Saturday, March 7, 2015

Faculty Interview: Peter Klismet

Compiled by Jason Henry

Are you excited? We certainly are! Why shouldn't we be? The 2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference is just around the corner! It has been an absolute pleasure recruiting the incredible faculty that we have lined up for you this year and the workshops they will be teaching are proving to be just as amazing.

Pikes Peak Writers Conference is known as one of the best and friendliest conferences for many reasons. One of those reasons is that we provide as many opportunities as possible to not only learn from our faculty, but to get to know them. Keeping in the spirit of that very statement, we interviewed all of our faculty members to get inside their heads just a little. Really, we don't see the point in waiting until April. Do you?

Over the weeks to come, we will be posting those interviews along with the responses right here on the PPW Blog. Be sure to check in on Facebook and Twitter as well! We hope you enjoy reading these brief Q&As as much as we have!

PETE KLISMET (Author, Colorado)

1. What are the most compelling elements you feel are necessary for a good read? 
Very easy. Get my attention in the first few pages. I started a novel just last night in which the (rather famous) author felt it was important to blabber on about some esoteric garbage that probably made perfect sense to him, but not to the reader. Perhaps someone else thought it was wonderful prose, but after about 10 pages, I put the book down and picked up another one. On all of my books, I have worked hard at a hard-hitting start, then I get the hook set as they continue to read.

2. What do you see as the pleasures and difficulties of being a writer/artist in today's world? 
The pure pleasure of writing will never go away. People have loved the feeling we all get since time immemorial. And then it stops being fun, and starts becoming WORK!! Finding a publisher or figuring out a way to self-publish are very hard tasks. Once that happens, one must open their creative minds and take a step into “Narnia,” the closet door which opens to the new world of marketing. We are one of many authors our publisher has, and they can’t devote all their time to you. Thus, one must re-direct their creativity and venture into a realm few understand, but all must aggressively pursue.

3. What is the best career/writing advice someone has given you? 
A story is built or told by two things: Action and Dialogue. Learned that at the famed University of Iowa Writers Workshop back in the 1980’s. Never forgot it.

4. Would you pass that same advice on or alter it? 
I would pass it on with no alteration. In my genre of law enforcement-related books, many former officers and agents have great stories to tell. However, I’ve read some of them and most are complete narrative. Just like their reports were. Because you were a good report writer, that doesn’t translate into writing books or novels. Trust me on this. Take a Creative Writing class and I suspect that will be the 1st thing you learn.

5. What do you love most about your career?
 I’ve had several ‘careers,’ and I’m not sure if writing is one of them, or an avocation. I loved being a cop, an FBI Agent and a college professor. I love being a writer. It’s good for my head! Clears out lots of cobwebs.

6. What is something you wish everyone knew (or didn't know) about you? 
Once people find out I was an FBI agent, they go all ‘ga ga.’ Then there are a predictable set of questions which follow, and which I’ve been asked hundreds of times. But, I do have to get that info out there because it’s part of who I am and part of what helps me have ideas for and sell books. It’s just hard for people to understand I can’t be very enthusiastic answering the exact questions (“Was it exciting?” “Did you get to shoot anybody?”) that I’ve been asked a thousand times before.

7. Which fictional character do you relate to the most, and why? What character would your friends/family pick for you? 
If you’re a fan of M.A.S.H., I have been compared most often to Hawkeye Pierce. I don’t take myself seriously, am definitely cynical and irreverent, often self-effacing, like to kid around with people, but when it comes down to working, don’t get in my way.

Quick Qs:

Pen or Keyboard? Love dem ivories! Wrote far too many reports with pens.

Plotter or Pantser? I’m not really sure what a ‘panster’ is, so I guess I’d have to be a plotter. It fits in best with my personality anyhow.

Book or E-Book? I love having a book in my hand. Have never read an e-book.

Spicy or Mild? A little of both is fine.

Sunrise or Sunset? Sunrise. Definitely. I’m an early-riser and love those hours between 8am and noon or so. I get going far better in the morning.

Mister Rogers or Sesame Street? There were a couple of critters on Sesame Street I loved. That would be Oscar the Grouch, but especially The Count. My daughter would race though the house to find me……"Daddy, daddy…..The Count is on." Love them vampires! And, if my dad had been like Mr. Rogers, I have no idea how I would have turned out.

Facebook or Twitter? I’m all about Facebook. Rarely do I take it seriously. I love to post jokes and funny stuff in general. To me it’s there to enjoy and make others enjoy what you put up there. Sounds like writing to me! I hate the way some people use it to tell us what a wonderful relationship they have. “My husband is such a sweetheart. He made coffee this morning.” “Thank you dear, it’s so special doing things for you.” C’mon. Buy a vowel. Get a room.

Pete Klismet retired after serving 20 years with the FBI, then spent 13 years teaching at colleges in Colorado. He was chosen to be one of the original ‘profilers’ by the FBI. His career in law enforcement, includes ten years with the Ventura (CA) Police Department. He is the Director of Criminal Profiling Associates, a consultant to the American Society of Cold Case Investigators, and a co-founder of Preventing School Shootings. Before retiring, Pete was named 1999 National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Pete is the author of FBI Diary: Profiles of Evil, and the recently released FBI Animal House. Both books are on Amazon, Kindle, and will be available at the conference. He and his wife Nancy live in Colorado Springs. Website:

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