Thursday, April 8, 2010

Q&A with Author Bill Walker


*Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in Connecticut and then spent the better part of my misspent youth in Boston, where I majored in film production at Emerson College. After college I co-founded a film production company with a fellow Emerson alumn and spent the next eight years making corporate films and commercials. I met my wife, Debbie, in a parking garage across from my office and we moved to Los Angeles in 1990. I moved to LA to start building hand-wired high-end guitar amplifiers with a partner, and when that business did not take off spent the next several years as a freelance story analyst for various studios and independent production companies. From there I segued into graphic design

*How long have you been writing? Did you always aspire to be a published author?

I knew it from a very early age that I wanted to write, as I was a voracious reader and started writing because I wanted to sustain the joy I received from the stories I'd read. My ambitions to be published did not begin in earnest until the early 90s. I started with short stories, some of which were published. But the only way to make any kind of living as a writer of fiction is in novels. The long form is what sells and I set that as my goal. It took me seven years before my first novel was published in 1998.

*(For the Authors that follow TCBL) How often do you experience writer's block when working on a book?

When I'm working on a book, my ironclad rule is three pages per day. If I do more than that--great--but that doesn't let me off the hook for the next day. However, inevitably, I'll reach a brick wall at certain points in the story. If everything works up to that point I know that it's nothing to do with a flaw in the plot or the structure, but simply that I've temporarily run out of ideas. For that, the best thing I can do is step away from it--go do something else. Often, what I do is play guitar. Just like Joanna's son does, I'll pickup up a guitar, plug it in and start playing. I'm sure those who study the brain and how it works will tell you that by doing something that uses a different part of the creative section of the brain, and I don't care if it's painting, building a model or whatever. Go do something else that uses different creative "muscles," so to speak. You will find, as I have, that the part of your mind that is working on your story will be able to free associate and will give you the inspiration you seek.

*Can you tell us where you got your inspiration for the story line of "A Note From An Old Acquaintance?"

The inspiration for my novel was the desire to tell an intense love story where the characters and their emotions drive the story. My previous books hung on unique premises and the plot was more dominant. For me, the real inspiration and challenge was to create a story where real things happen between people, where situations have drama and gravity, but are not hinged on a ticking clock or some other suspenseful gimmick. That's not to say I want a book that languishes, either. I like a book with a decent pace, and instilling that has become almost instinctive for me. Here, we have a story of two young people who meet and fall in love in that hopelessly romantic way so many of us dream about, yet life gets in the way, as it has a habit of doing. Obviously, in a love story like this everyone wants to see it end well, and I like to think I served the needs of readers in that respect.

*Who do you consider to be the most memorable character in the story?

That's sort of like asking a parent which child is there favorite child. ;-) Honestly, they're all my favorites, because they are all a part of me. As an author, I consider myself to be the ultimate actor. I inhabit each of these characters as I create the, becoming them, looking out at the world through their lenses. It really is an exhilarating feeling.

*Last but not least, where can we find more of you and your work?

Two of my other books are still in print, "Titanic 2012" and "Camp Stalag." "Titanic 2012" is an homage to Cameron's movie and is about a descendant of the Astor family rebuilding the ship for the centennial. It's hard to believe that we're almost at that point. This book also has a very romantic subplot.
The other novel, "Camp Stalag" was actually the first novel I ever wrote and is what I like to describe as "Survivor meets The Great Escape." Some people have criticized the book for "stealing" things from that classic movie, but the whole point of the book is that the men invited to experience the camp are expecting that. What they don't expect is the harsh reality they get.

As for my book design work, examples can be found on my web site: www.billwalkerdesigns.com.
Thanks so much to Bill for visiting with us today! I really enjoyed his book and I hope you'll take the time to check it out!

1 comment:

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