Welcome to my Wednesday! The holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving 2020 is gone. Christmas 2020 will be gone soon. As you approach December 25, don’t forget the reason for the season – Jesus Christ.
I have something special for you this week. Author William D. Holland has just published his new book, Shadows Across the Pond, and I had the opportunity to pick his brain about his writing process. Thank you, Mr. Holland, for sharing your thoughts with us. For the rest of you, be sure to get the book!
I’m looking forward to this interview with author William D. Holland. I first came across his writings years ago in the writing community of hubpages.com. He has written many informative articles along with his ever-popular Mailbag series of questions and answers. He has published several novels as well, and he has just released his latest book, Shadows Across the Pond. It is indeed my pleasure and privilege to spend some time with him and learn about his writings, goals, and purposes. Won’t you join us?
WFK: Bill, let’s start at the beginning. When did you catch the writing bug, and when did you know it would never leave?
WDH: My earliest memories of a writing passion are as a teen. I had an English teacher in high school who said I had some talent. That encouragement meant a great deal to this introvert. I guess it started then. I began writing short stories for my own pleasure, and entertained thoughts of following that passion into college. That, however, did not materialize. Life got in the way my junior year at Seattle University when my dad suddenly died and my mother needed me to support her, so I followed a business path.
WFK: When you first began your writing career, did you ever imagine you would be doing what you’re doing now – several novels and the Shadows series? What about the Mailbag? The way that grew – was that a surprise to you? Can you tell us a little about that?
WDH: I didn’t really get started, in earnest, until I retired at 62. I was looking for a way to make a supplemental income but at the same time do something which I enjoyed. My wife suggested I write for a site called HubPages.
Like anything else I do, I dove into the deep end of that pool with gusto. I wrote an article each day. I became a constant face on HubPages. I realized I loved being a member of a community like that, and within six months I was fairly well-known on that site. Am I surprised by the growth of the Mailbag, or by any success I’ve had since starting? I’m still surprised anyone reads anything I write, so yes, I’m surprised . . . and very grateful.
WFK: How about the Shadows series? You just published book six. I have trouble completing one book with one set of characters. How do you manage to come up with six? What was the inspiration behind the series?
WDH: The inspiration was from my childhood. The infamous Ted Bundy, serial killer, was our paperboy in Tacoma, Washington. Once his deeds become public, I was fascinated by the fact that Evil could appear so normal. There was no way to look at Bundy, back then, and suspect there was anything evil about him.
So he was the inspiration for the series. The entire series is a battle of Good vs Evil, and I love writing that series and developing the characters. I found, after the first in the series, the rest were easy to write, and most of the credit for that goes to the characters. I find them fascinating, and I enjoy developing them.
WFK: How can we get it?
WDH: All of my books are available on Amazon under the pen name William D. Holland, but the latest in the series can be found by following this link.
WFK: What’s your secret to staying disciplined? It seems that most writers struggle with a regular schedule. With life happening all around us, how do you manage to stay focused on your goals?
WDH: Well, I think it’s considerably easier for me since I’m semi-retired. I have more “spare time” than a lot of writers I know. Having said that, though, it also should be noted that I am a disciplined person. I’ve been this way my entire life. I’m a planner, a schedule-follower, and probably about 75% anal in the way I approach any day. I’m most comfortable when I have a schedule to follow, and almost every week day is scheduled by the hour. I’m sure your readers are laughing right now, but it’s the way I rock and roll, and it works for me, so there you go.
WFK: Most authors I know, including myself, hate to market. What are your thoughts on beating the marketing blues?
WDH: I wish I had some. Laughingly, one of my college degrees is in marketing, but I hate it when it’s marketing for myself. Consequently, I really don’t do any. I write my books, I publish them, I tell my followers about the new book, and then I move on to the next. I just can’t find it in me to toot my own horn. People can read my books, or not read my books, it makes no difference to me. The joy, for me, is in the writing.
WFK: I could be wrong, but it seems to me writers write because they have something to say. It’s not just for entertainment. What’s really behind your writing? What really is the driving force behind what you do?
WDH: What a great question! I guess, if I strip away all of the protective layers, my writing is a way for a shy little kid to be noticed by the big, scary world. It’s my way of shouting to the world that I exist. It’s my way of establishing some sort of legacy, some way for the future world to know that I had value as a human being. I will never be famous, but it would be nice if I was remembered.
WFK: You’re also a successful writing coach. Can you tell us a little about that side of your work, and for anyone who is interested, how can they hire you?
WDH: Anyone interested in a little coaching help can email me at email@example.com. I work cheap. It’s the teacher in me. I love helping people. I give suggestions, toss a little aid to someone struggling with the writing process, and I try to give them the tools which will help them to succeed. It’s pretty painless. I am encouraging every step of the way.
WFK: Well sir, that’s about all we have time for. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you get back to the keyboard? And how can we contact you?
WDH: The best way to contact me is via email, which I’ve given you. I have this weird quirk, I hate talking on the phone, always have, but I’m very good about returning emails.
Any final message? If you are a writer, write first and foremost for yourself. The passion has to be there, enough passion to sustain you even when no one else is supporting you. Writing should be about passion. It shouldn’t be about making a living or pleasing other people. Creatives create! That’s what we do, and the reward is in the creating.
WFK: Thanks Bill, for giving us your time today. Thank you also for touching your readers in a very special way. I wish you success, health, and happiness as we continue the journey.
WDH: Thank you, my friend!