Author Interview with William Mansfield of ‘They Died So Young’

Author Interview with William Mansfield

This week I am catching up with William Mansfield from his small beach casita south of Ensenada, Mexico to discuss his newest release, ‘They Died So Young’, which follows Alex Wright’s discovery that the true cause of death for his parents was mob-style execution rather than the freak auto accident he has long believed lead to their demise. Why would they deserve to die this way?

With the recent promotion of ‘The Key to the Ranch’ leading up the release of ‘They Died So Young’, must have been a busy time for you. What have you been doing?

As I’ve been going through this series of promotions, I have gone back and read each of the Alex Wright stories in order. I have been surprised to see how the stories follow one another. It was not necessarily planned that way, but just as the characters tend to take over in the writing of each story, so have Alex and Heather led me through the various adventures to date.

One thing we didn’t get to discuss in the last interview was how the characters were initially developed. How did the characters come to you?

Alex Wright is the character that answered my question, “Why couldn’t a real estate appraiser be the one who solves crimes?”. I attempted to create a likeable and believable character based on where he lived and what his life experience had been. Other characters have been added with each new story and will play a larger or smaller role in future stories.

Over the course of the series, have any characters been more prominent in your mind?

In addition to Alex, his assistant and now partner, Heather is probably the second most critical character along with Zack, Alex’s surfing buddy who is currently a Captain in charge of the detective division of the Newport Beach Police Department. I have added various individuals from the FBI as needed for each investigation.

With this book being the seventh in the Alex Wright series, do you ever feel like there is a book that you wish you would have written?
Not really, I consider myself a story teller, not the author of the ‘great American novel’. Surely Hemingway and Fitzgerald can be admired for their craft, but I have never had any illusion or wish to be seen as on a par with anyone like them.

As an increasingly prolific writer, you must have been influenced by books from the time that you were young. What was your favourite book as a child?
The Tom Swift adventures were probably most memorable. I also enjoyed history and biographies.

Finally, so that our audience might be able to get a bit more insight, can you let me know if you have any philosophies that you live by? And what is your favourite quote?
My philosophy is “Life is just a bowl of cherries”. And I enjoy Yogi Berra quotes. My favorite is probably, “When you reach a fork in the road, take it!”.

And on that wisdom I’ll wrap up today’s interview. Thank you again for spending time with me William and giving readers a little more appreciation of you as an author.

Want to find out more about William?  Contact him on Twitter at:

We’ve also chatted with William another two times about his books The Keys to The Ranch and An Unethical Murder.  Check out these interviews today :).