Ring of Fire Selected as “Best Indie Book of 2012” Semifinalist.

[July 1, 2012] The Kindle Book Review has selected Ring of Fire as a suspense/horror semifinalist in its annual Best Indie Books competition. The page has had over 50,000 hits in the last couple of months so this is some invaluable exposure for Bill Cokas’ debut novel. The final five finalists from each category will be announced on September 1, and the six winners (one in each category) will be announced on October 1.

They’re Even Funnier If You’re Drunk.


[Chapel Hill, NC June 5, 2012] The esteemed Crossroads Bar at the landmark Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill has been completely renovated in what looks to be a permanent tribute to Daily Tar Heel cartoonists. Four of my pieces are framed around the room, including one entire Man from UNCle strip (the popular “steal the Old Well after graduation” one). Also included are a few illustrations I did to accompany columns and editorial pieces. My friend Trip Park is represented there as well, as is Charlie Daniels, Jeff MacNelly and other, much more famous alum.

View video clip here

Podcast with Wattpad!

[Raleigh, NC March 15, 2012] I've done announcer-type work and voiceovers for years as kind of a side job, but I still don't love listening to myself. You, however, are welcome to. This is an interview I did last week with the exceedingly nice Pam from Wattpad, a very popular site for writers to post their work and gain free exposure. I'm bound to Amazon to keep "Ring of Fire" there exclusively for another few weeks, but I posted "Battle Axe" on Wattpad back in March and it's already received over 100,000 "reads." Pam asks me about my background in fiction, cartooning, advertising and whatever else we can think of.

Listen to it here.

‘Ring of Fire’: Debut Novel Imagines Corporate America Exploiting YouTube Generation--with Deadly Results.
Weak economy and exhibitionism collide to create a vulnerable “target audience,” eager to pull its own trigger.

[Raleigh, NC March 15, 2012] When one wages a war on advertising, some collateral damage is to be expected. That is the rationale that sustains antagonist Wally Gibbs in Ring of Fire, a new suspense novel by Bill Cokas.

When a corrupt professor attempts to covertly monitor and reward his students’ purchasing habits, what they don’t know can actually kill them. Agendas collide when a justice-obsessed campus cop and a resourceful student discover the true purpose of the hottest-selling graduation ring in Carolina University history.

Ring of Fire is a quirky, sardonic suspense full of wry social satire, combining Carl Hiaasen-esque characters, a contemporary twisted plot and a setting that’s equal parts academia and Aegean Sea.

“It’s really not that much of a stretch,” says Cokas. “Consumers are already surrendering all kinds of personal information in the interest of cheaper groceries, and the rise of reality TV and social media have made the concept of privacy obsolete.”

Seeking refuge from a corporate scandal, Wally Gibbs trades his corner office in Chicago for a tweed jacket with elbow patches in a quaint college town. He soon realizes he wasn’t meant to teach marketing; he was meant to reinvent it. As Wally ensnares unsuspecting students in “Project Argus,” it also catches the attention of down-and-out campus policeman Nick Pappas. Sensing a connection to an unsolved student death, Nick deputizes a student and the pair follows Gibbs to Greece and back in their efforts to expose the scheme.

Can they gather enough evidence to shut down Project Argus before too many students end up paying the price for living their lives on camera?

Bill Cokas is an advertising creative director, avid traveler and a writing professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he earned his journalism degree. He has spent more than two decades writing award-winning ads and commercials, first in Chicago, and now back in North Carolina. For more information, visit http://www.billcokas.com

EDITORS: You may request review e-copies or interviews by calling 919-961-6126 or via email at bill@margawriterville.com. (If requesting a hard copy, please provide a street address.)

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‘Battle Axe’: New Novel Traces Adult’s Twisted Path to Locate His Birth Mother, Connect with his Past
Adoptee uses recent experience of “being found” as foundation for second novel.

[Raleigh, NC March 15, 2012] After forty years, Dorsey Duquesne believes he's finally found his mother. Too bad she keeps trying to kill him. That is the central conflict in Battle Axe, a new suspense novel by Bill Cokas.

Filled with dark humor and thoughtful language that probes the essence and authenticity of familial bonds, Battle Axe will appeal to those who appreciate the offbeat characters and unconventional plots of Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich and Bill Fitzhugh.

When his mother reveals (at his father’s funeral, of all places) he was adopted at birth, forty-year-old Dorsey is left reeling in betrayal and questioning his identity. Emotionally adrift, he hires a one-eyed strip-mall detective, hoping the missing pieces will provide the peace he’s been missing. The journey leads him from the North Carolina coast to Germany’s Black Forest and back. Along the way Dorsey learns that not all things are what they seem, and some things—like family—are what you make them.

Although commonplace today, it wasn’t long ago when people treated adoption as an oddity. Adoptive parents would routinely conceal it from their own children, lest they think of themselves as “different.” It’s that mentality that sets characters against one another in Battle Axe.

Though the author himself is adopted, he can’t recall a time he wasn’t aware of that fact. “My parents were always very forthright about it, and I’m grateful for that,” says Cokas. “Because they saw it as just another mundane detail, so did I. There was never any doubt about who my ‘real’ family was. So, while I can’t say writing this book didn’t have a therapeutic effect on me, it is by no means a memoir.”

Bill Cokas is an advertising creative director, avid traveler and a writing professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he earned his journalism degree. He has spent more than two decades writing award-winning ads and commercials, first in Chicago, and now back in North Carolina. For more information, visit http://www.billcokas.com

EDITORS: You may request review e-copies or interviews by calling 919-961-6126 or via email at bill@margawriterville.com. (If requesting a hard copy, please provide a street address.)

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