Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You – Author Billy Ray Chitwood

Welcome to the Sunday interview and this week my guest is author Billy Ray Chitwood.  Before we find out which of the questions Billy Ray has chosen to respond to… here is his official biography.

About Billy Ray Chitwood

An Appalachian hill boy from east Tennessee, Billy Ray Chitwood has family roots that go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.

Billy Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, taught high school ‘Advanced Writing’ in Lorain, Ohio. He has served honorably and proudly in the United States Navy. Aside from sales/marketing management positions with top textbook publishers, he has been a model and an actor in film, stage, television. He is still active in his own business as the CEO of Chitwood, Inc.

Billy Ray has written fifteen books, most of which you will find on amazon and amazon UK. Many of his novels of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. His first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has much factual and historical accuracy about the author’s own life.

Currently, Billy Ray spends his time on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with his lovely wife, Julie Anne, and their feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.

Time to hand over to Billy Ray and discover more about something he lost, music and bearskin rugs,

Welcome Billy Ray and can you tell us what is the most valuable thing you have lost and did you ever find it?

One of my most productive periods as an author was during residence in historic Southeast Arizona – historic because the residence was close to Tombstone (‘The Town Too Tough to Die’), home for a while to Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the ‘Shoot-out at the OK Corral’, and legendary bad guys and Indians).

My writing at the time focused on ‘The Bailey Crane Mysteries’ which was to be a 7-book series. The first book – “An Arizona Tragedy’ – was finished. The second book – “Stranger Abduction” – was finished except for final editing. Both manuscripts were placed in individual boxes. These books were written on my ‘Star-Writer’ word processor…did not have a laptop at the time.

During a subsequent move, the “Stranger Abduction” manuscript was lost…the only manuscript missing of the many already written and in their boxes.

I searched for weeks trying to find it as I had started the publishing process (too many-too fast, I must add). While each book in the series stood alone, each still followed the aging and woes of the central character, ‘Bailey Crane’. Angry, dumbfounded, I finally re-wrote “Stranger Abduction” as a stand-alone book. It’s my belief it is much better than the original that was lost.

What is your favourite music genre and why?

I’m an incurable ‘Romantic’ so I’m a ballad-type of guy. Back in my ‘lotus-eater’ days, there was nothing more soothing, more overwhelming for the emotional-me than ‘Ole Blue Eyes’ Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett entertaining me and my lady…with, of course, some wine, cheese, and grapes on a bearskin rug!

Those were the moments when dying, taxes, and tomorrow were never considered and nowhere on the immediate horizon. Fellow ‘lotus-eaters’ will know of what I write here. Somehow, without the music, those moments would not be the same. So much of me is still there in those moments.

Sally here.… I hope that this will provide another bearskin and wine moment Billy Ray….

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains and why?

The beach… If I’m a ‘Romantic’, you know it’s got to be the beach! I’ve got to be able to see the horizon and wonder just what’s beyond. That’s not all! There’s the sun, the waves caressing the shore, the smell of salt water, and those yummy yellow polka-dot bikinis incessantly walking by – with one hopefully lying next to me on the beach towel. Now, this should not be surprising to anyone… I’m seriously impaired, incurable beyond redemption, and my epithet should read: ‘Here lies Billy Ray – The Spirit of his Day!’ I’m just saying… PLUS, there are tons of space in front of me!

Do you prefer cats, dogs, or neither?

Billy Ray and Julie Anne

I love both cats and dogs. ‘Lady Gray’ is our recently added fur-buddy… Interesting story: ‘Lady’ was an outdoor cat, kept showing up at our backdoor morning, noon and evening for ‘handouts’…which Julie Anne was eager to accommodate. On some occasions, ‘Lady’ would come in, but, then dash out, not quite sure of the situation. Finally, she came in for keeps, pregnant and in need of Vet treatment. She is now at home, wants nothing from outside, not even her siblings. She sits on the back of a stuffed chair and watches her friends romp outside.

And one very lucky ‘Lady Gray’

 If you could choose a different career, what would it be and why?

I would be a golfer – and a writer’! They blend nicely. Hey, I’m out in the sun, at least, most of the time…and, I don’t even mind playing in the rain. There is one proviso: my game would have to be in the professional range of competition. I’m way too much of a ‘Ham’ and maybe I get rich swiftly and have all the pretty ladies ‘following’ my action. On the side, you understand, I’m writing my ‘Best Sellers’! What a perfect fit!

Sally here... you wanted birds following you around the course Billy Ray.. here are a few for you, plus an alligator, turtle and squirrel. Hazards when you play in the big leagues. Courtesy of PGA Tour Channel where you will find more of the same and all the action of the tour.

Here is a small selection of Billy Ray’s books

About Stranger Abduction

It is a sunny Sunday in May, 1993. After church, a mother and her lovely fourteen-year old daughter walk three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. It is a walk members of the family often take in this rural Sulphur Springs Valley area of southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.

The mother and daughter arrive at the store in a jovial mood, trading pleasantries with customers and the owners… The daughter timidly flirts with a boy from her school. The daughter and mother leave the store in a silly mood, finger painting ice cream on their faces.

They never make it home…

The deputy sheriff of the county believe there has been a ‘stranger abduction’.

There are lots of action, interesting characters, and romance to go with this fictional account of an incident inspired by true events…events that brought tragedy to a shaken family.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Can you imagine anything more frightening than a mother and daughter disappearing from a quiet rural road? That’s exactly the tale that Billy Ray Chitwood relates in Stranger Abduction. This is a fictitious account of an actual event. A mother and daughter walking home from the store, happy and eating ice cream when evil pounces. The way the author wove this tale around all the characters involved is gripping. I discovered many sub-plots in this book and sometimes that doesn’t work. But, in this book, it worked perfectly and I had no trouble following along. This is a chilling, well-written story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, break your heart and then mend it slowly but surely. A great read!

Read the reviews and discover and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads:

Connect to Billy Ray


If you would like to participate in the Getting to Know You series… here is how, with the questions to select your five from:

Billy Ray would love to receive your comments and thank you for dropping in today… Sally


119 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You – Author Billy Ray Chitwood

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Getting to Know You: Billy Ray Chitwood – The Militant Negro™

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:

    This week my guest on the Getting to Know You interview is author Billy Ray Chitwood. He has chosen some excellent questions to respond to and shares his love of Sinatra, things lost and the romance in life… including golf…. Time to hand over to Billy Ray and discover more about something he lost, music and bearskin rugs,


  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You – Author Billy Ray Chitwood – The Final Curtain1

  4. This was a delightful Sunday morning read! Thank you, Sally, for inviting Billy Ray to your blog. I felt like we were all sitting in a living room, coffee in hand, enjoying discoveries of this wonderful writer. I loved Stranger Abduction and look forward to reading more of his work. All the best to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I enjoyed reading more about Billy Ray. I loved his epitaph ‘Here lies Billy Ray – The Spirit of his Day!’ since I believe it truly captures the essence of Billy Ray perfectly. Thaks, Sally and Billy Ray

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – With friends – William Price King, Paul Andruss, Carol Taylor, Esme, Billy Ray Chitwood and other brilliant writers. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. What a fun interview and The Rat pack and itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis….Loved the whole interview and I must read Stranger Abduction my kind of tale :)x

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great interview, Sally! I had read about Billy Ray’s lost manuscript before and I am sure I’ve heard him singing at some point (and he is impressive!). Love to learn more about him. Congratulations, Billy Ray, and many thanks, Sally!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s wonderful to get to know Billy Ray a little more, Sally. I can tell he’s a romantic from his beautiful poetry. And I would have a meltdown if I lost a whole manuscript, but I’m glad it worked out well in the long run. Great review. Thanks for hosting, Sally. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What a wonderful interview, Sally. It’s so nice to learn more about Billy Ray and to meet his better half. I really enjoyed “Stranger Abduction,” but haven’t read any of Billy Ray’s other books yet. Thanks so much for hosting him!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a delightful interview, Sally. Good to know more about you, Billy. I went over to your blog a few months back and admire your publications. It’s wonderful to read Sally’s introduction, the interview questions, and your answers. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are my favorites also. That makes a nice evening read to me. Thank you both.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. So much fun reading more about the Billy Ray. Here is a fact that you may not know Sally and Sally‘s followers. Billy Ray and I attended the same college! Different years but we will always be (writing) Warriors! Keep on writing, Billy Ray!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It ‘s nice to meet you, Billy Ray, and get to know you and your books. Lovely photo of you and Julie Anne. Never stop writing and being a romantic. Love Sinatra – one of a kind! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Such a great interview! I love your epithet and sense of humor, Billy Ray, and that you turned a negative (loss of manuscript) into a positive. The PGA video is hilarious, Sally 🙂 Hugs to both of you ❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: SHARE IT ON SUNDAY!: Getting To Know You Magazine and More | Campbells World

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