I’m a writer, a lawyer, a bookseller, and an amateur musician. I invite you to read  the articles on these pages, and I hope you’ll also read my new book The Circle of Thirteen.  Let me know how you feel about the issues raised. Thanks for taking the time to browse through this website.                   Bill Petrocelli

Book News

: KQED FM with Michael Krasny -

I will be on the KQED Forum in San Francisco with Michael Krasny on Tuesday, December 10, at 10:00 am. Call in toll-free with your questions at (866) 733-6786 or email forum@kqed.org

Book News

: Video of Bill Petrocelli with Isabel Allende -

When Isabel Allende volunteered to be in conversation with me for The Circle of Thirteen on Sunday, October 13, at Book Passage, I knew I was in for something special.

I didn’t know how special until I heard one of the first sentences out of her mouth: “Who knew that Bill Petrocelli was a bigger feminist than Gloria Steinem!” Wow! (Did anyone ask Gloria Steinem how she feels about that?).

With a beginning like that, how could the event not be special. My very deepest thanks to Isabel for such a gracious interview.

You can see it here:


Bill's Blog

See You at the Mystery Writers Conference

The 21st annual Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference  is July 24-27 at Book Passage in Corte Madera, California. I will be on the faculty along with some othermwc_black_logo_web great mystery writers. I hope to see you there.

I’m a little biased (since I’m a co-owner of Book Passage), but this is the best writing conference of its kind — anywhere. The Mystery Writers Conference is now in its 21st year, and it is bigger and better than ever. The faculty this year includes an outstanding array of mystery writers and other publishing and crime-fighting professionals, including Anne Perry, John Lescroart, Laurie King, Tom Rob Smith, Isabel Allende, Cara Black, and Valerie Plame. The Conference is chaired by Jacqueline Winspear and Sheldon Siegel. You’ll also meet such outstanding writer-teachers as David Corbett and D.P. Lyle, not to mention the legendary mystery publisher and bookseller Otto Penzler. And that’s just the beginning. Read more →

Five Ways Men Benefit from Women’s Empowerment

This is taken from a speech that I gave to the League of Women Voters of Marin County at Sausalito, California, on April 17, 2014. This article appeared on Huffingtonpost.com on April 27, 2014

What’s the most important thing men can do for themselves? The answer seems clear to me: work for the empowerment of women.

For the last 20 years I’ve described myself as feminist. This sometimes raises eyebrows. Women occasionally look at me skeptically, thinking maybe I’ve grabbed a phrase that I know little about. Men often take it as an indication that I’ve abandoned the “team” – some probably think I’m using it as a pick-up line. And, of course, I started describing myself as a feminist just about the time that the popular media gave up on the term and moved on to something else.

Nevertheless, I’ve reached the point where feminism has become the intellectual framework that I look to first in analyzing political, economic, and social issues. I find that it cuts through a lot of misinformation and distraction and gets to the core of a problem. The reason is simple. The empowerment of women is crucial to solving a lot of seemingly unrelated problems that are as important to men as they are to women.   Read more →

Seven Questions Writers Should Ask Before Publishing

This is a reprint of an article that I wrote for Huffingtonpost.com on March 4, 2014

Years ago, the only way to get published was to type the manuscript, send it to a publisher, and hope for the best. But book publishing has changed significantly. There are more opportunities — and many more pitfalls. Here are seven basic questions that authors should ask themselves.

1. Is The Manuscript Ready?
Every book needs to go through at least one other set of eyes before it is sent to a publisher or an agent.  A publisher may edit a book later on, but the most important editing is done before the publisher gets it. If the manuscript doesn’t reflect your best writing, the book may never see the light of day.

Think of editing as a three-step process. The first step is you — the writer. Put the manuscript down for a few weeks and then read it again as if you’d never seen it before. Read it out loud, if necessary. Do the sentences flow? Is the research tucked away safely in a corner where it won’t slow down the reader? Pay attention to the narrative voice. With a full-length book, you’re asking the reader to spend several days with you. Does the voice behind the text sound like a comfortable companion?

The second step involves a trusted friend or writing group — trusted, as well as sensitive. There’s nothing more fragile than an author’s ego, so you want someone who can give you good advice without destroying your self-confidence.

The third step is the services of a professional editor. This editor should critique the structure of the book, offer alternatives, and suggest revisions.  If you skip this step, thinking the publisher will pay for editing later on, you may never get to that later stage. Read more →

A remarkable tale . . . fascinating and provocative. — John Lescroart, author of The Ophelia Cut and The Thirteenth Juror

Upcoming Author Events for The Circle of Thirteen

Sun, Oct 13, 4:00 pm

Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

In conversation with Isabel Allende

Fri, Oct 25, 7:30 pm

Avid Reader, Davis, CA

In conversation with John Lescroart

Wed, Oct 30, 7:00 pm

Towne Center Books, Pleasanton, CA

In conversation with Judy Wheeler

Sun, Nov 03, 3:00 pm

Belmont Library, Belmont, CA

Author Event

Wed, Nov 06, 6:00 pm

Book Passage (Ferry Building), San Francisco, CA

In conversation with David Corbett

Wed, Nov 06, 4:00 pm

Book Talk Nation — on-line call-in

In conversation with Sheldon Siegel

Thu, Nov 07, 7:00 pm

Books, Inc., Palo Alto, CA

In conversation with Cara Black

Tue, Nov 12, 7:00 pm

Powell’s City of Books, Portland, OR

Author Event

Thu, Nov 14, 7:00 pm

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

In conversation with Laurie King

Sat, Nov 16, 1:00 pm

Politics and Prose, Washington, DC

In conversation with Katherine Neville

Tue, Nov 19, 7:00 pm

R.J. Julia Bookseller, Madison, CT

Author Event

Wed, Nov 20, 7:00 pm

McNally-Jackson, New York, NY

Author event

Sun, Nov 24, 11:00 am

Miami Book Fair

Author Presentation

Tue, Dec 10, 10:00 am

Appearance on KQED FM 88.5

Forum with Michael Krasny