited the area and the church in question. I had a ball along that wonderful Norfolk coast. Bill fell head over heels in love with a girl from a local post office. In real life I met her, she was magnificently beautiful, but one early morning when I went to buy my breakfast, (yes from the post office.) I saw her kissing another woman. Well I just had to introduce her to Bill, not that the real girl would ever know.
I’ve just finished the tenth story in the Bill Reyner series, Agency. This time Bill’s up against an evil genius scientist. After starting his new detective agency Bill takes a holiday in the wild. Only Bill Reyner could pick the exact spot where evil abounds. Outwitted at every turn, his old buddy Hugh Zaskin quietly threads the pieces together.
Now of course I can’t just sit and hope there’s another story somewhere. No, I’ve started the eleventh book in the series. This one’s called Cursed. It will explain all the background skipped in the first ten books. For example, what happened to Newf’s mother? Why does Newf speak so funny? How did Bill’s parents die? Where did Jane Overland come from? and a hundred other questions that fans have asked me. Cursed neatly ties them all together into a another horrifying and deadly tale of mystery and suspense.
I was driving in the country minding my own business when by chance I came upon a little church. It was only a shed really, but it had a cross on the gable and was parked on the edge of a large grass field and had a very large parking area. What interested me was the fact that there were no houses any where near this place. Instantly I thought ‘mystery’ and possibly intrigue.
As it happens I had just finished The first Bill Reyner book, ‘Fiend’s Gold’ which at that time was not intended as a series. But there it was, a mysterious church that begged Bill to investigate. The railway crossed the road just a little way beyond the church and at that moment a long and very boring train decided to block my progress. With nothing to do but wait for the lumbering freighter to clear the way I sat and dreamed. Before the train had passed, the plot and story line was clear in my head. It was obvious that this church housed a sinister and very dark collection of bizarre worshipers.
I could hardly wait to get home as the story was buzzing around in my brain and needed to be recorded – Bill was really going to be in for it this time, I could see the danger awaiting him. The week before encountering the church I had been to Tew Falls, it is a beautiful waterfall in a wild park run by the Niagara Escarpment Authority, as I left we decided to come home a different way and low and behold I passed an excavation right on the edge of the park. Someone was building their dream home with a view. The church and the new house just fitted together like hand in glove – the connection being a murder.
Mania is an exciting ramble through the unlikely but presented as very believable way. A lunatic fringe religion that ceremonially murder people. It’s a good mystery and Bill does his best to solve it. If you haven’t read it you should check out the first chapter on my website.
I see that some people found it exciting, there a couple of excellent reviews on Amazon.com and at Barns Noble. Why not pop over to Amazon and look up Mania by Wentworth M Johnson and read the reviews, it’s free and it’s fun.
I’ve sort of neglected the blog lately as I have been very busy moving Bill Reyner and company over to I & W Johnson Books, from the old publisher. It takes me about 20 hours to get one story transferred and into e-book formant. Good news!! In a week or so all Bill Reyner books will be in e-book and paperback at a slightly lower price than before and available worldwide.
At the same time I have been writing the tenth book in the series. Wow! If I got paid the minimum wage for this job I’d be rich. The more people who know me the more e-mails I get. It’s imperative that I answer my fans even before I start my day’s work. I get communications from India, Indonesia, Malaya, and even France, not to mention USA, UK and Canada. I’m not complaining – I love to hear from you wherever you are.
I think this week I would just like to complain for once – things I don’t like. The funny thing is the things that upset me most is people who distort the language, even though I have poor old Newf with his murdered English. For example my hair stands on end when people, particularly radio and TV personalities who will pronounce the ‘L’ in walk, talk, chalk, palm and almond. In English and these words the ‘L’ is silent, just like the ‘P’ in swimming. Ha, ha. Another one that raises my hackles is English or American people who say ’erbs. Take note and check your pronunciation dictionary. The word is Herb with an ‘H’. Only French people drop the ‘H’. Otherwise we’d say ’ouse, ’appy, Uncle ’arry, if you see what I mean. So, you could say ’ang your ’at in the ’all ’arry and we’ll all ’ave a cup o’ ’erbal tea. Doh !!!
Before I leave this subject, never to return. There are two other hackle raisers. Many American’s say semi, pronounced sem-eye. Check your dictionary, it’s semi pronounced semee or semy. Then you have mobile, pronounced by many as mobeel – should be mob-isle as in the ‘Isle’ of Man.
Now if I haven’t lost all my followers !!! Have fun and keep reading.
Back by popular demand. Yes that’s right, Bill is back and this time in hard cover, paperback and e-book. Any minute now the ninth book in the Bill Reyner adventure series will hit the shelves, Magnuscarter. Surprisingly there’s also another and very exciting development. Yet another book is also about to hit the shelves. No I haven’t been sleeping. I’ve been hard at work trying to please my fans.
Have you ever been to Norfolk England? Doesn’t matter, I have. I did some excellent exploring of the North Norfolk coast and it inspired me to write another book. Yeah, it’s true I did Bill in the Dutchman, and that was on the same coast. But this time it’s an exciting fiction using real places, which includes murder and robbery. There’s also a load more skullduggery going on, some shocking and some humorous.
The village of Sea Palling fell into the sea during a storm, and sometime later the village of Trimingham followed. The whole North Norfolk coast is highly active and unstable. Exactly! Just the place for a mystery. This time a cat is the key to it’s solution.
Keep your eyes peeled for Happisburgh High-jinks. Just one word of warning, Happisburgh is pronounced Hay’s Borough, or as they would say in the Americas Haysboro.
Keep on reading.
The ninth book in the Bill Reyner series is complete and submitted to a publisher. With luck we should see it on the market some time in the next three months. This time we’re going the whole HOG; it’ll be available in e-book, paperback and hardcover. Although I have already started on ten and have planned eleven, I thought the Caribbean would be a good venue for a story about our hero Mr. Reyner.
Wow! Well I went in search of an escapade for Bill, although I found loads of adventure it just didn’t seem to be in the same vane as Bill. I think if he were to go there he would have far too much fun to bother with mystery and danger. We only visited five islands – all very beautiful and very tropical. Beautiful pastel coloured houses shrouded either in palm trees or tropical nut trees with mountains and volcanoes in the background.
The local inhabitants seem to be very happy and have an excellent sense of humour. They particularly liked cemetery jokes. Every guide we met had at least one graveyard gag.
“The cemetery you’ll notice is in the middle of town.” Spoken of course with a Caribbean accent. “We carls it the dead centre.”
“Yar’ll notice thar’s a wall around the cemetery. It’s far protection, people are jus’ dyin’ to get in.”
“We calls it the last motel, as the road don’t go no farther.”
“You know why they doon’t bury the people who live in St Kitts in that cemetery? – Cuz they ain’t dead yet.”
So keep reading Bill, especially the new one “Magnuscarter” and if you get the chance to see the Caribbean take it and don’t look back.
One of the first questions people often ask me is, “What was your inspiration for writing this book?”
Hmm! Well it’s a bit like asking a bricklayer, “So what inspired you to build that house?”
In answer to the question I would say, it’s not so much inspiration as perspiration. First you have to have the will to write something, and then you sit and generate ideas, thus developing a plot. With Bill Reyner I wanted to write something that was “INSPIRED” by the surrounds. After much thought on the matter, I decided to choose as my source of inspiration the town of Parry Sound. I’d been there before and thought the so-called 30,000 islands would give me an exciting backdrop.
Somehow visiting the little town with my notebook in hand I developed the rules for Bill Reyner. At that time I had no intention of writing a series. From then on INSPIRATION became automatic. I’d seen Bill and followed him through one adventure and then one day I stood and looked down into Tew Falls and that’s the point I had an inspiration. I suddenly needed to write a story about a skull found near that beautiful landmark. The second book in the series was born and with it Bill’s life long companion, Newf.
Following the rules I traveled to different locations looking for that elusive inspiration. If you’ve read the series you see that Bill has been around quite a bit, though in some cases I changed the name of the place to protect the innocent. Anytime I get an idea I put it in my notebook and then copy it to the computer with the intention of using it one day. Now I’m taking a trip to the Caribbean, and my faithful notebook will be in my hand.
Magnuscarter is the ninth book in the series but it won’t be the last. I have the skeletons of numbers ten and eleven already festering in my computer. Strangely I prefer to write science fiction especially if time travel is part of it, but Bill won’t let me alone. You’ll see that in the ninth book I tried to kill him off, but he’s far too strong.
You might think that some of Bill Reyner’s escapades are a little far fetched. No, not really. His car accidents for instance, yes I’ve been there in every one. Once I end-over-ended a French Peugeot. Unfortunately it was on a hill and the car tried to make like a golf ball in the rough. Backwards, end-over-end she descended the hill with me clinging onto the steering column for dear life. At the bottom of the hill it stopped and a very dizzy and disoriented driver sat up to discover the car had landed the right way up, no windows, no doors, rear cab roof crushed flat one road wheel missing, no lights, battery or fuel tank. Climbing out I looked back up the hill and saw a trail of debris reminiscent of an airplane crash. My only injuries were a very bruised back and a severely bruised knee.
Another time as passenger we went off a curve in a military truck at just over 75 miles per hour. I remember the edge marker posts bursting off the front of the vehicle like machinegun bullets. We slipped into the ditch and ended up at a tree that stubbornly refused to move. The front of the vehicle buckled and the front window exploded. Again I staggered out, the only member of the three man crew able to walk.
Talking of military vehicles reminds me of the time I was driving an armoured car in Africa coming down a fairly steep and long hill the brakes suddenly failed. Oh boy! Fortunately I had two things in my favour, one; I had been trained to drive properly and two; the gears were manual. Remembering the drill I popped the clutch raced the motor and jammed it into a lower gear. As my heart raced and the bottom of the hill came closer and closer I did it another three times. Fortunately the gearbox took the punishment and I reached the bottom at only thirty miles an hour.
The most amusing was when I was in Africa. At a little shop in Ruiru One of the lads thought it would be a grand idea to buy 5 pounds of Chinese Crackers. For fun we would light one and toss it at a local African as we passed. (I know, hooliganism.) But the laugh was on us. I sat next to the driver with the bag of fireworks on my lap, Tony the driver was the instigator and had the most fun. I would break one off and hand it to him; he lit it with his cigarette and gleefully tossed it out his open window. This particular time the fuse snapped off and still alight blew back into the car, landing in the bag that was on my knee. I looked in with the intension of retrieving it but all I saw was a mass of fire. In panic I handed the bag to the policeman sitting behind me. It was at that time the world ended. In an instant the car was filled with fire and explosions and choking smoke.
All I can say is – we all survived.
The question I am asked most of all is,
“Do you intend to write any more Bill Reyner stories?”
Ah, an excellent question with a simple answer. “Yes.” As it happens I have two stories in the works. Bill always seems to find the gold whether he’s looking for it or not. As you may have noticed he gets older with each successive tale. Now he lives in a huge house with his new wife and retired grandmother and of course Newf.
One new story leads Bill into danger (of course) and to hidden gold (of course), but not in the way you would expect. In this one both Bill and Newf deliberately set course to search for long lost treasure. So what’s the complication? Ah! Now that would be telling. Hopefully everyone will know the truth in about a year.
The other story? Slightly different. I had hoped it would be the conclusion to the series, though Bill is almost impossible to kill off. What you will find are all the answers you must have asked when you read all the other stories. Why does he seem to find all this gold? How come he never gets killed in the most dangerous of situations? How come Jane Overland has had so many husbands?
All these answers and more, but you’ll have to be patient, even Bill didn’t know until someone told him why he’s so lucky.