Perfecting Plot: Charting the Hero's Journey


Available at Select Retailers

About the author


I love my job. Even on the worst day when I can't seem to put together a coherent sentence, I'm grateful for this magnificent opportunity to tell stories and share them with others. My mother says I was saying I wanted to be a writer when I was seven. I know that seems incredible, but she's my mom, so we have to believe her. I never missed an opportunity to visit the library, which was blissfully near my home, and the librarians there took a great interest in this nerdy, shy, bespectacled kid who kept reappearing almost every day. They encouraged me to read widely and to read the best of everything. That is exactly what I did and have continued to do all my life.

I love telling stories. I'm super-excited about this new six-book series featuring lawyer Daniel Pike. The first book is The Last Chance Lawyer and the last is Final Verdict. Several years back I wrote a series of legal thrillers featuring Ben Kincaid, then took some time off to write poetry and young adult and nonfiction books on writing (the Red Sneaker series). It's fun to be back in the fictional courtroom, this time with a fresh take and new characters addressing some of the contemporary issues facing our world today. 

If you'd like to sign up for my newsletter, visit (you'll get a free Ben Kincaid short story!).

If you'd like to sign up for the Red Sneaker Writers newsletter, visit, then click on Red Sneaker Writers (you'll get a free book-planning handbook!).
William Bernhardt (The Last Chance Lawyer) is the author of over fifty books, including the bestselling Daniel Pike and Ben Kincaid novels, the historical novel Challengers of the Dust, two books of poetry, and the ten Red Sneaker books on fiction writing. In addition, Bernhardt founded the Red Sneaker Writers Center to mentor aspiring writers. The Center hosts an annual writers conference (WriterCon), small-group writing retreats, a newsletter, and a bi-weekly podcast. More than forty of Bernhardt’s students have subsequently published with major houses. He is also the owner of Balkan Press, which publishes poetry and fiction as well as the literary journal Conclave. In 2019, Bernhardt received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for the Book. 

In addition to his novels and poetry, Bernhardt has written plays, a musical (book and score), humor, children stories, biography, and puzzles. He has edited two anthologies (Legal Briefs and Natural Suspect) as fundraisers for The Nature Conservancy and the Children’s Legal Defense Fund. OSU named him “Oklahoma’s Renaissance Man.” 
In his spare time, he has enjoyed surfing, digging for dinosaurs, trekking through the Himalayas, paragliding, scuba diving, caving, zip-lining over the canopy of the Costa Rican rain forest, and jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. In 2013, he became a Jeopardy! champion, winning over $20,000. In 2017, when Bernhardt delivered the keynote address at the San Francisco Writers Conference, chairman Michael Larsen noted that in addition to penning novels, Bernhardt can “write a sonnet, play a sonata, plant a garden, try a lawsuit, teach a class, cook a gourmet meal, beat you at Scrabble, and work the New York Times crossword in under five minutes.”