Come join in on the author interview with Bill Holland! Here we go…!
Christy: Hi Bill, and welcome to Parfait-land! After knowing you online for several years, I am so happy to have you here for a visit today. You are certainly busy these days as an avid blogger, author and HubPages expert. Given your limited free time it means a lot to me that you agreed to do this interview.
Today, let’s focus on your new book Resurrecting Tobias. Go ahead and sit down – let’s get started on this author interview! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing background.
Bill: First, thank you, Christy, for letting me visit Parfait-land. I know that you know how much I admire your work, but more importantly, I admire you as a human being, so it’s a pleasure being here.
My background? I was a teacher for eighteen years….a business owner…worked at probably twenty-five or thirty jobs over the years…but always wanted to write. Life just kept getting in the way, or I wasn’t willing to make the commitment…choose whichever excuse you want. J Finally, a little over three years ago, something snapped inside of me. I certainly wasn’t getting any younger, and I felt the time was running out on my dream, so I quit my teaching job and went freelance full-time. Just like that I was a writer.
Within six months I was paying my bills as a freelancer, and my first novel was completed and now, three years later, I’m working on novel number three and loving every minute of this experience.
Christy: Wow! You are accomplishing so much! Now I’m curious, what writers inspire you?
Bill: There are so many, Christy. I grew up reading voraciously and I’ve never stopped, but the two authors who jump out immediately are Harper Lee and John Steinbeck. Among today’s contemporary authors, James Lee Burke tops the list.
Lee and Steinbeck waited years to find a publisher…can you imagine? Well yes, most of us can imagine. There are quite a few great writers out there who may never get published. Anyway, their struggles motivate me. If Lee and Steinbeck had to work in obscurity for years, then I need to pay my dues as well.
Christy: Great point about paying dues. Let’s talk about YOUR book now, shall we? Who do you think would enjoy reading Resurrecting Tobias?
Bill: Anyone who can relate to man’s ability to face adversities and overcome them all will love this book. This book is 130,000 words of the human experience. There will be tears, laughter, and a whole lot of soul-searching and reflection done by anyone who reads about the struggles and triumphs of Tobias Alexander King.
Christy: How would you describe your main character in Resurrecting Tobias? What sets him or her apart from past characters you’ve written about?
Bill: Great question, Christy! You should do this for a living.
Toby is an extremely talented, and flawed, human being. His ceiling is seemingly limitless, but he can’t seem to get out of his own way so he can maximize his talents. Just when it appears he is riding high, he finds a way to crash and burn. He is his own worst enemy.
How is he different from previous characters I’ve written about? I’m not sure he is. Most of my main characters are flawed beings. I think human beings are fascinating, and it is how we deal with our own flaws that ultimately defines us.
Christy: Indeed. Humans are fascinating and ultimately complex. What research did you do to write this book?
Bill: Well, this book is a series of flashbacks through Toby’s life, covering fifty years, so I had to make sure my facts were correct regarding events that happened during the 60s, 70s, and so on. There is a passage in the book about Vietnam, so that took some research, as did some world affairs involving the CIA.
Of course, I was alive throughout the entire time period of this book, so a lot of historical background I already knew.
Christy: Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. How often do you write and do you have a structure to your day?
Bill: I write Monday through Friday, seven a.m. to three p.m., and my days are very structured. I have each day broken into hour segments, and I schedule each hour for a particular task. Other writers may not be that structured, but it works best for me.
Mondays are devoted to writing articles for HubPages. Tuesdays I take care of my customers and their needs. Wednesday and Thursday is for my novels, and Friday I take care of odds and ends that have developed over the week.
Christy: I admire your schedule; I will have to take notes from what you say here. What tips would you give to someone who is interested in writing his or her first book?
Bill: I don’t believe there is any set formula for success in writing books, but I do know you have to write and write on a regular basis. I don’t know of any other way to improve than through practicing your craft.
I don’t use outlines when I write a novel. I start with an idea and write an opening chapter. I then decide how the novel will end, and then the rest is a matter of filling in the story line and character development. Before I really get started, though, I interview my characters so I know as much about them as possible. Since they will be the ones telling the story, I think it’s necessary to really get to know them.
Lastly, and I think this is crucial, you need to enjoy the process. A very small percentage of human beings can do what we can do. Most people will never write a novel. Feel good about the fact that you are one of the few who will do that.
Thank you, Christy! That was fun, and I greatly appreciate the chance to take over your site for a day.
Christy: Thank YOU for being here, Bill! I’ve enjoyed the visit and appreciate the time you’ve taken with us today.
Help support Bill, aka William D. Holland, by purchasing the book Resurrecting Tobias!