William Bernhardt is the bestselling author of more than forty books, including the blockbuster Ben Kincaid series of novels, the historical novel Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness, currently being adapted into an NBC miniseries, a book of poetry (The White Bird), and a series of books on fiction writing. In addition, Bernhardt founded the Red Sneaker Writing Center, hosting writing workshops and small-group seminars and becoming one of the most in-demand writing instructors in the nation. His monthly eBlast, The Red Sneaker Writers Newsletter, reaches over twenty thousand people.
Bernhardt is the only writer to have received the Southern Writers Guild’s Gold Medal Award, the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (University of Pennsylvania) and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award (Oklahoma State), which is given "in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large." In addition to his novels, he has written plays, a musical (book and music), humor, nonfiction, children books, biography, poetry, and puzzles. In his spare time, he has enjoyed surfing, digging for dinosaurs, trekking through the Himalayas, paragliding, scuba diving, caving, zip-lining over the canopy of the Costa Rican rain forest, jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet, and in 2013, becoming a Jeopardy champion. OSU named him “Oklahoma’s Renaissance Man,” noting that in addition to writing novels, he can “write a sonnet, play a sonata, plant a garden, try a lawsuit, teach a class, cook a gourmet meal, prepare homemade ice cream, beat you at Scrabble, and work the New York Times crossword in under five minutes.”
He lives in Oklahoma with his wife Lara and their children.
Oklahoma Book Award, Fiction, 1995 and 1999 http://www.odl.state.ok.us/ocb/obaward.htm
H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award, 2000
Southern Writers Guild Gold Medal Award, 1998
Booklovers Association Career Achievement Award, 2000
Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award, 2009
Born and lived in Oklahoma his entire life.
Primary Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 1991.
Blind Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.
The Code of Buddyhood. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.
Deadly Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 1993.
Perfect Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994.
Double Jeopardy. New York: Ballantine Books, 1995.
Cruel Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 1996.
Naked Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997.
Extreme Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 1998.
ed. Legal Briefs: Stories by Today's Best Thriller Writers. New York: Doubleday, 1998.
The Midnight Before Christmas. New York: Ballantine Books, 1998.
Dark Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 1999.
Silent Justice. New York: Ballantine Books, 2000.
Murder One. New York: Ballantine Books, 2001.
ed. Natural Suspect. New York: Ballantine Books, 2001.
Criminal Intent. New York: Ballantine Books, 2002.
Final Round. New York: Ballantine Books, 2002.
Death Row. New York: Ballantine Books, 2003.
Dark Eye. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.
Hate Crime. New York: Ballantine Books, 2004.
Capitol Murder. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006.
Capitol Threat. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.
Princess Alice and the Dreadful Dragon. Tulsa, OK: Hawk Pub. Group, 2007.
Strip Search. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.
Capitol Conspiracy. New York: Ballantine Books, 2008.
Capitol Offense. New York: Ballantine Books, 2009.
Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness. New York: Ballantine Books, 2009.
Capitol Betrayal. New York: Ballantine Books, 2010.
Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction. CreateSpace Publishing, 2013.
Creating Character: Bringing Your Story to Life. Babylon Books, 2013.
Perfecting Plot: Charting the Hero's Journey. Babylon Books, 2013.
The White Bird (poetry). Balkan Press, 2013.
The Black Sentry. Babylon Books, 2014.
Dynamic Dialogue: Letting Your Story Speak. Babylon Books, 2014.
Equal Justice: The Courage of Ada Sipuel. Babylon Books, 2014.
Sizzling Style: Every Word Matters. Babylon Books, 2014.
Powerful Premise: Writing the Irresistible. Babylon Books, 2015.
The Game Master. Babylon Books, 2015.
Shine. Babylon Books, 2015.
In an interview with Amazon.com, Bill Bernhardt gives insight to his life and works.
Amazon.com: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
W.B.: I've wanted to be a writer as far back as I can remember. Even as a grade-school geek hiking every day to the Midwest City Municipal Library (not exactly a huge outfit) I always thought that being a writer would be the coolest thing imaginable. I got my first rejection letter when I was eleven. I was devastated--but I got over it. And got a lot more rejection letters after that one--until I finally sold my first novel in 1990 (Primary Justice).
Amazon.com: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
W.B.: My favorite contemporary author is Anne Tyler. Other favorites are Peter Lefcourt, Carrie Pellatier, Louise Erdrich, John Mortimer, and Peter Ackroyd. Books that had a strong influence on me? To Kill a Mockingbird. The Diary of Anne Frank. The Martian Chronicles. One Hundred Years of Solitude. The Alice books.
Amazon.com: Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)? Do you have a favorite location or time of day (or night) for writing? What do you do to avoid--or seek!--distractions?
W.B.: This really is mundane--but hey, you asked for it. I write every day, five hours a day (sometimes less on Sundays). I work on a computer. I currently have a super-cool Gateway Destination system with a 31-inch monitor and wireless keyboard, so I can lean back in a recliner on the opposite side of the room from the monitor, type on the keyboard in my lap, and still see my work. No back problems or carpal tunnel syndrome for me! My writing looks a lot better than it really is blown up on a 31-inch screen. I'm using Word Perfect for Windows 7. Since I stopped practicing law (except for pro bono work), I've been able to write in the mornings, first thing after I pack the kids off to school. It has been a real treat being able to write while my brain is fresh, rather than plugging away at it in the dead of night. And that leaves the rest of the day for other projects, reading, my family. And working the New York Times crossword, of course.
Amazon.com: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events? Do you interact with your readers electronically through e-mail or other online forums?
W.B.: I tour quite a bit, particularly when a new book has been released. I love meeting my readers, and would encourage anyone out there to come say "hi" if I'm in the neighborhood. Or drop me an e-mail message: email@example.com
Amazon.com: When and how did you get started on the Net? Do you read any newsgroups such as rec.arts.books and rec.arts.sf.written, mailing lists, or other on-line forums? Do you use the Net for research--or is it just another time sink? Are you able to communicate with other writers or people you work with over the Net?
W.B.: I've been playing with computers and modems since the days of Apple IIc's and 300-baud modems. Boy, has the world changed. The Net is the greatest communication system ever devised by humans, and it's still in its infancy. The ease and efficacy of spreading the word on any subject is astounding. I think it will prove particularly useful for niche groups and artists, those who aren't currently in the mainstream.
Copyright of this digital resource, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, 2005. These images and texts are made available for non-profit, educational, scholarly purposes, such as research, teaching and private study.