A Passion for Stories
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.
However, Bill knew neither his short stories nor his regularly published comic strip was likely to provide him a comfortable living. By making a lateral move into advertising, Bill was able to spin words and pictures (and frequently humor) into persuasive messages tailor-made for short attention spans. For the time being, he remains a copywriter by day and novelist by night.