This interview with Bill was published July 7, 2016.
1. What is your name/pen name? William Alan Webb.
2. What do you write? Genre? Over the years I’ve written more than fifty short stories, two novellas, numerous magazine articles, scores of published book reviews and am working on novels four and five, and history book number one. Genres include science Fiction; sword & sorcery; military history, primarily World War Two (Eastern Front); general non-fiction and reviews.
3. Tell us about yourself? I’m the world’s oldest teenager. I’m the only writer who has
Growing up in West Tennessee gave me an abiding love of nature. I have a relentless curiosity about everything, and could be happy immersed in archaeology, Egyptology, crime novels, or cooking shows. I’m a published military historian and am over 100k words into a World War Two history of a campaign on the Eastern Front.
Married, with two kids and three grandkids, we also have eight dogs, and two cats. Of those ten, eight are rescues. (In our house, dog hair is considered a condiment) We live on four acres just east of Memphis. I wake up every morning thanking God for giving me such a wonderful life. I should probably mention that I’m a Creative Writing graduate of the University of Memphis, on the 38 year plan. I started in 1973, graduated in 2011.
I have never not been a reader. At one time my personal book collection numbered 10,000 volumes, down now to around 4,500, and I have sold used books for almost twenty years.
My first novel was finished in 1986 and my agent at the time shopped it everywhere. Unfortunately, like most first novels, it wasn’t as good as I thought. One rejection letter is a prized possession, however. Judy Lynn del Rey personally wrote me a note encouraging me to keep writing, and to try them again with my second novel. Sorry, Judy, Dingbat beat you to it.
4. What prompted you to pitch your book in #Pit2Pub? I joined twitter circa Jan. 1, discovered twitter events through forums on various sites and decided to give it a try. Honestly, #pit2pub was not only the first event I found out about, it was perfectly set up for a rookie like me.
5. Tell about your #Pit2Pub experience. I practiced my pitches for a few weeks leading up to the event and kept telling myself to have no expectations. Of course, I was telling myself lies, as soon as I clicked ‘send’ on that first tweet I refreshed the screen every 2 seconds to see if there was a ‘like.’ I had three different tweets lined up. One of them had been praised by people helping me beforehand, including two traditionally published writers, and it got no likes. The other two tweets, the ones I posted despite people not liking them, each got 2 ‘likes.’ One of those pros told me the tweet that connected me with my eventual publisher was awful. The moral? Go with your gut. That person meant well, but at the end of the day it was my decision and I made the right one.
6. Which publisher did you sign with? The awesome Dingbat Publishing, run by J. Gunnar Grey. What a great lady she is!
7. Tell us about your upcoming book. Imagine you wake up and fifty years have gone by, and everything you knew is gone. No grocery stores, no football, no power, clean water or government. What do you do then? That was the initial question I wanted to answer with this book.
But this isn’t some intellectual inquiry. This is fun. If you’ve read John Ringo’s ‘Ghost’ or ‘Posleen’ series, you know what I’m talking about. The body count is up there. If I have a trademark, it is writing characters with attitudes and sharp dialogue. The interplay between characters makes the action scenes more fun to write, and hopefully to read.
Except that doesn’t happen and fifty years go by before it is activated. By then, the USA is long since dead. Led by the hard-bitten MC, Nick Angriff, the 7th Cavalry Brigade sets out to rebuild their lost country anyway. First, however, he has to deal with plots to assassinate him and co-opt the brigade for the nefarious plans of the assassins.
8. When is your book scheduled to be released? August 17th, 2016.
9. What is at the top of your bucket list? Travel to everywhere. I’m a member of the world’s largest travel club and can’t find time to see all the places I want to see. Travel inspires me. But the first specific place on the travel list is Budapest-Western Hungary-Vienna. That’s the setting for my WW2 history and I need to put eyes on the ground, reading isn’t enough.
10. Parting words for other authors? Put your head down, write like your fingers are on fire and never, never, never give up.