Bill Fitts

Biography

I used to say that I grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when, in truth, I only started growing older there. After nineteen years I left to go to college and, for the most part, spent the next twenty years aging somewhere else—New Jersey, Florida, Panama Canal Zone, Massachusetts, and Georgia. Then I returned to Tuscaloosa and continued the maturation process for another twenty-six years. In 2015 my wife and I moved to Vero Beach, Florida, where I hope to continue growing older for a good long time.

The locations I’ve lived in have had more influence on my mystery novels (the Needed Killing Series) than on the fantasies (Song of Narne). The town of Shelbyville in the NKS is based in large part on Tuscaloosa with some wrinkles from other locations thrown in to keep things interesting—and keep the inhabitants guessing. That’s not to say that the places I’ve been aren’t reflected in the fantasies—but most of the geography of Narne is imaginary

While growing older, I’ve tried my hand at a number of jobs—newspaper collator, darkroom technician, farmhand, factory worker, sailor, salesman, underwriter, account executive, accountant, systems administrator, information specialist--and professional writer. As an author I find that those earlier experiences contribute to what happens in my novels—again more in the not-as-fictional mysteries than in the fantasies. There’s just not enough magic in the real world

Interestingly, the event that crystallized my decision to start writing full-time is one that I haven’t used in any of my novels. The tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, destroying an eighth of the town—including the back half of my house—hasn’t made it into any of my novels. Shelbyville and Narne have both been spared.

On the other hand, the support, encouragement, and editorial assistance my wife provides have been part of every novel since the beginning.

I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

For more information about my writing, visit my website billfittsauthor.com.

Smashwords Interview

Why are you starting your interview with a reference to cats?
My cat Hawk, model for The Black in the Needed Killing Series, was sitting in my lap while I reviewed the answers for this interview. (He often sits in my lap while I'm writing and is pictured on my Smashwords author page and on the back of the paperback copies of the first three books.)

He noted that there was no mention in my Q&A about cats. More to the point, there was no mention of him. I promised to rectify the situation before publishing the interview.

Satisfied, Hawk?
Why do you write murder mysteries?
When Robert B. Parker and Dick Francis, two prolific and very popular mystery writers, died within a month of each other, I thought their deaths would open up some room in the field. I didn’t realize that another writer was going to take over the Spenser series and Francis’s son Felix was going to take up the family business.

Seriously, I had tried writing other fiction. I finished one book—a fantasy intended as part of a three-book series—actually got an agent for it, but never found a publisher. Then I tried writing a mystery novel. I discovered that mysteries were easier for me to write and—as a bonus—I’m pretty good at it.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Bill Fitts online


Where to buy in print


Series

Needed Killing
When James F. Crawford retired from the university he didn’t expect to become a private investigator. But Provost Rufus George wanted Crawford to investigate a suspicious death--and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Turns out, Crawford has a knack for solving crimes. With his dog and cat as the perfect sounding board, he talks through the specifics of each case--posing questions to Tan and The Black and answering them himself. If you like your mysteries with a side of humor, give the Needed Killing Series a try.

He Needed Killing

Price: $0.99 USD.

He Needed Killing Too

Price: $0.99 USD.

She Needed Killing

Price: $2.99 USD.

The Deacon Needed Killing

Price: $4.99 USD.

Who Needed Killing?

Price: $4.99 USD.
Song of Narne
When a young magician and his companion join forces with the Wanderers, the time of the Thunder Lord draws nigh: a promise fulfilled--or forever denied. With the aid of newfound powers and unlooked-for alliances, they confront their enemies and their own fears. In the land that men call Narne—the goddess, some say, whose Song created the world—evil is stirring. Riots rage in the city of Triam; the scourge of the plains grow bolder in their attacks; and beneath the Ardurand Mountains a malevolent force awakens. The battle of dark versus light begins anew.

The Screaming Sword

Price: $0.99 USD.

Sokhal's Star

Price: $4.99 USD.

Books

Two Needed Killing
Series: Needed Killing, book 6. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 86,170. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(5.00 from 1 review)
Asked to help an old lady get her family home back from greedy developers, Crawford reluctantly agrees. Mrs. McGillicuddy is thrilled. “I can’t tell you how excited I was when Frank told me I’d get to meet a real detective. I just love murder mysteries.” When Ms. Mac convinces Crawford to pretend to solve a mystery, he finds himself caught up in the most perplexing case of his career.
Sokhal's Star
Series: Song of Narne. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 100,870. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Kenrad held the pendant in his clasped hands. Sokhal’s Star flickered then began to glow brighter and brighter; light streamed out from between his fingers. Magic! The likes of which Blumgar had never seen. Kenrad’s hands were ablaze, burning with a light so strong it hurt the eyes. Suddenly the night was lit by a burst of lightning, as if the sun had exploded.
The Screaming Sword
Series: Song of Narne. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 109,100. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
The fireplace flames billowed up to form the outline of a man. “Who uses Sokhal’s Star to call me?” Beneath the broken furniture, Kenrad lay motionless. If he stood up, the man with the screaming sword would know that he still lived. But when the Warlock of Miron asks a question, he expects an answer. “It’s Kenrad, Uncle Stefan." His youthful voice cracked. "And that man killed Mother."
Who Needed Killing?
Series: Needed Killing, book 5. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 109,650. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(5.00 from 1 review)
Provost Rufus George is worried. “Something,” he tells Crawford, “is not right at University Village. I want you to look around and see if anything bothers you.” Checking out a retirement community seems harmless enough. Crawford begins with a question here and a question there--until he asks the wrong question and he and the provost find themselves the target of a wily and ruthless killer.
The Deacon Needed Killing
Series: Needed Killing, book 4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 86,080. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(5.00 from 1 review)
“Howdy. Find the sword you’re looking for?” The policeman eyed me carefully. “Who said anything about a sword?” I pointed behind me at the house with my thumb. “The guys inside found and tagged a bunch of swords right off the bat.” I’d stirred up his curiosity and like a good policeman he was going to satisfy it. “Mister, just who the hell are you and what the hell are you doing here?”
She Needed Killing
Series: Needed Killing, book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 106,930. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Crawford had never considered taking his cat to the local folk festival. But when a friend wants The Black for a photo shoot, he obliges. That a snake will be part of the shoot is just the first surprise in store for him and his pets. Snakes, fortune tellers, arsonists, blackmailers . . . this festival will be unlike any other in the history of Jemison County.
He Needed Killing Too
Series: Needed Killing, book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 74,790. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
The director of the University Press was often characterized as a man who needed killing. The Press’s authors and employees certainly wouldn’t disagree--even Peter the Gray, the office cat, detested him. So when someone puts a bullet through Philip Douglas’s head, Crawford has plenty of suspects to consider when he is once again thrust into the role of detective.
He Needed Killing
Series: Needed Killing, book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 67,370. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(4.67 from 12 reviews)
I was standing in a dead man’s apartment staring at the severed end of a rope hanging from one of the exposed beams overhead. What was I doing here? Last week I was just a university employee who had taken early retirement. Now a man was dead and I was in the thick of it. People were counting on me to figure out what had happened—and why. What kind of retirement was this?

Bill Fitts' tag cloud

amateur sleuth    cat    college town    humorous    love    magic    murder    pets    small town    southern    warlock    wizard