Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Books Are Magical!

Don't you just love a good book? It's sad when it ends...you can't wait to pick up the next one. Just like having multiple sex partners. Only minus the disease. And conversation. Oh, never mind.

Anyway...I was lucky enough to have a couple of books come out by the great Mr. Emery and let me tell you...they are much different, but deep. Emery writes with great description and detail, drawing you in and carrying suspense until the very last chapter. It's a sign of intelligence and imagination all wrapped up in one. Bravo, Bill! You can get them both on Amazon for a really nice price...let's dig into this..

Bill, please start with a brief bio of some facts about you. It can be anything you would like to share with us.
I live in Sylvania Township, Ohio where I grew up on a working horse farm specializing in American Saddlebred horses, three gaited and five gaited. In a life that could be described as colorful, I have earned my living as an automobile mechanic, a ballroom dance instructor, a new car salesman and a computer programmer. I’ve traveled extensively throughout the United States East of the Mississippi and I’ve lived for short periods in many of the major cities and a few minor ones. I’m still unmarried, but I’m involved with a truly beautiful woman who has a heart made of pure gold.
What started your passion to begin putting words into books?
When I was in grade school my maternal grandmother, Ruth Cameron, was the first person to show me what reading was good for; if you can read, you can write anything you’d like.  So I read everything I could get my hands on and was probably the only student in school that enjoyed essay questions.
Over the years several people suggested that I should write a novel with the idea of being published.  I didn’t take these suggestions seriously until about two years ago when my brother Mike suggested I start writing for a living.  And so it began.
What is the inspiration for the character Otheldo in Magic For Hire?
Otheldo is a composite of several stage magicians that I have known.  The name Otheldo comes from a magician who performed at a luxury hotel in Charlevoix, Michigan many years ago.  He and his wife invited me to dinner which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I may have been around ten years old at the time.
Do you force yourself to write? Or does it have to be the right time?
I force the time to be right. 
Ah. Such a good play on my words, kind sir!
Some years back an author explained to me that there wasn’t any real trick to writing.  “You start with a character, and pretty soon someone else comes along and talks to him.”  He was right about that, but he didn’t finish the thought.  There are many talented people in the world who will never be discovered because they lack discipline.  Their talent, wherever it lies, makes a certain artistic discipline easy for them.  In the beginning these people receive a lot of praise and attention, but later on as their discipline of choice becomes more difficult they give up.  They can’t force themselves to work hard at it, day in and day out.  Those of us with a lot less talent can make up for a lack of talent by hard work.  Part of that hard work is making the time right.  You write when you don’t feel like it, when you’d rather be doing something else and when you’re inspired.
 Your book illustrations on both Magic For Hire and Murder One are unique. Tell us more about them.
I have a fine sense of aesthetics but I have absolutely no talent for drawing, painting or sculpting.  I even took art lessons when I was in high school, but no dice.  I’m a gamer (board games as well as fantasy role playing) and so attended the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio.  They always have an area of booths devoted to artists who specialize in fantasy art, so my purpose that year was to find an artist who would create a book cover for Otheldo at a reasonable price.  This should be easy, right?  But the fact is that most of these artists have an ego twice the size of their booth and as fragile as a soap bubble.  This condition makes them impossible to work with.
Tina Bongorno was the first artist that seemed genuinely glad to meet me and was enthusiastic about creating such a mundane item as a cover illustration.  Tina got Otheldo just right with very little input from me, and I’ve received many unsolicited compliments about the cover.  When I asked Tina to create the cover illustration for Murder One I had a much better idea about what I wanted, but Tina made a drastic improvement on my idea that moved it from just another banal cover to an outstanding masterpiece – truly eye-catching.
 Yes, Tina has joined us for her artistic expression on her works. Tell us what inspired you.
With Magic for Hire, Bill allowed me a large amount of creative freedom in regards to the initial concept of the cover. I gave him a few idea's to choose from, but we ultimately decided to settle on an action shot from one of the short stories in the Anthology, "The Curse." This allowed us to introduce the idea of the character as a wizard and hint at the sort of magical adventures he might get up to within the anthology. In the painting process, I kept the colors somewhat muted and dark to echo the mood of the scene we were referencing as well as highlight the main character Otheldo's magic.
With Murder One, the process was a little different. Bill already had a vision for what should be featured on the cover (the two unlucky victims), so I decided to experiment a little with the coloring of the piece. I produced three different color "sketches", one with a sort of natural summer light, one with a strong orange and blue contrast, and then one in bright blood red. We ended up going with the last one since we both liked the implied symbolism behind the color and thought that it would be a more eye-catching to the viewer.
Bravo, Tina! I love your illustrations.  Thank you for playing along with my questions.
Bill, why such different books? Different categories and different story lines?
I was a little tired of writing fantasy and decided to branch out.  Plus, I had an advantage.  When I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio my business was right next door to a detective agency.  I got to know the detectives pretty well and learned about some of their more interesting cases and experiences.
 Oh, boy. Those investigators letting the cat out of the bag. LOL. Do you have plans for future works? If so, can you tell us some snippets about them?
I’m working on another set of stories featuring Otheldo, who will be faced with a few difficult moral choices.  I’m planning a second novel for Art Valentine that’s based on a real life case I learned about when I lived in Cincinnati. I also have three or four novelettes that I haven’t decided what to do with.  Eventually I’ll edit them and publish them all on Amazon.
Ballroom dancing. Do tell.
When I was 21 I answered an ad in the local scandal sheet that specified ‘no experience necessary – will train’.  This was with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Toledo, Ohio.  The manager, John Kisha, persuaded me to sign a nine month contract with a three year non-competition clause and stuffed me into training class down in the studio basement.  After the first week I was the only one left in training class, which should have told me something, but I ignored it. 
The owner of the Toledo studio was Marvin Cantor.  He was a well-mannered, affable man and lived in Cleveland, Ohio.  Marvin owned the University Heights studio, which was one of the top ten largest studios in the United States.  We’d see Marvin in Toledo three or four times a year.  The manager of the Toledo studio was John Johnson, whose real name was John Kisha.  In contrast to Marvin Cantor, Kisha was a real little snot.  He’d only been in the dance business for about two years working for Cantor in the University Heights studio when he was promoted to manager of the Toledo studio, which was kind of a questionable promotion given the difference in the studio size.  Anyway, after I worked at the Toledo studio for about ten months Kisha fired me, saying that I was a poor dancer, a worse teacher and that I couldn’t sell any dance lessons.  In short, I’d achieved perfection - I was a perfect failure.
 I went down the street to the Fred Astaire dance studio, where I was interviewed and immediately hired by Richard Kurtz, who was the owner/manager at that time.  What I didn’t know was that Kurtz was, quite literally, a living legend in the dance industry.  He’d been in the dance business for over ten years, was the master franchisee for the State of Ohio and had nothing but a long string of success stories in his past.  While Richard was an excellent dancer, he handled the business end of the studio.  His wife Ruth was a member of the Fred Astaire national dance board and she provided the staff with dance training.  Working for Richard I became the top teacher in four States during the first six months I worked at Fred Astaire’s.  Many years later I learned that John Kisha used to talk about me in his business meetings, bragging to everyone about how he fired me.  There’s nothing like success, is there?
I stayed in the dance business for ten years, but it isn’t the best business for older people.  When I had my thirtieth birthday I decided that I’d better start looking for a new career, but I lacked motivation to quit and start over again.  When I hit 31, I knew I was late for the door, and about that time I found some motivation.
One rule in the dance business is that you cannot date your students.  There are any number of reasons for this, but it comes down to an unfair advantage on the instructor’s part coupled with the obvious financial reasons – students who date their instructor will cease to buy dance lessons.  If you date your students and get caught, you get fired and there’s actually a sort of informal black list.  If you’re fired for dating a student, studios won’t hire you and in point of fact most won’t give you an interview.  In my case I had a divorced lady that I thought was very attractive.  This is my Ellen, and we’re still together today.
 I used to teach Ellen at 8:00 pm, but then I moved her lesson to 9:00.  I was the only instructor teaching and I knew that the owner would get bored sitting in the office keeping an eye on me.  And that’s just what happened.  The owner took off around 9:15 and left us all alone.  What can I say?  I decided that I’d rather have my Ellen than a career in the dance business.
How does it feel to be a published author?
Seeing my name on a book is the strangest thing that’s happened to me in the past 20 years.
Bill, I can tell you about strangest. I have some stories. Congratulations on your books. I really enjoyed them. Anything you would like to share that I haven't asked you?
My sincere thanks to everyone who has purchased one of my books.  I really appreciate your patronage.  I’d like to give special thanks to everyone who has left a review of my work on Amazon.  Thank you very much.
I'm about to go do that myself. I am behind in my work. Again, thank you, Bill. I find you a very complex, fascinating, and talented author, which is a huge compliment. Hugs to your lovely, Ellen for keeping you in line. Keep writing those books!

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