World “Traveler”

Some of Bill’s earliest and fondest memories involve travel--more specifically, escaping into books, whether devouring the latest Beverly Cleary or biking to the library to spend a few hours with Stephen King. A childhood subscription to the Weekly Reader’s Book Club yielded stacks and stacks of timeless, memorable titles that he has since shared with his own children.

Inspired by author/artists such as Jack Kent, Wende and Harry Devlin and Margaret and H.A. Rey, Bill’s own storywriting efforts took the form of cartoons and comic strips throughout most of his youth—there was writing involved, but usually in the form of dialogue balloons. As a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he was dismayed to find no courses in comic art. There were, however, a series of courses in creative writing--taught by some of the South’s most esteemed names, from Bland Simpson to Daphne Athas. For a few semesters, Bill thought his future was secure.

But with graduation inevitable, Bill knew neither his short stories nor his regularly published comic strip were likely to provide him a comfortable living. Enter advertising, journalism’s delinquent stepchild. Here Bill found a way to spin words and pictures (and frequently humor) into persuasive messages tailor-made for short attention spans. The big city beckoned, and Bill accepted, spending a decade in Chicago typing out (yes, on a typewriter) copy for McDonald’s, Heinz, Nintendo, Samsonite and Kellogg’s, among others.

Seeking Longer Attention Spans

After a move back south and the birth of his twins, Bill realized comic strips and commercials were just another form of short fiction. After all, what was the difference between a 30-second TV spot and a novel? (Answer: about 80,000 words) The leap to novelist followed. While “back on campus,” teaching copywriting at his alma mater, he developed an idea that didn’t fit into a comic strip, a TV commercial or even the confines of a short story. Since it wouldn’t go away, Bill put it into a novel. Another one followed. And pretty soon, the ideas were piling up faster than they could be turned into books.

He hopes this pattern will continue.

As a member of the Triangle Writers’ Group, Bill’s work is thoroughly vetted and made fit to download. He is grateful to all its current and former members for their support and encouragement. Thanks to them--and to many other friends and family members--Bill’s novels are currently available as both ebooks and as print-on-demand paperbacks. They are supremely entertaining and an amazing bargain. His college cartoons are available in the compilation UNC-ology, which is available as a paperback only, featuring bonus unreleased material.

(This information is also found on Bill’s Amazon Author Page.)

Mentor of Sorts