William L. Myers Jr. always had a love of writing. But he set that aside to become a civil litigation lawyer. The Wayne resident has since returned to his passion with the Philadelphia Legal series. His first book, A Criminal Defense, became the sixth best selling book on Amazon Kindle in 2017. The latest, A Killer’s Alibi, is the follow-up to 2018’s An Engineered Justice. It’s due out in February.
MLT: Why legal thrillers?
WLM: About seven years ago, I sat down and said, “I’m going to write a commercially viable book.” I’m a lawyer, so I wanted it to be some kind of legal fiction. Even though I’m a civil attorney, I think criminal is more exciting. It took me two solid years of writing and editing, but when it was done, I felt like I had something that really could sell.
MLT: What inspires your plots?
WLM: I knew how I wanted each of the books to end. In A Criminal Defense, I knew I wanted it to be an unreliable narrator. I knew I wanted it to be about a protagonist who’s morally ambiguous—a guy who has his own flaws and foibles and is surrounded by people with flaws. I think they make for much more interesting characters.
MLT: What can we expect from A Killer’s Alibi?
WLM: I wanted to explore the relationship between fathers and daughters. There are two main story lines. One of them involves this mobster in Philly. He has this daughter—they butt heads throughout their relationship. The book opens with him being caught with a knife in his hand over the dead body of his archrival, who also happens to be his daughter’s lover. As the book unfolds, you learn more about this complicated relationship.
MLT: Why is Philadelphia always your setting?
WLM: I went to law school here, I’ve stayed in the city since that time, and I’m still practicing in the city. Philadelphia has a lot of character—we’re not a bland city. We have very strong neighborhoods that are distinctly defined. It’s easy to almost make it a fourth character.
MLT: Any future series planned?
WLM: I wrote a book set in Philadelphia, but it’s an Elmore Leonard-esque crime book. All the characters are criminals. I envision a “Philadelphia Crime” series that follows the characters in that first book—some of them getting caught, some not, with a slightly humorous overtone.
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