Authors Helping Authors

Interview with David L. Williams

This week, we have the unique opportunity to sit down with the fabulous David L. Williams. Let me tell you, friends, you are in for a treat. This guy is a wealth of knowledge AND has so much experience it will blow you away! Let’s jump in!

It looks like you have quite an extensive background in law enforcement, David.
Can you expand on this a little bit for us and tell us how this has impacted your
I have a thirty-year background in public safety. It was the best people watching job,
allowing me to observe humans on their best and worst days. The experience gave me
lots of fodder for stories; more importantly, it offered me a sense of empathy I probably
would not have otherwise developed. Writers without empathy are like ball players
without depth perception.

Drop the Pen! What Every Writer Should Know about Real Police Work is a work
of non-fiction, correct? Who is your target audience here? What type of authors
will find benefit with this novel book?
I’ve been answering questions about public safety for novelists, screenwriters, and
journalists for years. One night I was discussing the idea of a book based on those
questions with my wife during our evening porch time. She came up with the title right
then and there.
Somewhere along the third draft I realized such a book wouldn’t be complete or genuine
if I didn’t include my personal vision for a more professional, caring, mission-dedicated
policing model. Part of my objective with this project is to include my fellow writers in the
challenge of raising the standard of policing to unprecedented levels of fairness,
courage, efficacy and, yep, empathy.

You’ve also authored several non-fiction educational books and
perform regular speaking engagements, correct? Can you tell us a little about
these ventures?
Fighting for Her Life: What to Do When Someone You Know is Being Abused is a how-
to for anyone trying to help someone trapped in a domestic violence vortex.
Textbooks, Not Targets: Preventing School Shootings in Your Community is based on
my experience as a detective and School Resource officer, bolstered by research as I
wrote my master’s thesis on the same topic.
I now teach criminology at the University of Arkansas, and crime prevention strategies
are an integral part of my daily lesson plans. I have spoken to writer’s groups and
conferences throughout the Southwest. It’s one of my favorite things, and I’ll keep going
as long as the invitations keep coming.

What sparked your interest in police work when you were younger, and how did
you use that to transition into writing?
I read Serpico by Peter Maas when I was a teenager. Serpico was an NYPD cop who
made a reputation by refusing to take bribes during a time in that agency’s history when
graft was seen as the norm. By the time I finished reading that book I knew two things: I
was going to be an honest cop one day, and I was going to write about the experience.

Tell us about one unusual hobby you have.
My family owned a stable for about twenty years, and I learned how to train horses from
anyone willing to teach me a trick or two. Life took me away from that setting for too
long, but my wife and I moved to a cabin in the Ozark Mountains six months ago. I’m
back at it, relearning old skills and picking up new ones. I’m interested in pursuing
certification in training horses for equine therapy.

What is your best advice to new authors, particularly authors who might be
juggling another career in addition to writing?
I get it. I was a single parent for years. Finding time to get just one paragraph on paper
felt like a monumental task on some days. I look at career writing much as if I were a
student preparing for medical school or a young athlete with aspirations to get a college
scholarship. Those challenges require years-long sacrifice, whether that be giving up
some sleep or minimizing screen time. I’m a fan of comfort, but nothing great happens
when we’re comfortable. Figure out what you can give up and replace that space with
writing. One page a day eventually grows into a novel.

Any plans for your next book already in the works you can let us in on, and where
can we purchase your existing books?
The earlier non-fiction work is still out there on all the bookseller sites or through my
website at . I’ll shop Drop the Pen to small traditional
publishers when I finish revising from beta reader suggestions. I’ve just finished a work
of historical fiction set in 1620 New Mexico. The novel is based on an actual priest who
smuggled grape seeds into Las Indias (the Americas) in violation of Spanish law. The
current title is The Legend of Blue Moon Child. It may be my best work, which is all any
writer can hope to achieve…until the next one.

How is the best way for us to keep up with your current and future works? I also understand you have an interesting “Ask the Cop” button on your website if we need to reach you.

Yes. The best way to reach me is through my website and my email- located on my website at


I know y’all were as impressed as me! A THIRTY year career in law enforcement. WOW. And I must admit, I love his philosophy of, “nothing great happens when we’re comfortable.” Thank you, David, for sharing your story and your career with us. Hop on over to the website and check out his existing material, and I know you’ll want to get a copy of DROP THE PEN…I sure will.  See you soon!