Recompense – definition: 1. a repayment or requital, as for favors, or gifts’ 2. compensation, as for an injury, or wrong; 3. to make a payment, remuneration or reward, as for services or aid
Should authors ‘give away’ their writing endeavors? A novel takes a long time to create, edit, revise and refine. Time you spend away from family and social outings with friends. Your mind is distracted from your full time work, your productivity decreases and you jealously guard your writing time from all interruptions. There are many reasons given for making a novel free. Ratings, downloads, increased readership etc. etc. but in real terms why would anyone give away their work?
This is a topic many people have strong opinions on, so I will tread carefully. It is everyone’s right to do with their work what they feel is right for them. If that means giving away hundreds of copies or downloads in the hope that real purchases will be made thereafter then good for them.
The famed troubadour, Guillem, attends the king’s court to recite a marvelous tale but his suspicions are raised by a strange servant. With the help of a wizened old woman and her beautiful granddaughter, Guillem attempts to outwit a witch to save the kingdom from murder and mayhem. He then finds himself part of a ritual for life everlasting with the entrancing and mysterious Juliana.
I enjoy being able to create my own world with no limitations or rules and set my mind free to imagine.
What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I started writing in Kindergarten. I told my teacher at the time that I wanted to be a “book maker”.
Has your genre changed or stayed the same?
For the most part, it has remained the same. I enjoy writing medieval fiction.
What genre are you currently reading?
Currently I am most interested in fantasy/fiction (there’s a theme here!).
Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
Mostly for pleasure but some is research to help me with my writing.
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
My parents, for sure!
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
I created a character named Emily a while ago for one of my other stories. I would have to say that she has been my favorite so far. She is funny, smart and rather crazy at times.
Where is your favorite writing space?
I do most of my writing downstairs on the sofa with my iPad.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?
I usually plan the plot and the first chapter or two and just let it flow after that.
What inspires your ideas/stories?
I’m not really sure. I just get an idea in my head and I want to write. Once I get started I want to keep going until I finish – just ask my parents.
Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
No, I don’t belong to any kind of a writing group right now – maybe someday.
Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
Yes, I currently have a book entitled “Falsely Accused”. It is available on Amazon as a download for Kindle. I also have had a few paperback copies made as well for family and friends and for people without an e-Reader.
Today’s interview is rather special as it is a joint interview with William L. Bozarth and Laura D. Jame, who worked together on a children’s story book – a perfect modus operandi..!
W = William L. Bozarth
L = Laura D. James
a) What do you enjoy most about writing?
L: I enjoy losing myself in writing and the “high” that it gives me. It’s amazing for me when I work on something and pretty much submerge myself in it then come back out later to the world around me feeling like I’ve been somewhere else.
W. Things that previously existed only in my imagination come to life. These squirrels have been living in my head for the better part of the last two years, so it’s nice to see them scurrying through these pages.
b) What age did you start writing stories/poems?
L. 5 years old, pretty much as soon as I learned how to read.
W. I started writing poetry for girlfriends when I was 11 or 12, but didn’t really take writing seriously until I was a junior in High School, so perhaps 16 or 17 years old. That’s when I started my first band, and I was the vocalist/lyricist. ‘Spooky Skwerl Stories’ is my second or third attempt at writing an actual story that isn’t in verse or screenplay form.
c) Has your genre changed or stayed the same?
L. I played around with fantasy/sci-fi when I was very young and have tried suspense/crime and literary (or just non-genre… mainstream?) here and there but I’ve always been enamored with the horror genre. The squirrel books were pretty much Will’s idea and I think this will be a lot of fun though I’m sure I have a lot to learn about writing spooky things for children.
W. I’ve always been a horror guy, so everything I’ve done could be categorized from personal horror to fictional horror.
d) What genre are you currently reading?
L. I haven’t been able to concentrate long enough to finish reading a book in a long time, I guess from being so obsessed with working on my own novel, and it bothers me since reading was always how I would relax. It’s pretty much always horror, though. I’ve got a few novels and anthologies that I pick up when I try to make myself read.
W. I wish I could say that I’m reading something, but I’m not.
e) Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
L. Mainly pleasure, sometimes research
W. I don’t read much, really. I used to read a lot when I was in elementary school, but the fun was kinda sucked out of it when they forced us to read gigantic novels in middle school. A twelve-year-older shouldn’t read ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’. It takes a bit for me to actually sit down and read something nowadays. The last book I read was Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’, and the ending disappointed me. Before that, it was Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome’… and the ending disappointed me. Why take a month or more to read a large book, learn about all of these characters, cry for the loss of the characters, then have it all be explained by *spoiler removed* forces. So, I guess my answer is “research”. Since I don’t really get any pleasure out of it.
f) Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
L. My father: he’s encouraged my love of reading and writing since I was very young. He paid a lot of money for me to go to a college in another state to major in creative writing. That didn’t really work out but he’s never made me feel guilty about it and he’s believed in my ability/potential as a writer even when I haven’t. He never demanded I try to do something practical or get “a real job” and has always been 100% supportive of me writing because it’s what makes me happy. Will is a close second because he’s the brains behind all the adventures, endeavors and chaos we’ve been through. He’s got a plan for pretty much everything and more dedication and energy than I could sum up on my own. I also have to mention Julie Castillo, a writing instructor whose class I took a year ago and will be taking again at the community college in my town. She was the only writing teacher I’ve ever had who was totally supportive of what students wanted to write instead of what they “should” write (aka literary stuff) and she was just so wonderful and dedicated to everyone’s individual works. I kept up with her through e-mail after class and she helped me with a lot of questions and gave me lots of advice.
W. My parents have always been very supportive. I’ve never had any instances of Laura being unsupportive, thankfully.
g) Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
L. Probably a girl named Brigid who was a supporting character in the novel I just finished. She’s a timid young aspiring writer who goes through some crazy stuff with her friends. She’s a main character in the follow-up novel I’m planning and things just get crazier and scarier.
W. The combination of the squirrels in ‘Spooky Skwerl Stories’ since they’re characterizations of some of my personality traits.
h) Where is your favorite writing space?
L. My room, listening to some goth/doom metal
W. On a bus or train with my headphones on.
i) Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?
L. I usually planned my short stories. When one of the stories turned into a novel I planned that thing out but it wound up going in a completely different direction and I’m glad. I’m planning other novels I want to write but they’re probably going to deviate from the plan, too, and it should be fun.
W. I have a beginning, middle, and end planned. It’s the getting from A to B to C that isn’t planned.
j) What inspires your ideas/stories?
L. Anything, really: anecdotes, places, snippets of things I hear on TV. Sometimes I’ll read/hear random details in stories that aren’t supposed to mean much of anything and they’ll just blossom into back-stories and plots in my mind.
W. Random thoughts.
k) Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
W. Facebook groups “Horror Writers” and “Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators”.
l) Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
L. Not traditionally published yet but I’ll have to keep you posted. I’m waiting to hear back from the publisher I submitted my novel to and if they don’t take it I’ve got a few others I’m interested in. If I don’t get published, we will go the same route as ‘Spooky Skwerl Stories’.
W. Both of my books are available on Amazon. Just search for “William L. Bozarth”, and they’ll pop up.
m) If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
L. I would say Richard Matheson but he is no longer with us, so I’ll go with Peter Straub because I don’t think any other author has mystified, enthralled and terrified me quite like he has with the way he writes.
W. I’ve already met them, so I’m ahead of the game. :). Stephen King, R.L. Stine, and Lois Lowry.
n) Where can readers find you and your blog?
L. I don’t have a blog but you can find me through the Spooky Skwerl Stories facebook
L. I’ve got one or two novels planned as a follow-up for the one I think I might be planning an unrelated haunted house novel. Will and I have more ideas for Spooky Skwerl Stories than we know what to do with but we’ll figure something out.
Wild Bill, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Buffalo Bill Cody in 1873 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
For the most part I prefer to stay in the area of non-fiction for two reasons. The first is that I really enjoy telling people’s stories. I truly believe everyone has a story and I genuinely enjoy bringing those tales to life. The second is it’s just too dang hard to come up with all those characters and plot twists. How do you fiction writers do it?
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Seeing my books on the bookstore shelf. Seriously though, I think it is the process I most enjoy. I remember sitting around the kitchen table hearing the stories of my relatives and neighbors as told by the grownups in the group. While all the other kids were playing in the other room, I sat captivated by the tales being spun. Now when I write one of those tales myself, I picture my readers sitting around that same kitchen table intently listening as I weave my tale.
What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?
First I take a deep breath. Then I take my two dogs on a hike while I try to figure out what to write next. Non-fiction writing isn’t like fiction writing. I’m not pitching a successful character with a good track record in a great new story. I have to pitch every idea from scratch. Every new book has to stand on its own. Just because my publisher accepted a book about haunted places in Las Vegas doesn’t mean she’ll accept my proposal to write about how the University of Wyoming basketball team won the national championship in 1944 (she didn’t by the way). Someday my name will be strong enough on its own to write what I want. Until then…well you just keep pushing ahead don’t you?
Have you got a favorite place to write?
I do. I love my desk. It is big and shaped like an “L”. I have a large color printer that is decorated with stupid little toys that make me smile. I have several Batman figures, an Alfred E, Newman dressed like the Joker and Donald Duck dressed like Darth Maul. There is a large picture window in my office and it lets in the best natural light. The rest of my desk is a bit of a mess so I’d rather not discuss it.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
That’s a good question because while it goes more to fiction writers, it still surprisingly applies to nonfiction as well. I actually do a little of both. Of course what happens in the story doesn’t have to be planned—since it has already happened—but how the story will be presented still needs to be decided. I like to take walks with my dogs and do some overall planning as I walk. However, I also like to see where the writing will take me.
What inspires your stories?
I would have to say people. I like to get into the head of the people I write about. I wonder, for example, what Custer could have possibly been thinking when he realized he was outnumbered and there was little chance of survival. Why didn’t he call off the attack? Why did he keep going? I guess it is the people more than the event that makes me want to know more.
Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?
Sorry, I can’t answer that; I have food in my mouth. Actually, I don’t snack as much as I drink—not that kind of drink, though I have considered it—I usually have iced tea or a Coke by my side. In fact, when I’m in writing mode I often forget to eat. That fact, sadly, hasn’t had any effect on my waistline.
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading two books: Life’s That Way and Front Page Fatality. The first is a nonfiction book that contains the emails actor Jim Beaver sent out when dealing with his wife’s cancer. It is a touching and wonderfully written book. It has made me laugh and cry. The second is a work of fiction by the wonderful new author Lyn Dee Walker. I love mysteries and this one is top notch. My favorite quote: “But that’s the thing about dead people: they can’t warn you to keep your nose out of things that are going to put your ass in danger” Great stuff!
With no financial limits where would you vacation and why?
It would be a tossup between Italy and the Caribbean. Italy because I’ve been there before and fell in love with the place and the Caribbean because I’m a displaced pirate and have a strong need for places that combine water with little latitudes.
Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?
Odd habits…let’s see, that may be a question better asked to the people I live with. I do have a childhood story though. When I was a kid, about 5 or 6, I was hit by a car as I ran out into the street to get my ball. When the car hit me I flew into the air, coming down hard on the hood of the lady’s car who hit me. I hit the car so hard I left an indentation the size of my body in her hood. I was rushed to the hospital amidst cries of “I’m so sorry” from the lady to my mom. She later sued my mother for damages to her car.
Do you have any pets?
Two dogs, both miniature Schnauzers. One gray (Gypsy) and one black (Jet).
Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
No writing groups, but I do belong to online chat rooms on both Facebook and Goodreads. I spend most of my time in Writer Unboxed.
What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I used to write comic books when I was a kid, maybe 11 or so. I created a totally unoriginal character named “Catman,” who had a Catmobile and a lair (hmm, I wonder who he was based off of). I didn’t start any real writing until well into my 30’s.
Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
I have 3 books published. It Happened in Las Vegas, Haunted Las Vegas, and It Happened in Wyoming. I am also under contract for The Crime Buff’s Guide to Outlaw Nevada. You can find them in local bookstores or online through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you want a signed copy you can get it through my website http://paulwpapa.com/
If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?
Hmmm, that’s a good question. Probably Tim Dorsey. His books are great and his characters are way out there. He must be a fun guy to hang around with.
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
I have three proposals in right now. Two of them are in the Haunted series and another is a trail guide for biking in Southern Nevada (I’m an avid mountain biker). I’m also considering self publishing a book about Boulder City, Nevada.
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
My fiancé, soon to be wife, Melissa. She supports all of my crazy dreams and is patient enough to wait and see what I just dream up and what I actually pursue.