July 21, 2010

Interview with Billie A. Williams

Recently I had the opportunity to have a question and answer interiew with Billie Williams, Author of ‘Money isn’t Everything.’ I tend to ask questions that are a bit different but Billie was up to the challenge. The interview:

Billie Williams Interview

1. You are a multi-faceted writer: A. what genre have you not written in but would like to? I would very much like to write children’s books. I have taken several courses, I’ve purchased books on the subject and devoured them, and I do have one young adult story (Watch For The Raven) a historical adventure, but I cannot seem to get the hang of writing a good children’s story. It is a lot of work, which I don’t mind, but it’s not as easy as it looks.

B. What genre have you not written and don’t want to, and why?

I have not written Science Fiction or Fantasy. Though I love the artwork that usually accompanies these books, and I love the premise of designing my own complete world—I don’t think I have the talent or the drive that it would take to define a world and people it. So the only genre that I have not written, is sci fi and fantasy – I doubt that I ever will. I won’t say never because I didn’t think I’d write a play—I have. I didn’t think I’d write a Screen Play (movie script)but I have. I dabble in poetry have two books in that. I’ve put together several cookbooks, I write books on the craft of writing, I’ve written romance – romantic suspense, and others I said I couldn’t see me doing. But things evolve, and if a story wanted me to write it as Science Fiction or Fantasy I’d bite the bullet and give it a try.

2. You live in one of the least warm, ok, downright cold, winter states. Do you feel being shut in by mountainous snowdrifts allows you more time to write?

Not necessarily, ‘cause somebody’s gotta shovel that stuff ya know. {grin} It probably does help to a certain degree, though I love being out in the winter. I actually prefer the cold, no bug world to the hot summer storms. I guess I’m just a winter person. I can’t say that I hunker down and write more in the winter –though I don’t have gardens to attend to in the winter, so I probably do have a little more time to write – I just get up earlier in the summer. Usually I’m writing by 4:30 or 5 in the morning. I love watching the sun come up.

3. What is your favorite genre to:

a. Write – Actually, it’s whatever the story seems to call for. I usually start out with thoughts of mystery, which usually turns into suspense – but I write what the story tells me. Favorite? Whatever I’m writing now {smile}

b. Read—I read the same way I write. Everything and anything. If it has a hook, and a plot cries out to be read I’m on it. I started reading Undone by Karen Slaughter last night because she is top ten and critics are raving about this book. I’m sorry, I started the prologue and got bored so I turned to chapter one and got even more bored – I closed the book. It did nothing for me.

Then I picked up The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner – it intrigued me as the first chapter is written in first person – and it did pull me in. Then the second chapter begins where she left off –with her murder. I closed the book and picked up. Tess Gerritsen – never disappoints me. Janet Evanovich’s Finger Licking Sixteen – She never disappoints with her wit and humor – she writes a good book. But I read Stephen King, Patricia Cornwall, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, Natalie Goldberg, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer –Jude Devereaux, Nora Roberts, I read cereal boxes, junk mail and anything that has to do with words. I love words and they all fascinate me no matter who writes them or what genre – I even read poetry – It seems every author has something to say and a style they say it in. So we (I) can learn from everyone who writes.

4. Please name four of your favorite authors.

Four favorites: Wow, that is hard.

But writers who are consistent and never let me down are ones I buy and keep. I like Patricia Cornwell, but I think she’s been pushed too hard and has lost her edge. Stephen King is a master of character development but so is Elmore Leonard; Nora Roberts has a way with setting up a memorable scene, but then so does Jude Devereaux. Hemingway, though some find plodding has a lot to teach us about showing instead of telling – Janet Evanovich who I mentioned before has a way with subtle humor and character that I love. Robert McKee can teach you about story development especially for the screen. Natalie Goldberg makes me want to write and write and write. I guess that’s more than four and I could keep going – I just think authors are a divine group of minds that deserve to be explored.

5. I need music to write. Do you need a particular ambience?

I write in the early morning silence with pen and usually scratch paper saved from printing off stuff or junk mail. Then when I type the resultant words for the day, I play Kenny G – Or Journey – I love easy listening jazz. It gets my creative juices rolling. I edit as I type in the days words.

6. What is your favorite art form, cubist, surreal, expressionist or something else?

Wow, favorite – hmmmm, I love the surreal – there is something about suggesting to me what you mean rather than showing me as a photo would. When I took art appreciation years ago – I found a couple Native American Artists whose work resonated with me. Symbols rather than clear pictures always do it for me.

7. You have been granted the opportunity to have one of the following three artists return to the world of the living to capture you on canvas. Who do you select and why?

a. Vincent Van Gogh

b. Pablo Picasso

c. Salvador Dali I have to wonder what Salvador would find in me to bring to the page – Yes, he’d be my choice. {smile}

8. You have won tickets to visit the International Space Station. You may take three guests (this includes movie stars, singers, friends and relatives). Whom do you choose and why?

First, I wouldn’t go. But if I had to…I’d bring Jackie Chan, my hubby Tom, and maybe Louise Hay – she would keep us all grounded. {cute question}

9. The library at Alexandria (Va.) has been destroyed. You are one of a number of people asked to submit ten books to the rebuilt building. What are they?

The Bible, The Oxford English Dictionary, Elements of Style, Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, The Timetables of History, The synonym Finder, Misery by Stephen King; God is Red, by Vine Deloria; Small Town Secrets, by Billie A Williams, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

10. What fur\fin\feather kritter(s) occupy your home and will they get along with the purple platypus (a rare breed), that has been given to you?

Lady Slipper (so named because I got her from my boss the day The Pink Lady Slipper got a contract from Wings ePress, Inc.) She would love the purple platypus – she would snuggle with him on the back of the couch as she has a tendency to do. She would throw her bouncy balls for him to catch and chase. She would show him what to do when the squirrels try to climb up the screen on the front porch. Oh yes, they would get along famously. She has so much to share with whoever will learn her language and let her be the boss. [smile]

11. What name do you bestow on the purple platypus?

Penelope of course – what else would a pink platypus be named – unless it pretended it wanted to be a manatee – I can think of no other name more suited than Penelope Platypus.

12. In three sentences, write the introduction to the book you’ve been commissioned to write, “The Care and Feeding of Purple Platypus’s, including their favorite Toy”.

I have a purple, perfectly preposterous, pretty platypus who plays with me on the beach and in the ocean as he is part water, part land friendly and therefore the very best kind of pet, however they are not easy to find.

If you are ever so lucky as to acquire a purple platypus, be sure to have plenty of corn pops cereal on hand as that is his/her favorite food, as it loves to catch them on its beak or is that a bill(?) when it’s out of the water.

If you need to entertain him, please get a purple plastic beach ball, his favorite toy – and it must be purple, it really must you see, as he is purple and his world demands to be – he will be your friend forever.

13. Every writer talks about their muse. What is yours?

Muse, hmmmm amusing. I guess it’s that twofold twin gremlin that perches on my shoulders and says strange things like “no one would ever believe that,”

“Sure they will,” chimes in the other, until they are ready to make me scream.

Instead, I send them out to play and let me get on with the business of writing. But, if I stop too soon, they are right back to nag and argue and tease and drive me insane until I pick up my pen and begin again.

14. Please tell us a bit, if possible, what is coming down the pipe in terms of your writing.

Currently I’m on number six of the Zodiac Sleuth Series, July Heat. It incorporates all the current members of my writers group in a mystery suspense as characters in the plot. – I hope to write one book for each of the zodiac signs – and then write at least one more where all the accidental zodiac sleuths get together to work on a mind boggling crime.

15. You’ve just won the Golden Kernel award, given for the best essay by the Candy Corn Growers Association. What was the title of the winning essay?

“White Corn, Yellow Corn and Indian Corn, Oh My?”

16. Where may our readers purchase your books?

All my books are available wherever people normally buy their books in either electronic or print. If they want an autographed copy, personalized they can order from me –by sending me an email at billie@billiewilliams.com or ask for a bookplate (a signed little note on adhesive paper to stick inside their purchased book). Wings epress at (http://www.wings-press.com ) is my publisher for most of my books. People can find all my books on my website and read the first chapters there as well at http://www.billiewilliams.com or http://writingwide.com

17. Do you write directly on the computer or do you utilize a different method?

As I mentioned earlier, I write long hand on scratch paper, sitting at my kitchen table watching the wildlife at my feeders in the wee hours of the morning before people, cars and dogs are out there to bother them or me. Then I type everything into the computer editing as I go.

18. A Hollywood agent tells you that your book “Money isn’t Everything”, is being made into a major motion picture and you may select the male and female leads. Who do you choose?

I don’t watch many, if any movies but finding an actress and actor to play Mary March and Tanner Irish is as easy for me as breathing. I love Sandra Bullock and I’d watch any movie she is in. – She would be a perfect Mary March. Tanner Irish is not as easy – there are some really good actors out there, but someone who would be perfect match with Sandra – Sean Connery (?) perhaps, or Tom Cruise, oh wait – I think Nicolas Cage – yes, he would be perfect as Tanner Irish.

19. Would you want this made in 3-D?

No, I would like it to be normal big screen or a special television movie even.

20. Take as much space as you want. Tell us the Billie Williams story and your opinion on this rather eclectic interview.

First of all thank you so much for this very fun, very challenging interview. I had a good time with it.

As for me there isn’t a whole lot to tell. I’ve lived the majority of my life on the Michigan Wisconsin border line communities. I lived in beautiful Bayfield, Colorado briefly two times and loved it the first time, mountains and all that.

I started getting work published in 2001 and decided I loved writing. Always an avid reader and lover of books and learning I guess that pretty much followed a true path.

I am an organic gardener, love to do all manner of crafts from knitting, crocheting and quilting, to drawing/sketching, and other handiwork. When I’m not writing I’m working in my garden, or at the Party/Grocery store here in our small community—or shoveling the beautiful white snow we are blessed with for nearly nine months of the year — okay so maybe it’s only 6 months, some years it feels like nine months though.

I am available if anyone wants to ask questions by email, chat room or whatever. I have a writers group that meets at my home here in Amberg that includes some online members from my Word Mage Writers and Readers group that anyone is welcome to join. I live in a very small town with husband Tom, Cat Lady Slipper –where the winters are long and cold but the people are always warm and friendly.

Thanks so much for the terrific interview Ron.





  1. Thanks Ron, The interview was fun – and I love the different slant. Now we need to drag some people in here to see it = )
    Thanks for you hard work.

    Comment by Billie A Williams — July 21, 2010 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  2. Nice interview, Billie and Ron. Good luck on your tour.

    Comment by Pat Cerise — July 21, 2010 @ 11:09 am | Reply

  3. Absolutely over the top. It’s as intriguing an interview as I’ve ever read. Questions and Answers are witty and in depth. Entertaining, delightful and one that no one should miss. Good going Ron and Billie. Ya’all take the cake.

    Pee Wee (Sylvia)

    Comment by Pee Wee (Sylvia Hamilton) — July 21, 2010 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  4. Wonderful interview–both questions and anaswers!!!

    Comment by Joyce A. Anthony — July 21, 2010 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  5. Billie: I can see why you would love Janet Evanovich…me too. And I worked for too long in Trenton, NJ so I know every landmark, street and busines she refers to in the book. Her books are so Trenton or Trent’n, with the second ‘t’ barely heard, as it’s properly pronounced by the indiginous folk. No one ever says it as it’s written.
    Penelope the pink/purple Platypus, I’m enthralled. When I was about 8 they discovered the Platypus in Australia. When I was 9, they brought one to the Bronx Zoo and my mother took me to see it. (We lived in the Bronx, NY) It was the most thrilling thing that happened to me in that year of very unthrilling things. It was so sleek, like a seal and it’s bill was like something from a giant duck. We stood in line forever, but it was worth it. I can still see it slipping through the water. So kudos to Penelope and all purple platypus.


    Comment by Fran Orenstein — July 21, 2010 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  6. Pat, Pee Wee, Joyce and Fran – thank you all for stopping by and for your delightful comments. Indeed, I learn more about each of you as I learn about myself – what a fun way to get to know people. The platypus truly intrigues me Fran like the Manatee – strange or just unusual critters –.
    I must admit Ron’s questions brought out some things I didn’t really even think about in me.
    Thanks everyone and I hope you’ll keep an eye out for prizes being awarded at the end of the tour.

    Comment by Billie A Williams — July 21, 2010 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  7. Hi Ron and Billie.
    Great questions Ron, wonderful answers Billie. Enjoyed the interview.

    Comment by Rhobin C — July 21, 2010 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  8. Hi, Ron and Billie,

    I’m back again on the right day and I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Interesting questions you came up with Ron. And you were right, Billie was up to the challenge. Good job you two.


    Comment by Janice — July 21, 2010 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

  9. I wrote on the wrong blog hee hee. I don’t think I have seen such a fantastic interview… It gave us a real look into Billie… thank you for such a look… I will be visiting more and more to enjoy your work 🙂

    Comment by Renee cryer — July 21, 2010 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

  10. Janice and Rene, thank you both for your kind words – do visit Ron’s place again he always has new stuff on it and I don’t know how he does it but his posts show up on Goggle Alerts almost immediately when he posts. Good place to be and I agree his interview was great fun.
    Thanks for stopping by.

    Comment by Billie A Williams — July 21, 2010 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

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