Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them. WE get personal! Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF”, YOU are an open book!
Today I have with me on the “SHELF” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Mr. Bill Ward!
NJ: Welcome, Bill and before we really get started, how does the “SHELF” feel to you? Is it comfy?
Bill: The shelf is a little cold but the company is definitely warm!
NJ: Why, thank you, Bill! I feel a warmness and cool kindness coming from you as well! So, how about we start by confirming whether or not the name we know you as, is your birth name or a pen name?
Bill: I was born William Ward but opted to call myself Bill Ward in my twenties so no pen names for me.
NJ: Tell us where you were born. Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Bill: Born in West Bromwich, which is roughly in the middle of the UK. Lived for the last 11 years in Brighton on the South Coast.
NJ: Married or single?
Bill: Married without the paperwork to my German partner, Anja.
NJ: Do you have kids? If so, how many? Sons or daughters?
Bill: I have eight kids! 7 beautiful daughters and a son. They range in age from 34 down to 7.
NJ: WOW! You waited a long time before you decided to have that last one. Favorite child (and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview):
Bill: My children are all different and special. I love them all equally and they all love each other so I feel like I have won the Lottery where my kids are concerned.
NJ: Awww, that is the sweetest thing a dad could say! And you know what, Bill? I feel the same way in regards to my two adorable daughters. There is no better feeling for a parent than to know that their kids love each other. Awesome! Any pets running around? If so, what kind?
Bill: I don’t really think of our 2 horses as pets so that leaves a dog and 2 cats.
NJ: My child would beg to differ. Her horse is certainly ONE of her many pets! But then again, I think we’re supposed to refer to all her “pets” as human-animals. OK, so we’d like to know your favorite food. You look like a man who enjoys some really great eats!
Bill: I love all types of fresh food, partly due to having travelled extensively, but especially Asian food. The only thing I’m not very keen on anymore is Sushi because I spent a year in Japan and ate too much!
NJ: Isn’t Chinese food the best thing since water? I mean, seriously, my family could eat the stuff every day! OK, so Bill, we’re getting deep here, we want to know your favorite color.
Bill: Blue but preferably with a white stripe, which is my football team’s colors.
NJ: Which brings us right on into our next question. What’s your favorite sport?
Bill: Football… and I have been following West Brom for over 50 years. Unfortunately, I now live a three hour drive away but I still go regularly with my son.
NJ: Awesome! I’m not into sports really. I only like to watch when a fight breaks out, so my husband calls me into the room every time one is going on! I know, I’m just shameful. It’s being honest, but so shameful. Don’t think ill of me, Bill. What’s your favorite TV show?
Bill: Currently Game of Thrones but loved Homeland.
NJ: Favorite Actress/Actor…
Bill: Don’t really have just one but Matthew McConaughey, Liam Neeson and Rooney Mara are all currently making good films.
NJ: OK, so Bill, I’m going to share a secret here with you, but you have to promise not to tell my husband. I would have him knocked off in a heart beat just to spend 15 minutes with either Matthew or Liam! Oh my goodness, they are simply to die for! And don’t get me started on Liam…when he said in “TAKEN” “I don’t have any money, but what I do have is a set of skills… I will hunt you. I will find you. And I will kill you,” I was trying to have divorce papers drawn up that day when I heard him say that! He is my kind of man! (NOTE: I love my husband and I can say all this because I know he won’t read it, but seriously, he better watch out if I ever get close to these two guys!) 🙂 Let’s get back to you, Bill. So, are you a couch potato or a workout nut? Be honest…
Bill: Sports nut turned writing desk potato over the last few years since 2 knee operations. Used to run marathons and play various sports but struggling with getting back to fitness.
NJ: Bill, you look awesome! But I do know how those knee injuries can set you back some. My husband has one and poor thing, suffers sometimes because of it. What’s your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary. She also feels she is not alone in these feelings).
Bill: Bullying in any form and racism.
NJ: Yea, those would be two of mine as well. One of my next books is on bullying. So, are you neat or messy?
Bill: Neat but not obsessive.
NJ: Oh, see I’m the opposite end of that one. I’m extremely neat AND obsessive. I’m so crazed about my house looking like a museum at all times (for my satisfaction, not for anyone else), that my friends often joke that my family has parties when I’m away and they jump up and down on the furniture, they spill red stuff all over my carpets, etc. Just the thought…makes me want to stomach-punch them! And they didn’t even do anything…LOL. Which is your favorite, Facebook or Twitter?
Bill: I have only joined both over the last 9 months. For writing I would say Twitter but for keeping in touch with my large family it has to be Facebook.
NJ: Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.
Bill: I hate to name only 2 as there are so many great supportive people, many of them in Rave Reviews Book Club! But as you insist: @Gary_R_Walker is a great Indie supporter. And recently I’ve become more aware of great support from @GunnarALawrence
NJ: Hmmm, I don’t think either of them are RRBC Members. You should try and recruit them. Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest.
Bill: It has to be Nonnie but how about wearing a Wonderwoman costume!
NJ: Bill, I AM WONDERWOMAN! Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor…
Bill: I’ve only been reading Indie authors for about 9 months and I haven’t yet read two books by any one author. I’ve read many great books but am intentionally trying loads of different authors and genres to immerse myself in the Indie writing world. But I guess you want me to stop waffling and answer the question so if pushed, I would suggest Beem Weeks and Lee Jackson would be two of the many good authors I’ve recently enjoyed.
NJ: Hmmm, I’ve heard that name (Beem Weeks) before. Let me see….maaaayyyyyybe we go to church together. Noooo, haven’t been to church in a while…..maaaaaayyyyyyybe we work out at the same gym….nope, can’t say I’ve been there, either. OH! I know where I know Beem from! He’s our awesome REVIEWS CO-ORDINATOR here at RRBC! Silly me! So, Bill, what is it about these authors that you’ve come to like?
Bill: The books I read were both very well written and professional with brilliant leading characters. They conveyed me to a different time and place, and made me feel as if I was actually there.
NJ: Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read…
Bill: So I will go for Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks and Curse the Moon by Lee Jackson.
And Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend . (Let me ex that out because I thought that’s what I heard him say, but I cleared some of the wax out of my ears and had to fix MY error because HE CLEARLY didn’t say that. I still got a shameless plug out of it, though)…LOL
NJ: ONE good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…
Bill: Curse the Moon by Lee Jackson.
NJ: What was so great about it?
Bill: It’s a great adventure but also a history lesson as it tells the story of the Cuban crisis. It has action, romance and at the heart of the story is a father’s love for his daughter. It is fundamentally a story of triumph over adversity.
NJ: After you read books, do you post reviews?
Bill: Yes I always post a review or at least I do since I’ve been an author!
NJ: I know a lot of authors who are the same. I never gave a second thought about posting reviews until I became an author. But hey, better late than never. What do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Bill: I think readers will naturally base their review on whether they enjoyed the book. It is obviously a very subjective view. I review primarily based on my enjoyment of the book but I do also take account of what I perceive to be the quality of the writing. I just reviewed a Steinbeck novel and admired his writing skill but found the book boring. The quality of the writing gained an extra star.
NJ: Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Bill: I am not thinking about the author getting upset with me but I am a sensitive reviewer. I don’t trash people’s hard work. I will look to provide positive criticism wherever possible. If I think the book is beyond help I would prefer not to post a review.
NJ: Good for you, Bill! Me, either in regards to not worrying about whether or not an author will be upset about my honest review! I don’t believe in trashing authors, and I would not in a review, but I do believe in being honest. Read any poorly written books lately?
Bill: One or two. (Bill wouldn’t tell me where those reviews were, by the way).
NJ: That’s what I like about you, Bill. You’re an honest man! I see some people giving reviews, and they could have reviewed 50 books and they gave all 50 books 5 stars. LISTEN TO ME PEOPLE, IM-FRIGGIN-POSSIBLE! There is no way, if you’re an avid reader, that EVERY book you read is going to be 5 star worthy, or even 4 star worthy, OR EVEN 3 star worthy! I read so many books, my eyes get twisted when I look at words, and let me tell you, more than not, they’re not good reads. I harp on this because I want better reads put out into the industry. Because we are INDIE, the traditional publishers and authors, sometimes don’t take our work seriously because they come across so much “junk.” YES, I SAID IT! If you’re going to put something out for the world to read, take the time, do what you have to do, to ensure that it is of THE BEST quality. I’m proud to say I’m INDIE and my writing can hold it’s on up against any and every bestseller, but, I am fully aware that when the powers-that-be find out that I’m INDIE, they hesitate a bit before they take my work seriously, and that is because of the aforementioned. I have to work that much harder to prove that I am equally as good. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to go on and on, but I am passionate about putting only the best on the market. Are you an author yourself, Bill?
Bill: I think now that I have a second book published, I am feeling more comfortable calling myself an author!
NJ: How long have you been writing?
Bill: Over the last thirty years I have started writing a couple of different books. The first was about the breakup of the Soviet Union, which then actually happened just as I sent the manuscript to a publisher. It was deemed bad timing so I returned to the day job! The second book was half finished and last year I picked it up and changed most of it before publishing it as Revenge. I then wrote and published my second book Encryption in six months from start to finish.
NJ: What books have you written?
Bill: I have written two thrillers, Revenge and Encryption. They are available at most online retailers including:
NJ: Which one do you think is the best?
Bill: That’s like asking me to choose between my children! My partner liked both books but prefers Encryption and we know she has good taste!
NJ: Do you have a blog or website?
Bill: I blog a little on a couple of sites and have a Facebook page but not my own web site.
NJ: Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to.
Bill: Rave Reviews Book Club has to be my first choice! I am a great believer in the importance of Goodreads and it has been the focus of a great deal of my attention. You do get some strange and negative reviews at times but it has been great for meeting a large number of writers and readers. My third choice would be others such as Worldlitcafe.
NJ: Which online resource or organization has helped you the most?
Bill: Goodreads was definitely my most important resource over the first six months of being an author, but with the advent of RRBC, I would say the club has now overtaken Goodreads and become my most important resource.
NJ: How were you helped by them?
Bill: Goodreads has been excellent for making contact with readers and writers plus running Giveaways, blogging and also making sales and getting reviews. There are also some very good groups you can join for lovers of thrillers, which has been instrumental in getting me better known and ultimately making sales.
NJ: Uh, Bill…we were looking for your response on RRBC. -______- Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?
Bill: The club is my type of club. Full of supportive members and genuinely nice people. It is great for Indie authors and does what it says on the tin. It profiles, promotes and propels Indie authors. I don’t know of any other club so focused on helping us get reviews.
NJ: Have you come across any other online entities like it?
Bill: Definitely not!
NJ: Would you recommend it to your friends and family?
Bill: Absolutely and I do recommend it to everyone!
NJ: This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words?
Bill: I would just like to say to all writers out there, never give up on your dreams! I was 59 and had always wanted to become an author but one way or another, life kept getting in the way. Technology has provided all of us with the opportunity to make our dreams come true. We can self-publish and promote our books in ways that just weren’t possible ten plus years ago and at an affordable cost. We can even join a virtual book club and learn so much from other writers.
Seeing my books in print was one of the proudest moments of my life. We may not become best sellers but we can definitely be proud of our achievement. I also like that my family will, long into the future, be able to read something I have written. It is a small legacy I will leave behind!
Finally, I would like to say thanks for all the hard work you and your fellow Board members put into making Rave Reviews Book Club such a success.
NJ: Thank you so much, Bill! That was an awesome interview and just so you know, you are one of the most generous and supportive members we have at RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, and members like you, make what we do here so worth it! You have made our 3rd day on the SHELF, a most pleasant one! To my guests, please support Bill by picking up a copy of one of his books REVENGE, or ENCRYPTION and by visiting his blog stops on his tour which ends on Saturday. You can find his line up here. Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet? Well, here’s your chance! And since Bill was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you! Make it a great day, my friends. We’ll see you next week, right here on the “SHELF”!!!