Author Interview - David Huffstetler

Book Summary:

Jack Harden is a modern-day Texas Ranger haunted by his wife's death a year ago.

But when a murderer strikes, he is called into duty. Now he must battle the urge to kill the drunk driver responsible for her death and the hunger to kill himself as he hunts for a serial killer who wants him dead.

Elsie Rodriguez is assigned to report on the murders for her newspaper and ordered to stay with Jack Harden. He's old school, tough, and doesn't want her there, but, despite his gruff manner, the big Ranger triggers something inside her. Something more than just her Latin temper.

Can she pull him back from the edge of sanity? Or will death win again?

The Bibliophilic Book Blog is happy to present an interview with David Huffstetler, author of Blood on the Pen:

1.    How did you come up with the title?

I thought it sounded more poetic than Blood on the Keyboard. Really, the premise of the story is an unpublished author, who gets one rejection letter too many and starts killing literary agents. So, there is blood on the pen. Of course, Eddie Carter is a bit of a sociopath in addition to being an aspiring author.

2.    Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The message is the struggle for redemption and seeing it as a journey. The reader sees that in Jack Harden, the big Texas Ranger, who lost his wife to a drunk driver. He makes progress slowly, as we often do, but, if he gives up, he’s dead. Jack and Eddie travel opposite sides of the same road.

3.     How much of the book is realistic?

All of it, but I can’t say that every reader will connect to everything in the story. So much depends on their personal interactions in life, the pain, the losses, the hope. It will mean more to those readers who have know the joys and heartaches of life – and maybe those who like a little mystery.

4.    If you had to do it over again, would you change anything in your book?

I did it over again, and over, and over, as most authors do, but I don’t suppose that is the question. It’s hard to say that I would change much of anything, because I had help in writing it, help from my characters. When proofreading the manuscript, I found things I don’t remember having written. They told me where to go with the plot, and I’m not sure they would be pleased if I tampered with their work too much.

5.    What was the hardest part of writing your book?

In all my books, it seems to be the same. I see the beginning and the end of the story from the start, but it’s those 40,000 words in the middle that get in the way. The challenge is to keep the story moving, insure every word you write advances the plot, and to feel your way through those middle chapters without hurrying to the end.

6.    Did you learn anything from writing your book and what is it?

I learned how dark the human mind can be, how dark my own mind can be. Part of the process of sharing the thoughts of a psychopathic killer is trying to get into that mind. At times, I found myself, like Jack Harden, standing on the edge a bit. Of course, I would never do the terrible things Eddie does, but I did share those nightmarish thoughts, and I learned not to stay in that place for too long. There’s a price to pay if you do.

7.    Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’d love to say that I’ve been driven to write since I learned how, that it has been a passion since childhood, but that isn’t true. Winters in a house with no heat and dinners of nothing more than rice can divert one’s attention from the literary arts. But, when I had the chance to write, I always liked it. I don’t know why, but it, gosh, it was fun.

8.    Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

No one. Does that sound odd? I don’t follow a particular author, but I do like a good story, no matter who writes it. Different styles are as attractive as different kinds of people. Give me good writing.

9.    Tell us your latest news.

We’ve contracted for the second book in the series, which is titled Blood on the Cards. I wasn’t looking to write a sequel, but Jack and Elsie weren’t through with me. We’ll start edits soon, and I hope to see it released later this year. The third book, Blood on the Badge, should complete that series, and none of the books are really alike.  I started a new manuscript, Thread of Life, about a young boy who inherits billions of dollars after his elderly father is murdered. Yes, elderly father. It has a bit of paranormal and sci-fi, but not enough to make it either of those genres.

10.     Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I truly appreciate those of you who have taken a chance on my books. You have tons of choices of good authors, and I’m happy to know that you chose one of my books. I’ll try not to disappoint you.

David Huffstetler's Bio:

Educated in Dallas, North Carolina, David Huffstetler holds degrees in Engineering and Business Administration. He has worked in the area of human relations and spent fourteen years weaving through the maze of politics, including participating in a Federal Law suit as Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, with a sitting governor over issues of separation of powers. David has served on Boards of Directors for numerous professional organizations including Crime Stoppers, SC Workers’ Compensation Educational Association, SC Safety Council, the SC Fire Academy, and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Workers’ Compensation. He has advised governors and legislators on matters of public policy and legislation. His wealth of experience is broad and brings deep insight to his writing.

David’s work as a senior manager with a major industrial concern took him to international venues and exposures that helped feed his urge to write Disposable People, a dramatic expose of the working conditions and politics that engulf undocumented workers. Disposable People is a top-ten “Suggested Book” at Tufts University in Boston, MA.

He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. David, an avid history buff, led him to write Dead in Utah, the story of Joe Hill, the controversial musician and union organizer accused of a double murder in 1914.

His books receive praise from mystery readers across the globe.

As an editor, David edited a treatise on the South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, as well as, Shannon Faulkner’s novel Fire and Ice. Shannon was the first female cadet at the Citadel. She received national publicity for her federal lawsuit and was a guest on Good Morning America.

As an editor, public speaker, and seasoned professional, David has appeared on television and radio, and has lectured on the East Coast, California, Canada and Mexico.

David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.


  1. Star, thanks for inviting David to stop by your blog and for supporting his work.

    David, I think your premise for your thriller is brilliant. A rejected writer goes rogue. I think many can relate to the motivation but hopefully not the action! :)

  2. Thank you. I don't suggest that aspiring authors kill agents - really.


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