Friday, May 24, 2019

VBT Blind Walls by Bishop and Fuller

Blind Walls
by Bishop & Fuller


GENRE: Urban Paranormal



It's a monstrous maze of a mansion, built by a grief-ridden heiress. A tour guide, about to retire, has given his spiel for so many years that he's gone blind. On this last tour, he's slammed with second sight.

He sees the ghosts he's always felt were there: the bedeviled heiress, her servants, and a young carpenter who lands his dream job only to become a lifelong slave to her obsession. The workman's wife makes it to shore, but he's cast adrift.

And the tour guide comes home to his cat.

The pairing of Bishop and Fuller is a magical one. . . . It’s a brilliant opus, melding the past, present, and future with intimate, individual viewpoints from a tightly arrayed cast of believable characters in as eerie a setting as might be dredged out of everyman’s subconscious searching. . . . Blind Walls offers a weird alternative world, featuring a blind man with second sight and an acerbic wit as its charming, empathic hero.

—Feathered Quill

These characters are so well developed that one has to think of them as live people – laughing with them and crying with them, even getting old with them. This is an amazing story based on the Winchester Mansion and told with such quiet, compelling, raw humanity that the reader simply can’t stop until the entire tale is told. A wonderful, spooky look into others lives and what may or may not happen on any given day.

—Dog-Eared Reviews

Bishop and Fuller have constructed a story rich with imagined detail and visionary ideas about life’s possibilities. The cast of ghostly characters, servants, workman, and family light up the story with dramatic effect as their actions and choices are observed. . . . The authors’ prose is effortless and moves easily from humorous to weighted seriousness. The dialogue is perceptive, giving voice to compelling characters and particularly to the tour guide whose second sight he confers on the readers. The latter will not want to look away from the myriad rooms of Weatherlee House.

—US Review of Books


Excerpt Two:

She gave a querulous wave. “Well, it’s not working out. I seem to be building these corners. Corners by the dozens.”

“Well,” he ventured, “a room’s got corners. You build a room you build four corners.”

“As a small child I was terrified of corners,” she said, again with quiet glee. “The things that accumulate there . . .” She took a folded sheet of watercolor paper from beneath the book and held it out to him. He crossed the floor as if treading on fragile skin, took it from her and studied the new plans.

“And my baby’s bedroom, eclipsed, like gazing into the maw of a ravenous orchid.” She brushed at the strand of hair. “Because it came clear to me that my father— Not my father, my father-in-law, lovely man, he was like a father to me, but all the fathers, whoever— It became clear that they were guilty of so much. All the young boys. The wars that made us our fortune, that built us this lovely ballroom.” Marty scanned it. “How easy was it, do you think, for a young woman to reconcile that? To justify her own comforts, her privilege, her futility? How easy, Marty?”

“How easy was it?”

“Very. No trouble at all.” She smiled. She likely enjoyed this sort of banter. “But no, my father-in-law was strongly opposed to war, spoke on the subject, spoke out against it despite his reliance on it. He might not have done so, I suppose, if men had actually been listening.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Conrad Bishop & Elizabeth Fuller’s 60+ plays have been produced Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, and in thousands of their own performances coast to coast. Their two public radio series Family Snapshots and Hitchhiking off the Map have been heard nationally. Their books include two previous novels (Realists and Galahad’s Fool), a memoir (Co-Creation: Fifty Years in the Making), and two anthologies of their plays (Rash Acts: 35 Snapshots for the Stage and Mythic Plays: from Inanna to Frankenstein.)

They host a weekly blog on writing, theatre, and life at Their theatre work is chronicled at Short videos of their theatre and puppetry work are at Bishop has a Stanford Ph.D., Fuller is a college drop-out, but somehow they see eye to eye. They have been working partners and bedmates for 57 years.

Conrad Bishop Amazon Page:

Elizabeth Fuller Amazon Page:

Conrad Bishop Goodreads:

Elizabeth Fuller Goodreads:

Conrad Bishop Facebook:

Elizabeth Fuller Facebook:


e-book 99 cents from Smashwords. Can do preorders during tour, receive it June 1st. Will be $2.99 after preorder period.

Interview with Bishop and Fuller
1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The frivolous answer would be the last chapter, because then we were done with the job. But in terms of giving us the most pleasure to write, it would probably be the ongoing narrative of the Tour Guide, just because of his sense of humor. He’s a bit outside the story itself, serving as the narrator who, on his last tour before retirement after thirty years, sees the story unfolded by the ghosts of the mansion. He has no great ambition in life other than to finish the tour and go home to his cat and his bottle of Scotch, but with all the other characters in the throes of obsessions, it’s a relief to encounter the gentle soul of Raymond Smollet.

2. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
We’re very happy for our characters to stay in our books and not venture into our lives—though in another sense we live with them every day, as they all contain parts of ourselves, and not always parts that we like.
But we wouldn’t mind having Dee Ratowitz over for dinner. In fact, she’s not unlike some of our friends who’ve gone through a crazy roller-coaster existence and emerged bruised but whole. What she thinks will be a simple storybook life—marrying her high school sweetheart, having kids, living happily-ever-after—turns askew, and she hits bottom. But she has a survival instinct, and she struggles to shore. We’d eat (Elizabeth is a slam-dunk cook), we’d drink wine, and we’d talk. If fresh figs were in season, we’d have fresh figs for dessert.

3. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Impossible question, if it means which books do we most like. That would encompass everything from Charlotte’s Web and The Little Prince to Huckleberry Finn and Endgame. Problem would be that we’d probably start rewriting them and messing them up, given that we keep writing on a project until one of us yells, “Enough!”
We both like Ursula LeGuin, Louise Erdrich, China Mieville, Spider Robinson, LeCarre, Dickens, Beckett, Marquez, Yeats, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Shakespeare . . . We could go on and on, but we’re happy that someone else managed to write those books, not us: we have enough to do.
But the literal answer would be Masks, the working title of our next novel: we’d so love to HAVE BEEN the author of it now, because then it’d be finished.

4. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Both. BLIND WALLS, in its first version as a play (produced in 1997), was spurred by the story of the Winchester “Mystery” House in San Jose, CA, a sprawling mansion built by a reclusive heiress that was the subject of wild journalistic speculation. But as we explored that story, an entirely different set of characters emerged from within it; a young carpenter who lands his dream job and finds it slowly destroying his marriage and his soul.
All the characters drew on fragments of real people and on elements added in the improvisations of actors during the long development process. Elizabeth played the mad heiress in its Philadelphia production, and she certainly embodied elements of her sharp-tongued, horribly unhappy mother. But all are composites. And returning to that story twenty years later—this time as a novel—hasn’t radically changed them, but it’s brought more nuance to their inner lives.
5. What made you want to become a writer?
Not sure that we ever wanted to. Our whole life (though it’s not over yet) has been in theatre, and our first collaboration was as undergraduates when we translated a play from the German that CB wanted to direct. Later, we adapted some classics for the stage, and still later, when we left teaching to start a touring theatre ensemble, we wrote a lot of sketches and plays for that company—never really thinking of ourselves as “writers” but just as the folks who did the writing. Eventually we were writing for other theatres as well, and then we started to feel both the advantages and the downside of specialization.
Moving into fiction has its advantages—you have an infinite palette, you don’t have to worry about the size of the cast or a director screwing it up—but also the shock of being very lonely. We don’t have a production team in daily contact, we don’t have a live audience giving instant feedback in their reactions, and we can’t go out with the cast for a beer after the show. Still, by this time, writing has become like breathing: you do it whether you want to or not. And most of the time, we want to.


Bishop & Fuller will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Thank you for sharing your book with us and for the giveaway as well. I appreciate them both.

  2. Which character do you most relate to in your book?

    1. Not sure what "relate" actually means. None of them are like either of us, I hope, and in terms of feeling empathy with them, I wouldn't want to create a character outside my empathic spectrum. For me, the whole point of writing a story is to broaden that spectrum for those who read it. Provocative question, though.

  3. Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

  4. I would love to read your book and I love your cover.

  5. What made you want to become a writer?