I had a wonderful chance to interview William F. Brown. He is an interesting author and I enjoy his writing. I find it wonderful to be able to know more about the authors and their backgrounds and so I am happy to be able to bring this information to you.
Thank you so much William for sharing your stories and background.
William F. Brown, author of The Undertaker
Intro: Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m married, and have sons and live in Columbus, Ohio. A native of Chicago, I earned a BA in History and Russian Area Studies and a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Illinois, which puts me in the odd position of being an Illini living in Buckeye-land. As a Vice President of the real estate subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company, I had the opportunity to travel widely in the US and abroad. That allowed me to personally experience many of the cities and locations I used as backgrounds in my novels, such as Russia, Germany, the Caribbean, England, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Austria, Egypt, and Israel. When I’m not writing, I like to play golf (usually poorly) and paint landscapes in oil or acrylics.
The Undertaker is a domestic suspense thriller. To me, it’s a ‘beach book, a fun read with a heavy dose of humor and a dollop of romance, too. Pete Talbott is Boston computer wonk who finds himself at the point of a gun, being shown his own newspaper obituary, torn from the morning newspaper. When he sees his wife’s along with it, that’s a mystery he can’t leave alone. From car chases on the Dan Ryan, snipers in Central Park, a bloody Back Bay townhouse, sleazy lawyers, corrupt County sheriffs, mafia hit men, the FBI, an army of Chicago cops, to the upper berth of an Amtrak train, someone with a sharp scalpel and an embalming table is planting bodies under other people’s names. If Pete can’t stop them, he and his quirky new girlfriend, Sandy Kasmarek, will be next on the list.
What inspired you to be a writer or have you always had a passion for writing?
Frankly, I was always a reader, of every suspense and mystery book that came out, and I read one too many bad ones. (It happened to be an unusually poor Clive Cussler book, but don’t tell anyone.) So, I figured even I could write something that bad. I went to the library, found a number of books on how to structure and write novels and set to work with a cheap electric typewriter and a gallon of white-out. Since then, I’ve written six novels -- two were published in hardback and paperback, one e-book, one now making the rounds with my agent, one I’m finishing, and one I’m about one-third finished with. All are domestic or international suspense novels. I’ve also written four award-winning screenplays. Three of those are adaptations of my novels and one is a domestic drama.
If you could give advice to other authors or aspiring authors what would you say?
Frankly, don’t give up your day job! Very, very few people make a living at writing, especially now. We are living through the greatest transformation of the book business in many decades, perhaps since television, book clubs, or paperbacks, and it is only beginning. Obviously, I’m referring to e-books. Amazon now offers over 700,000 e-books, and the traditional book publishers don’t have a clue what to do. For many years, they cut back on and eliminated ‘mid-list’ books, and in recent years would only look at books that came through an agent. E-pub has now exploded to fill that void at 10-25% of what hardback or even paperback books formerly cost, leaving the traditional publishers with only the occasional big name blockbuster to survive on, and that will not work for much longer. As a writer, I can make almost as much money from a 70% royalty on a $4.00 e-book as I did from 15% on a $17.00 hardback. The problem, of course is getting noticed in all the clutter without a publisher to do all that traditional marketing for you. That means writers must become guerrilla marketers. I hate it, but I’m now doing it, every day.
When you completed your work what was your most difficult roadblock to becoming published?
On dealing with traditional publishers, the biggest problem was finding an agent. Publishers won’t even look at anything that doesn’t come through an agent now, and they’ve become the industry gatekeepers. I’m a successfully published writer! But, once you do get an agent and sell it to a publisher, you’re done. E-books on the other had are deceptively easy to get up and on line. The problem is, it takes just as much time to market one as it took to write it. Different problem, same frustration.
Where can people go to get more information about you and your book?
My web site has evolved and I think is now quite good. I have the usual information on me and my writing, but I also have pages on new reviews, my screenplays and on each of my books, including the first chapters of the upcoming ones I’ve been working on. Check it out. http://billbrownwritesnovels.wordpress.com/
Stop by and check out my review of The Undertaker, it is well written and quick paced. It is quite an enjoyable read, and I look forward to future works. Stop by Bill's website and check it out, you won't be sorry.