Saturday, May 18, 2013

Meet William Doonan

This week I’m honored to have as my guest blogger William Doonan, a writer of mystery novels and stories, as well as an archeologist, a professor, and a very pleasant, funny guy. I know many of you are familiar with his work, which includes the Henry Grave cruise ship mystery series, as well as American Caliphate. If you know his work, you’ll agree with me that Bill Doonan is a highly entertaining writer, a real storyteller.

As I do routinely for these blog posts, I asked Bill to tell us what he feels about the Joy of Story. Here’s what he has to say. In the process, he tells the story of his adventure e-publishing his newest novel, The Mummies of Blogspace9.

Thanks, John, for having me on your blog, and thanks to your readers for reading. I’ve been thinking a lot about story-telling recently. As a college professor, I find myself telling stories every day; to illuminate concepts, to break the ice, and to build community. I can’t imagine a life without story.

I’ve written several books and dozens of short stories. I’m a mystery writer at heart, I’ve come to realize. But I’m an archaeologist by profession. And my most recent opus The Mummies of Blogspace9 draws on both of these facets.

It’s a fast-paced, genre-bending mystery involving an ancient pyramid (where I had the privilege of working for five summers) and a number of undead conquistador mummies (whom I have not yet encountered but suspect are real).

I worked really hard on this story, first as a serialized novel on my blog, and then, after meticulous rewriting, as a novel onto itself.

It’s a taut, high-stakes epistolary thriller about a team of archaeologists who inadvertently dig up more than they bargained for. Demons of antiquity are not easily amused, nor are those who’ve sold their souls to protect them. The Mummies of Blogspace9 will fill your heart with terror and with glee (but not at the same time, because that would be very strange, and also pointless).

You’ll laugh out loud, cringe in fear, and shake your head with delight. Here are some plot elements you might enjoy:

      undead mummies;
      very attractive protagonists who you will develop crushes on;
      carefully-chosen fonts;
      delightful full-color, high-resolution illustrations.
Here’s a blurb from one of Leon’s posts (Leon being a protagonist):

“None of us knew what was at stake. And that’s the thing about archaeology— you never know what you’ll find when you start digging into an ancient pyramid. Maybe some burials, mummies even. But surely not a five hundred year-old secret worth killing for.

Had I known at the onset that seven weeks later most of my friends would be dead, I would have left Peru in a heartbeat. But of course I didn’t know that.

“I didn’t know that a demonically-possessed Spanish Grand Inquisitor would haunt the crap out of us, or that a pair of undead conquistador knights would help us find the secret to putting down walking mummies.

“And surely, I wouldn’t have just sat around had I known that something was watching from inside that pyramid, some malevolent force that could animate the dead.

“But it’s all true, as you’ll come to realize.”

The Mummies of Blogspace9: Horror has a new URL

It’s an e-book, and that isn’t everybody’s thing. I get that. But I wanted to try something different, and this format allowed me to play around with illustrations. So if you have a Kindle, have a look. If you don’t, you can still see some fun things for the bargain price of 99¢. Here’s a link to peruse, gawk, or buy:

William Doonan is a mystery writer, archaeologist, professor, and purveyor of fine silk carpets. For more information about his work, visit


  1. Sounds very interesting, Bill, one I would probably read with the lights on. Best wishes for a lot of success with it.

  2. Thanks, Earl. It's a little eerie by Kindle's glow, but I'm getting some good feedback. If you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think!

  3. I have the book but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Looks like I'd better make time because it sounds like a book I'd really enjoy.
    Marja McGraw

  4. I hope you like it, Marja! It's illustrated, and I embedded profiles of all the main characters. And for the hell of it, I used my wife's picture for one of the characters!

  5. William has become one of my favorite writers. I loved his American Caliphate, but my favorite is his newest The Mummies of Blogspace 9. It is so exciting and funny. If this was an experiment, Bill, then you should do more like it. If you haven't read it yet, folks, get it now! It is illustrated and you'll be impressed with how handsome the hero of the story is.
    He is proof positive that college professors can write funny and creative stuff.

  6. I'm so glad you liked it, Lesley. I'm hoping for some Amazon reviews so I can take the project to the next level!

    And yes -- professors have to be funny! If they didn't laugh, they'd cry!

  7. Thank you, Bill, for such a good post. And thanks to the fans who have responded to your work!

  8. I don't have a Kindle but your ebook sounds like exciting stuff. I did enjoy "American Caliphate" in print form. Keep writing! Sounds like you have a lot of great ideas.

  9. Great post, and it's always great to hear about William Doonan. I mentioned this post in my weekly newsletter. Please let me know if you'd like a copy. Cheers,