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Friday, January 12, 2024

Writing Action-Packed Thrillers: Author Interview with Bill Best

You have now published multiple thrillers, but what inspired you to write that first book? 
Growing up, I devoured every Science Fiction book in the libraries. And, yes, comics. Then there was Star Trek, Star Wars, and similar TV shows and movies. As an adult, I occasionally wondered, what about a Christian “superhero?” How might that work?

I began writing toward the end of my other careers. I served in the Air Force for 30 years, the first 9 on Active Duty and the remaining 21 as a Reservist as I helped start and then continued on staff with a Christian radio ministry. 

Had you planned on your books  becoming a series? 
A trilogy was always my plan. It started with what later became Book Two, the story of a near-retirement engineer who helps design a prototype hypersonic manned interceptor. When a nuclear missile threatens the United States, the only hope for intercept is Guardian.  The intercept fails due to sabotage. Roger creates an EMP by collapsing the ion drive’s supermagnet and safely detonates the missile far off the east coast.  Roger and Guardian survive the nuclear blast. but they were somehow transformed. They are now transdimensional, invisible to the world. Roger can walk through walls. A devout Christian, he is now clearly in the world but not of it.

That covers the first two novellas!  Then, I worked through a prequel, which I later rebranded as Book One. It goes back years earlier to introduce a second main character to the series. Jennifer is a college grad whose priorities are getting what she wants and partying. That is until she witnesses a murder. Roger and Jennifer become the first of many members of an “end times team” who risk everything to hold off the ultimate, prophesied evil as long as possible

That finishes books one and two. Book Three (released last November) has the team fighting the likely Antichrist and the clandestine One World Peace Now organization who are on the verge of global domination. Amazingly, it was released just a week before the latest war in the Middle East began!

You’re an indie author, which means you’re in charge of everything from writing to publishing and marketing. Other than writing, what other parts of the process do you personally do or hire others to do? 
I depend on editorial help and book cover designers. My website, emails, formatting, marketing, and virtually everything else? For now, it’s all me!
How do you go about doing research for your thrillers to make them believable – especially when the storyline is action packed?  
That comes from my years of reading, my military background, working with engineers, and asking a lot of questions from folks who know more about certain things. And from invaluable feedback from beta readers!!

Your series is subtitled End of the Sixth Age. What does that mean? 
The series title is finally explained in Book Three by a persecuted pastor. He and his wife are driven underground when their lives are threatened. He begins blogging, drawing a huge following as he simply and clearly explains some key Biblical fundamentals. He starts by going through what he describes as the six ages from creation through where we are now, in the so-called church age:

  • ONE Adam to Noah
  • TWO Noah to Abraham
  • THREE Abraham to David
  • FOUR David to Christ
  • FIVE Christ through the Apostles
  • SIX Church Age after Apostles through the Tribulation(SEVEN: The Millennial Reign, and then the final age would be eternity with the new heavens and earth) 
What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing? 
From other writers! Don’t expect instant success. Focus on the basics: A good story, good editing, great cover, and a compelling “book blurb”  But realize that there’s a whole lot more. You have to do your own marketing. Try to keep a good balance.
Marketing is the biggest key to making sales. What is the best marketing source you've used that has produced more sales rather than just clicks? 
Experts recommend focusing on building your email list, especially with those who are interested in your specific genre. I tried numerous things that failed miserably. What almost doubled my list over the past year is participating in Book Funnel newsletter promos. Do this after you have at least 2 books in a series (I have three). 

Offer your first eBook for free in the promo. Each person who downloads your ebook, will be added to your email program. At a minimum, send a personal email to each new reader, preferably offering your second book at a discount. Provide anything else you can to your email list to keep them interested, without overwhelming them. Those who stay with you are the ones you most want to have engaged when you release a new book. 
What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner? 
I wish I had written the first two novels in my series before publishing. Many will disagree and say to just “get it done.” But at the very least, I should have finished an entire novel and not tried to begin by marketing individual novellas.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give? 
Count the cost. You may be a terrific author. But remember, if your goal is “best-selling author,” selling involves marketing. There are millions (yes, MILLIONS) of books languishing on Amazon. Get a website and a domain. Buy an email management program. Use writing and formatting software followed up with a good editor and a book cover designer. Make sure this is something you really want to do, and can do so for months (years?) without making a profit.
Are there any other points about writing you would like to add? 
Start with your genre. Make sure your intended genre is even drawing that many readers. Brainstorm many different ways your storyline could be presented.  Use a program like the outstanding Publisher Rocket marketing analyzer. Select the storyline you’re comfortable with that has the best chance for success. Science Fiction? Thriller? Espionage? Romance?
What is the next book coming out? 
Honestly not sure. Do I start a new series? Do I add another book to my trilogy? My series is science fiction from a Christian, prophetic perspective. It leads up to the Tribulation. I am praying about an “epilog” novel from near the end of the 1,000-year “Millenial Reign” of Jesus Christ, with flashbacks to the actual end of the Church age. 

I also feel the Lord leading me to narrate and produce longer scripture videos. I have many 30-second videos on YouTube (link below). Unlike most other narrations I've heard, the long ones I have in mind would be grouped by topic such as Praise, Salvation, Godliness, Repentance, and Overcoming. These would be FREE for use in devotions, meditation, memorization, and even for going to sleep. I’d love to hear from your readers whether there would be interest in these!
That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Bill's writing, here are some links to get you started.

And here's a tip for my readers... Get a free eBook novella that introduces the  series by using this link:

And here's another bonus...Write a comment on this post about what interests you about Bill's books. We'll randomly pick one name to receive an eBook of Five Score and Ten. Do that now!


  1. Combining science fiction and biblical truth isn't easy. I enjoy this genre and supporting those authors who have the vision and imagination to weave these stories.

  2. I agree with you. It does take a certain skillset and inspiration.