Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Writing together, Beatrice Dee Pipes and Charles Wilbur Yates, Jr. have published four books-A Jealous God, Justice Perverted, A Foolish Plucking, and Ravening Wolves, under the penname Dee Wilbur, a combination of their middle names.
Dee Pipes lives in Houston and owns and runs a consulting firm …And Take Names, which assists firms in their marketing and other projects. She has been married to her husband Bryan for thirty-five years. She grew up mainly in the small Texas town of Liberty but spent two years of her childhood in Peru. She graduated from Rice University with a B.A. degree in English. She had worked in the computer industry for many years prior to starting her own firm. She has two patents involving computer controls.
Charlie Yates worked for thirty years as a radiologist in a large Houston hospital. He also graduated from Rice University with a B.A. and Ph.D. in Biology. He received the M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He and his wife Sally have been married for fifty years and have four grown sons. There are no felony warrants out for any of their sons, all are gainfully employed, and none are living at home. They have eight grandchildren who are all beautiful and extremely intelligent. Charlie now tends his garden in Richmond, Texas.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The latest Dee Wilbur book is Ravening Wolves. A Jealous God, the initial Dee Wilbur book, started out as a single standalone, but soon assumed an existence of its own, evolving into a series sub-titled The Richmond Saga. It seems that there was more story left to be told after the first book. A fifth novel and a first time novella are nearing publication to keep the story going.
Many years ago, before global warming, when an Indian brave became old, too old in the eyes of the tribe to be useful, he was place out on an ice floe in the river. If he was able to make it back to camp alive, he got a year reprieve. If not, the problem was solved, as he sped down the river to the Happy Hunting Ground. There is no longer ice in the rivers of Texas. When Charlie retired, his wife didn’t want him in her kitchen re-arranging her life. He had to do something. He decided to write a book, and Dee decided that he couldn’t do it alone.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Charlie writes the plots for the novels. Since they all have a twist at the conclusion, Charlie usually starts at the end and works backwards, He has to work out the entire plot in his mind before he puts one word on paper.
Dee makes the stories readable with descriptive scenes, good dialogue, motives for characters.
Charlie does not type well and has a bad tremor in both hands making use of a keyboard difficult. Dee is a computer expert and types very well. For obvious reasons Dee does all her writing with pen and ink. Charlie enters all the writing into the computer. They exchange sections of the book by e-mail frequently, talk on the phone daily, and meet face-to-face once each week.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Dee is by far the most voracious reader. Her interests cover the spectrum of literature. Charlie likes who-dun-its, trying to figure out the plot as far before the end as possible. Both of them are religious and read religious literature. All their book titles are inspired by Bible verses. None of their books are religious of have religious themes.
What are you working on now?
The fifth novel in The Richmond Saga, A Scarlet Thread, and a novella, Righteousness is in the Distance will soon be sent for publication. A three volume work, The Trinity Bay Trinity Bay, set on the Mississippi Gulf coast, will be completed early in 2014.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Many venues have been used: book store signings, speaking to various groups, Facebook, website, craft shows, etc. Since all the locations in the books are real, book club tours of the sites have been carried out ending with a dutch treat luncheon at the main characters’ favorite restaurant. Our most successful venue has been speaking to groups; groups are always looking for a free program. Almost every large church has a group for older adults that enjoys hearing about books from the author.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t give up! We sent out 100 query letters trying to get an agent and receive 100 rejections. We changed our introductory letter (not the summary of the plot) to read: “This is the book you have been waiting for. It will make your career. It has so much sex in it that when it is made into a movie, it will get a strong R rating; when it is made into a T.V. special it will get a strong M.A. rating suggesting Parental Discretion.” We sent ten of the second version out. Within two weeks we had, five requests for the first three chapters, then three requests for the whole book. We ultimately had two contracts offered to us for a person wanting to be our agent.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
To thine ownself be true.
What are you reading now?
Predisposition, What Episcopalians Believe, W is for Wasted and Why Jesus?
What’s next for you as a writer?
Dee: We’ve listed our upcoming books above. We have a craft show in a week, a book store signing, a ladies’ club, and a virtual book tour in the next month. Plus we donated thirty copies of Ravening Wolves to a local high school AP English class. they will read and critique the book and we will speak to the group when they have finished.
Charlie: In addition to the above, I have to lead a discussion on the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of the Episcopal Church and the importance of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Charlie: Emerson’s Essays