Sunday, May 2, 2010

Author Interview: Bill Walker

Today we'll learn a little more about author Bill Walker (no relation!), who wrote A Note From An Old Acquaintance. Be sure to read my review!

Jennifer Walker: Tell us about your other writing projects...past, present and future.

Bill Walker:
Ironically, my past is about to become my future, in that I'm in the process of revising and updating my first novel, Titanic 2012.  My agent is keen on shopping it around for a re-release in 2012 to coincide with the centennial of the sinking.  It's been a real pleasure to revisit these characters and make tweaks I've always wanted to make.  There is a completely new and more satisfying ending, as well.

Jennifer Walker: What was the inspiration for A Note from an Old Acquaintance?

Bill Walker:
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.

Jennifer Walker: Do you base any of your stories or characters on real life?

Bill Walker:
Like every author, I use bits and pieces of my own experiences.  But my characters are mostly reflections of differing aspects of my own personality.  We authors are the ultimate actors in that we inhabit each character's psyche as we create them.  For me that really is a wonderful experience, because it is through my characters that I can do things that I can never do in real life.

Jennifer Walker: You have a lot of detail about art and video editing in the story. Are these areas you have real-life experience with?

Bill Walker:
I've always been an art fan, but don't pretend to have a lot of knowledge, so some of that detail came from research.  As for the video editing, I was a film major in college, so that's where that came from.

Jennifer Walker: Tell us about how you became a writer and how you got published.

Bill Walker:
I've been writing since I was eight years old, but didn't become serious about being published until the early 90s.  I started out with short stories, and wrote my first novel, Camp Stalag in 1991.  I became published with a collection of scary stories for what's known as the mid-grader demographic (9-13) with Five-Minute Frights in 1993 and its sequel, Five-Minute Chillers in 1994.

Jennifer Walker: Do you have a "day job", or do you write for a living?

Bill Walker:
Very few writers make their sole living from writing.  It's something I for which I devoutly wish, but not the case...yet.  I'm also a graphic designer.  I work for a company that produces electronic gift cards, as well as having a side business specializing in book design.

Jennifer Walker: What hobbies do you enjoy?

Bill Walker:
Reading and playing electric guitar.  I've been a head-banger for a long time, so what I play tends to more of the hard rock genre.

Jennifer Walker: Do you have any unusual skills or talents or quirks or interests?

Bill Walker:
Aside from being a card carrying contrarian, I don't know that I have that many quirks.  By contrarian I mean that I tend to go against the popular grain.  I tend to like things the general public ignores.  Hopefully, that won't apply to the books I write, because I do enjoy entertaining people with my stories.

Jennifer Walker: If you had to choose your last meal, what would it be?

Bill Walker:
Such a pleasant thought ;-)  Honestly, assuming I even had an appetite, the meal would probably consist of all the highly-caloric, cholesterol-laden foods I tend to avoid.  After all, if it's the last one, what does it matter?

Jennifer Walker: Which author(s) has had the most influence on your writing?

Bill Walker:
The authors with the most impact and influence on me, and not necessarily in this order, are: Richard Matheson, Jack Finney, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.

Thanks, Bill, for stopping by!

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