Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Writer's Journey

Please welcome our guest today, Kernersville-based author Bill Cissna. He has been writing fiction and non-fiction for fun and career since the mid-1970's. He self-published his first full-length private-investigator novel, A Simple Murder, in 2010 (as an eBook for Kindle and Nook), and then in paperback in early 2011. He added a novel, Fictionography of a Mental Coward, later in 2011. He has also been writing short and full-length plays since 2006: his first produced play, Conversations in a Cafe, was released in printed form in early 2012. He has talked about mysteries in general and private-investigator novels in specific starting in early 2012. He's working on a follow-up detective novel, a serial-killer novel set on the Outer Banks, and several play projects from his bases in Kernersville and Fleetwood, NC.

A Writer's Journey

I’ve been writing fiction and non-fiction for as long as I can remember. Some days, that’s three weeks back. But it all began with my first published fiction in the high school literary rag, then a whole lot of non-fiction marketing, advertising and P.R. copy over the years. I don’t believe I’d be exaggerating to suggest my printed output is in the millions of words by now. Not much of it you’d want to read, but still … lots of practice, anyway.

I returned to short stories in the late 80s and early 90s to fight the boredom of press releases. Horror and detective stories led to two novel-length works, later updated and re-birthed as A Simple Murder and Fictionography of a Mental Coward, which I will bring with me to Lumberton. And in 2006, I added playwriting to my resume. Conversations in a CafĂ© is the first of them to be produced, and it’s in print now, too.

Still a novice to book marketing, I was delighted to discover Book’EmNC. A chance to talk books, meet readers and authors, and support a cause I very much believe in at the same time? Perfect! Can’t wait.

(By the way, fellow writers, I learned about Book’EmNC, and just in time, thanks to the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s e-mail updates. Yes, that is a plug for the organization. Long-time member, I am.)

If you’d like to learn more about me before February, check me out at And if you just can’t wait to read one of my books or my play, has the Kindle and paperback versions, and has Nook versions of the novels.

Thanks for listening! (Or is that reading?) Anyway, hope to see you soon.

Please join Bill and more than 75 authors at Book 'Em North Carolina on Saturday, February 23, 2013. You'll have a chance to chat with Bill one-on-one and also listen to panel discussions and ask questions. His books will be for sale at the event, and proceeds go to literacy campaigns in our communities. For more information, visit