Welcome William Smith.
1) What genre do you like to write?
I write in several genres. Mystery, action adventure, sci-fi, and combinations of several.
2) How long have you been writing? What prompted you to start writing?
I wrote technical reports and plans for many years but did not start fiction until about fifteen or sixteen years ago. The mother of creativity is boredom! I sailed off into the sunset and it was much more boring than you can ever imagine. That’s where I did most of my writing. Sitting in a sailboat at anchor or in a marina.
3) What inspires you to write?
Most of my writing involves contemporary issues either directly or indirectly. Politics, war, prejudices, conspiracy theories or unresolved questions about a wide range of issues. Most of my personal reading is non-fiction.
4) When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)?
I usually have a general concept with a beginning and an ending. Most of what happens in the middle I make up as I write. I have completed first drafts in a month or two. Sometimes they drag on for years.
5) What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process? Easiest?
The most difficult part is editing. The easiest is writing. Once I start, I want to keep going until it is finished.
6) Of all your characters whom do you most relate to?
In Bakers Dozen? Maybe Chuck even though I’ve never smoked.
7) Is there one of your characters that you did not like when you started writing about them, but found yourself liking by the end of the story?
In Baker’s Dozen I did not care for Cathy, but liked her in the end.
8) What is your least favorite part about writing? The Most?
Again, editing is a great big pain. After you’ve read and re-read the book a dozen times, then your editor marks it up once more….only to find more errors AFTER it is published! Seeing it in print is a pleasure if you block from your mind the errors that you know are still there.
9) When you are not writing or editing what do you do for relaxation?
That has changed over the years. When I first started I could write for six to eight hours a day. Now, I write for one or two and have to take a break. I’m an artist so I paint. Then there’s an occasional football or baseball game.
10) What genre of books do you like to read?
As I mentioned before, I read non-fiction. Mostly science. Evolutionary Biology. Evolutionary Psychology. Cosmology. Astrophysics. Quantum physics, which I still don’t really understand very well but would like to.
11) What author(s) do you enjoy reading? Why?
I like Richard Dawkins because he is able to explain the science behind evolutionary biology without trying to be politically correct or to offend anyone…which he does. Steven Pinker does likewise. Carl Sagan, Brian Greene, Jared Diamond. All attempting to bring science to the masses in an understandable form.
12) Tell us about your books where can people find them?
\ I have three books on Kindle, Amazon, Nook, and Barnes and Noble. Another is at the publisher and was supposed to be released last week. Hopefully it will be out this week.
Chapter One from Baker’s Dozen:
"It's a very old affiliation," said Judd as he sipped his martini from deep within the brown leather over-stuffed chair. Outside through the tall multi-pane window that was guarded on either side by sheer curtains, large snowflakes fell in such numbers that they darkened the sky in the late afternoon. Judd stared up at the flakes as the gray gobs came down, a few wandering aimlessly out of the darkened background into the pale light from the lamp beside him.
"That's what I understand," said Rose, standing across from him near a wall of books that filled two walls of the darkly finished study.
"It's not a conspiracy as you suggest," Judd muttered calmly, not in a defensive tone, but one with the confidence and security of someone who is quite sure of himself.
"Not in the classic sense to be sure," said Rose, following Judd's gaze out the window to the quiet transformation of the landscape into a soft wonderland of white.
"Not in any sense," Judd nodded as he took another sip and glanced at her over his glasses.
"The results are the same," Rose smiled sarcastically, anger beginning to seethe to the surface.
"We only repeat our message of truth and patriotism," said Judd smiling back through the corner of his mouth as he continued to watch her over his glasses.
"But it's a network…a group of ideologues passing on your message in terms and methods that lead to action...... said to people who are prone to take action.... action that has been deadly...."
"What others do is not our concern," said Judd, breaking off his eye contact with her and resuming his peaceful monitoring of the snowflakes.
"Not your concern?" asked Rose, almost laughing, then shaking her head, her voice wavering somewhat now as she was no longer able to hide the anger inside.
"Any of those events could have happened without us saying anything," he said without looking at her but feeling her rising displeasure.
"A president. A candidate for president. A civil rights leader. A senator. Plus how many other liberal leaning people? And you admit to having championed their demise as the only solution...."
"It was.... it IS the only solution," Judd nodded curtly, almost sarcastically, suddenly having the urge to confront her challenge. “And besides, you weren’t supposed to be snooping in my study!”
“I wasn’t snooping….the emails were on your desk in plain sight. Your friends must be getting sloppy.”
“Maybe they are, we’re getting older….but sloppy or not you had no right to pry.”
“You’re my brother!”
“I have a private life.”
“Some private life!”
“We have a right to our beliefs….”
"Beliefs, yes, but you and your little club carry it much farther. You know how to goad potentially unstable people into believing in your twisted ends and convincing them that they are doing something that must be done..... you're using half-insane dupes to achieve your ridiculous ideological ends."
"They’re not ridiculous….. we’re the true patriots not you liberal bleeding hearts…. and besides we paid them nothing. We provided them with nothing. We had no connection with them. We simply repeated our message. They did what they did on their own volition. We didn't hire them. They weren't our friends. They were alone. Ultimately they did what was right."
"The perfect alibi. Leaving you and your cronies not only blameless, but untraceable, unconnected and respectable members of the community to boot."
"We can't be responsible for the acts of crazy people," he laughed as he looked at her standing angrily against the bookcase, her face now flushed.
"But your plans were carried out," she said, now in a firm but clearly unnerved voice. "You deliberately set about to talk people into doing your dirty work for you without them really even realizing that they were merely pawns.... whipped into a frenzy by your encouragement...."
"Amazing, isn't it?" he laughed again, rolling his head back in the chair and shutting his eyes.
"For over fifty years," she said, her voice now becoming somewhat shrill as she began to lose her composure.
"Even before us," he corrected, his head still back in the chair.
"Before?.....Oh my gg….It has to stop!" she almost shouted, her hands stiff at her sides as she moved slowly toward him.
"It can't stop," he said in a lilting voice, sitting forward and meeting her gaze with one now suddenly firm. “It’s too deep, too important.”
"It must stop!" she now shouted as she continued toward him. "It's heinous!"
"Heinous? Can you even begin to imagine what this country would be like if that wild-eyed liberal Kennedy or his bleeding heart brother would have lived? That would have been heinous."
"That black letch had no right to live!"
"They were human beings," she said in disbelief, stopping a few feet away, trembling in rage.
"They were the ideologues, not us," he shot back. "Dangerous ideologues."
"But why Hal Stohr? He's so harmless."
"He champions too many dangerous ideas," he countered.
"The environment is a dangerous idea?"
"It undermines the very lifeblood of our economy….one of those elitist liberal myths that are foisted onto the public."
"How could doing something to address global warming undermine the economy?"
"Oh paalleeeezz!" he shouted. "The answer to that is so obvious that I choose not to even begin to answer it..."
"You're delusional!" she screamed, waving her hands in front of him. "You people are all a bunch of pompous Nazi's!"
"Nazi's? Hah! Nazi's indeed…we’re patriots! We are the ones who will save this country!" he said, now matching her shouting, and then standing up and taking a step toward her. "We’re the true patriots! And you….you're way out of line here!" he wagged his finger at her with a scowl.
"I'm your sister, and I'm a fool for not having found out about this years and years ago!" she screamed, taking the step that remained between them and smacking him across the face. He grimaced in pain, then quickly recovered to grasp her by the wrists as she attempted to hit him again. Judd in his eighties and Rose her seventies were clearly not as nimble as they were when they were younger and they stumbled into a lamp table and sprawled out onto the carpet, with the lamp, a blue decanter of gin and a glass crashing to the floor in a jumble of broken parts and liquid. They wrestled awkwardly on the floor. Rose used her superior quickness to smack him repeatedly on the head and face as they struggled. Judd finally got to his knees and crawled free, grabbing the arm of a chair to help him to his feet.
"You're mad!" he shouted as he staggered toward the door. Rose was upon him by now flogging him with an umbrella that she had retrieved from the canister next to his desk. Hands over his head to shield the blows, Judd swerved past the fireplace, catching his toe on the brick landing and tripping, falling headlong onto the fireplace tools with a terrible racket and an anguished cry of pain. Draped over the tools above the floor, he tried to move but could not. He was impaled on the sharp decorative spear on top of the tool holder. He feebly attempted to move as he looked down at the black metal holder that was propping him up, a sickening moan emitting from his tortured lips as blood gushed to the floor. Rose stood over him, wide-eyed, in momentary disbelief. Trembling in anger, her teeth still bared and the umbrella still gripped tightly in her hand, she held it out as if to continue to pummel him. Now realizing that Judd was badly hurt with blood spewing from his chest onto the bricks and across the floor into the adjacent rug, she hesitated. But she continued to stand motionless, the umbrella still poised to strike, as Judd let out a long muffled groan and slowly slumped onto his side in a heap, the fancy tool holder shedding its tools with a clatter. Her hand dropped as she released her grip on the umbrella and it flopped noiselessly onto the soft Persian rug. Judd lay still, his blood covering a four foot arc across the floor and onto the already reddish rug. From beneath his body, the red pool shown up at her from the wood floor that edged the rug in front of the fireplace. She just stood there resisting the impulse to kneel down to assist him or even to check to see if he was alive. She just turned and walked the few steps to a little sitting area with a small table that fronted the fireplace and sat down in one of the comfortable chairs. She stared at the flickering flames and could see the ghostly fluttering of the snowflakes in the window behind Judd's desk reflected in the glass doors of the fireplace. A tiny smile formed on the corner of her lips and she nodded slightly. A pang of guilt was quickly extinguished by the fury inside for what she had just found out about him.
I feel no remorse she thought as she sat there in the complete silence of the moment. The only justice that could have been wrought has been wrought she nodded. And the others. Her thoughts flashed on the smug faces of the dozen other 'members' of Judd's elite group. Twelve of them. Thirteen, including Judd. Thirteen. A baker's dozen. Yes, Baker’s Dozen she nodded. Judd Baker and his dozen murderous conspirators. Her fists tightened on the arm of the chair. Any guilt or sadness that she should feel with the death of her brother right in front of her was replaced by anger once again. Anger at what had gone on for so long. Anger that she was too naive to recognize the true nature of their political hatred. The whispers. The dark whispers. The snide comments that she simply dismissed as political prejudice and ignorance. Her mind wandered. These men would live out their comfortable lives in complete safety. Free of all blame or implication. Yet guilty. Yes, guilty. Horribly guilty.
It was two in the morning. Rose had been sitting in the study contemplating what she would do next for nearly four hours. The maid would be in at eight the next morning, she thought. Rose would have to call the police before then. Perhaps now, to get it over with. But what to tell them. They had a struggle over….over family issues….and he fell onto the fireplace tools. Actually, that was what happened. It was an accident. She went over to the desk and pushed the speaker button. She dialed 911, reported what had happened to the operator, then walked out into the vestibule and sat on the steps to the grand staircase to wait for the authorities to arrive. The others must also be brought to justice she thought as she waited. Even though they were her age or older, they must all be punished. Somehow….and, yes, the ultimate punishment. And she would see to it…somehow… that they were punished.
Thank you for sharing I can't wait to read the rest of the book!