Author Billy Ray Chitwood

#Author Interview: Billy Ray Chitwood

Author Billy Ray ChitwoodI’m delighted to help promote the relaunch of Billy Ray Chitwood‘s novel, Mama’s Madness, to be released June 21st. Billy Ray is the author of 14 books, in the genres of fiction and nonfiction memoir. Many of his novels were inspired by true events. He describes himself as a dreamer, a wanderlust, a stereotype of many in his generation, and a young man in an old man’s body who is trying to catch up with himself and find the pieces he left behind in a disconnected youth and early years of manhood.


Mama's Madness by Billy Ray Chitwood

Pre-order HERE



A story inspired by a northern California news account a few years ago … Some of the details in this fictional penning are true. Some of the details are exaggerated and are simply the work of the author’s imagination. What is clearly evidenced in this novel is the coldness of a mother’s heart and the madness of her cruelty. The mind cannot comprehend lives the children depicted here were forced to endure: from black punishment closets of hell (for days, not hours!), kitchen tables used for crudely performed operations, to a high sierra execution by fire. The terror is real. The pain is vicariously felt. Unbelievable? Yes, it is unbelievable that such depravity, such MAMA’S MADNESS exists in our world. Accept the embellishments with the truth. Know your environment and be safe!


Review by  on July 8, 2012
Mama’s Madness: Excellent writing about a depraved subject

“Mama’s Madness” by Billy Ray Chitwood is an excellently written story about an abused protagonist (Tammie Jo), her sociopathic mama, and the senseless crimes that Mama and her accomplices commit and are eventually held accountable for. As unsettling as the characters and their behavior may be, Chitwood manages to almost balance their menace with the goodness and dedication of law enforcement and Tammie Jo’s struggle to reconcile her environment with her possible future (or her lack of a future if Mama is left unrestrained). Chitwood’s ability to interweave the profile of a monster, the coming of age and redemption of a girl, and a fascinating multiple-murder investigation is masterful. I highly recommend “Mama’s Madness” for lovers of gritty murder investigations that include the perpetrator’s, victim’s, and detectives’ point-of-views. I will certainly continue reading Mr. Chitwood’s body of work.


Please join me in welcoming Billy Ray to my blog.


Tell us a little about yourself.  Born in Appalachia during the aftermath of the Great Depression, I somehow survived those tumultuous years of poverty, mobility and family disconnect. I’m a romantic, a wanderlust with too much ‘Past’ in my awareness…reconciled to the fact those parts of me will never change: those parts have been with me all the way and live with me now in ‘Twilight’ – always looking for the ‘White Buffalo’.

In what genre is Mama’s Madness and who published it? This novel is inspired by true events in the genres of Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Child Abuse. Self-published through CreateSpace (Amazon).

The storyline?  Meet a mother from hell! I ran across the California newspaper clippings from years ago about a Northern California mother who tortured her six kids – the three girls most specifically – with beatings, dark-closet punishments that could last for days, eating lard and their own retch, standing erect or on their knees for hours at a time. She kills two of the girls by fire, leaving one girl to fear for her life…an amazing story, fictionalized with lots of true elements!

What inspired you to write it?  Thinking of my own kids, reading the clippings about these California crimes made me angry, made me cry, plus the ‘junk in my mind’s attic,’ conspired and inspired me to write a fictionalized account of this evil ‘woman from hell!’ It was a tough book to write and it’s a tough book to read! My hope is the book will serve as a silent siren for parents and children to be aware that evil exists in our world, to be aware of their environments, the stranger in the park, the offer of a ride home, et al.

Mama's Madness by Billy Ray Chitwood

What inspires you to write in general?  Hope this is not too corny or trite, but something magical happens for me when my fingers touch the laptop keys…it’s like invisible fingers are tapping those keys, creating what I believe to be good, sometimes great writing! The ‘business’ (marketing, the internet) of writing stymies me, but the writing itself satisfies a need within me. I can say truthfully that Writing is my therapy!

In what sub-genres do you write?  Cross-Genres…The whole spectrum actually: mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, memoir, time travel, history. My romance books get very little attention from the reading public, but that’s because, frankly, I don’t know what I’m doing in marketing them.

When and what did you first start writing?  As a kid I wrote poetry – at least, my Mom called it poetry. I thought about becoming a singer but my shyness was a major factor in not following that course. I wrote off and on through the work years, and really got serious about it around the 1980s.

What authors have most influenced you? How and why?  John D. MacDonald hooked me with his Travis McGee Novels. I read all twenty-one: each title contained a color: The Deep Blue Good-by;  Nightmare in Pink; A Purple Place for Dying; The Quick Red Fox. These books were all written in 1964. Tall good-looking Travis lived aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and each book is action-packed as Travis helps a friend or someone get out of trouble. John D. sold over 70 million copies of his books over his 70-year life span. It broke my heart when I lost those 21 books in one of my moves… The English Romantic poets rang my bell in college, as did the Naturalist Writers: Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Jack London, Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie), and others. Today, I like Nelson DeMille’s smooth-flowing style.

How do you write – outline or free flow?  Most of my writing is free flow. I’ve also done outlines, but, for me, I like to let my characters take my laptop tapping wherever it is they go and whatever they do.

What genres do you like to read?  Mystery, suspense, memoirs.


I’d like to thank Billy Ray for being my guest and wish him all the best with his relaunch.


Mama's Madness by Billy Ray Chitwood

Pre-order HERE


Other books by Billy Ray

Books by Billy Ray Chitwood

The Bailey Crane Mystery Series

The Bailey Crane Mystery Series Billy Ray Chitwood Bailey Crane Mystery Series by Billy Ray Chitwood

Find all of Billy Ray’s books HERE


Connect with Billy Ray:  Website   Blog   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads   LinkedIn   Google+   Amazon
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Billy Ray. Please visit his blog, comment and share.
Thanks so much for stopping by ❤️

93 thoughts on “#Author Interview: Billy Ray Chitwood”

  1. Tina, an excellent interview with brilliant questions. Yikes, Billy I can understand that this must have been an incredibly hard book to write and a tough one to read. It’s hard to believe such horrors exist, yet one reads about them … well done for attempting to delve deeper into the abuse and hardship. Good luck with the relaunch!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for introducing Billy to your blog Tina.. A chilling theme to write about, but one that goes on in the real world and not only in the imagination.
    I would find it very difficult to read, but then I think sometimes you have to delve into the difficult to understand the capabilities of Evil some people hold..
    Many thanks Tina for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Sue, for catching the interview… As expressed in Tina’s interview, MAMA’S MADNESS was a tough book to write, but, as toady as it might sound, it is well-written book with lots of 5-star reviews out of 59 – average, 4.. My best wishes.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve only read Stranger Abduction and thought it extraordinary. Billy Ray is quite the gifted storyteller. I’m so happy you’ve spotlighted him, Tina. All the best!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, Gwen, as busy as you are with “The Contract” and you stop by Tina’s blog! Thank you, sweet lady for taking the time! You and John always have ‘my back’ – whatever that means…I’ve heard it onTV so must be good, right? LOL – All the best, good Gwen! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Make my day, Jan! Melika the word, ‘Fantastic’ – hope you get a chance to read MAMA’S MADNESS, Jan. Your review of STRANGER ABDUCTION was wonderful – MM displays a bit more horrible scenes… Thank you, dear Jan, for catching the interview… Tina has a magic way! As do you! ♥

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent interview, Tina. I am reading Mama’s Madness now and must say Billy Ray writes such beautiful prose that I read with my jaw hanging open. Of course, I am thinking the whole time, “Why can’t I write this way?” I finally give up and enjoy his work since I know it would never happen. I defer to the master which Bill Ray surely is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Can you maybe influence Julie Anne to say nice things to me like you just wrote here? TeeHee! Aw, good John, you’re most generous, and it means the world to me! When the days are not going so well, I’m going to come back to these wonderful comments. JUST one thing! Your comments mean even more to me, coming from a polished author like you, my man! Luvya! ♥

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Wonderful interview, Tina. Good to know more about Billy Ray and his writing. The book sounds compelling, and worth a read. A very hard subject to get through though. Best of luck, Billy Ray. 📚 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve known Billy Ray for a while and knew about his relaunch of this book that sounds unmissable. And I’ve heard a small recording of his singing, and I’d say he is very talented! Good luck with the book re-launch and thanks for hosting a great multi-talented writer, Tina!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for introducing us to Billy Ray, Tina. His story sounds chilling. It reminds me of Flowers in the Attic, which I read many many years ago.
    I know what he means when he says he feels like a young man in an old man’s body. When I was younger, older people around me told me they didn’t feel any older inside. Now I know what they meant.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wonderful review and interview, Tina. Billy Ray hails from my neck of the woods. “Something magical happens for me when my fingers touch the laptop keys.” I love that!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This book sounds so intense. Congrats to Billy Ray for the re-release. I loved the interview and the description of those magic writing fingers. And Billy Ray, I’ve also read all of the Travis McGee series! Years and years ago, but I loved them. My dad would buy them for a nickel at a thrift store and we’d pass them around the family until we’d all read them. Thanks for the great interview!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing that reminiscence, Diana. I imagine it was difficult having to wait your turn, especially if at the end of the line 🙂 You too are blessed with the Magic Midas Touch ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Nice interview questions – fun to read the answers and learn a bit more about Billy Ray. NO, I don’t think it’s cheesy at all, what Billy Ray says about the writing process and the magic of it. I feel the same way, and perhaps that’s why we both like to use “free write” instead of outlining. Let the magic show us the way. Best of luck to Billy Ray on the publication of his next book. What a prolific author!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Debbie, for adding me to your TBR. Hope you enjoy! Incidentally, I believe I saw some communication from you on F/B… I don’t go to F/B very often, and I’m lkely ‘missing out’. Forgive me if I’ve missed you there. If fate treats me well, I just might see you on a ‘Celebrity’ cruise! All my best! ♥

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, that would be exciting to meet up on a cruise Billy Ray. And no apologies necessary, we all have our priorities. You probably saw something I shared of yours. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Great interview Billy! I loved the questions and your answers–always fun to learn more about you. The news is scary but out of it creativity can be inspired. I have this preordered. Happy re-release!

    Liked by 2 people

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