Friday, June 15, 2012
An Interview with Author William Weldy
Welcome to Up Around the Corner, William. Please, tell us a little about yourself and your writing:
Well, let me see. I’ve written stories all my life. Mostly fiction novel attempts. After hundreds of rejection letters, I’ve tried to quit several times but I can’t. Writing is therapy for me. It keeps me balanced. If life throws a punch then I just write a character who can solve the problem and I’m back in balance. I never get mad or depressed. I think writing helps that.
My wife, Pam and I have a place on Norris Lake, Tennessee where we relax, boat and fish with the grandchildren often. If I could get the internet, I’d spend more time writing there.
Quite varied in your talents and interests, William. Could you tell us about your debut novel, and maybe how some of your background and interests influenced or impacted your writing of it?
Sure. The really strange thing about writing is that we all try to pay attention to people and places around us to use in our character development and setting. Seldom is a novel based entirely on setting. Many times, however, when we’re least paying attention things stick in our heads. In my case I was traveling out west with my family one summer years ago and pulled over to the berm early one morning in southern Idaho as everyone else slept. I gazed down on a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. An emerald green lake lay at the base of the valley.
For years after that I fantasized about that spot and every night I developed a habit of mentally building a log cabin in that valley as a method to fall asleep. I always drifted off before the cabin was built. Along the way I included thoughts of what it would be like to live as our forefathers did and the Amish do today. After many, many years of visiting this place in my mind I decided to write about it.
I soon discovered that I would need a plot and characters to develop it into a novel. So I wondered what would make a man want to live as a semi-recluse in the mountains and what could possibly happen to him that would make readers want to read his story. The worse thing I could imagine happening to a man would be to lose his family in a drug related shooting in a shopping mall in Detroit. My main character, Josh did, and just gave up on civilization after that.
Then I had to come up with an antagonist. Having dealt with the Outlaw motorcycle gang in my previous life, I knew they would be perfect bad guys. Since I didn’t want the protagonist to have to talk to his dog through the entire novel, I came up with a romance interest in the daughter of the general store owner who is murdered by the gang. When Josh finds his friend murdered and his daughter about to be raped by the Outlaws, he has to intervene. From then on it’s a matter of survival and the remaining Outlaws try to hunt them down and kill them.
What was the most challenging part of writing Outlaws?
When I first started I didn’t make an outline of any kind because the image of the setting was so clear in my head. As I began to develop the plot, that lack of outline proved to be a struggle. I made myself ‘what if?’ notes on pages as they developed and then sometimes changed the scenes later. It takes a long time to develop a story that way. The other thing I struggled with was the fact that the Outlaws are a real motorcycle gang and I worried that I might be opening a can of legal worms. But I found out that as long as the image fits the truth of their criminal activities and character, it isn’t libel. The reality of this group’s criminal records verifies that truth.
One of the challenges I face daily as a writer is that I tend to tell a story rather than let it develop through the character’s thoughts and actions. This too requires many rewrites to get it right. I guess I’m still taking the long way. Editing is difficult for me as well. Thankfully, I belong to a couple of writer groups who provide good honest criticism. Without good criticism, my novels would lay molding in my file drawers. Wait—most of them still are.
William, you’ve already told us a little about Outlaws. Is there anything you’d like to add about it? Could you also tell us something about any other projects you’re currently working on?
For what it’s worth, OUTLAWS is finished and the readers will have to decide its worth. I have several manuscripts in my drawer that will have to be revised and edited in the future. Right now I’m about finished with my first attempt at a young adult novel entitled THE ONION CAPER. Strangely enough it started out as an adult cop story. To establish the title I started with the first chapter or two with the protagonist (Cole) as a young lad. Several people suggested that I continue it as a YA, so I have. Just a couple more chapters and it’ll be ready for edits and rewrites.
Final editing of OUTLAWS and anxious waiting for the release seems to have put me in a minor writers block with the new novel but I’m confident I’ll get back to it once OUTLAWS is released.
With Outlaw’s release, hopefully you’ll be back on track. Is there anything else you’d like to add, and how can readers learn more about you and/or your works?
Pertaining to writing: For anyone interested in doing it seriously, learn to develop a tough hide when it comes to criticism. And never stop editing until it’s published. I believe it was Michener who said, “I’m not an excellent writer but I’m an excellent re-writer.”
I’m relatively new to Facebook, twitter, and blogging but I hope to become more involved in the near future to promote sales and establish a fan base. Maybe all 16 members of my family, including grandchildren, will buy the novel and become fans.
OUTLAWS, by: William Weldy, was released as an e-book at Amazom.com, Barnes & Noble, and MusaPublishing.com on May 18, 2012. The author would appreciate any comments, rating, or reviews of the novel.
Thanks, for the interview, William.
Below are some links to William Weldy’s novel:
Outlaws at Amazon (Kindle-US)
Outlaws at Musa Publishing
Outlaws at Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Outlaws at Amazon (Kindle-UK)
If you get the chance, visit William's recently established blog: Cop Writer