Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Bill Vaughn. I write under William Vaughn and WR Vaughn. I’m about seventy.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Tough question. I’ve lived all over the world and while born in the US, I’ve lived overseas for many years but settled in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-‘80s.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I went to school in South Dakota and Kansas. After I got out of the Army, I got my degrees in Texas. I’m married with grandchildren.I have a BS and BA in Computer Science/Education and a MAIS in Interdisciplinary Studies as well as a certification a certification in Popular Fiction from UW. I also have a degree from DeVry and I’m a private pilot (fixed/rotary)—or was. I travel, take pictures, write and love old movies. I love to build and maintain my own computers—but I’m done writing about technology (after a dozen published books on the subject).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently working on two new novels. One set in a Steampunk age, the other in the distant future. They take most of my time.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was a technical writer and consultant for many years but switched to fiction once I retired from the industry. I found that it just fulfilled something missing in my life. It let me express myself in ways that lasted longer than a tech talk which the crowd would not remember by the time they got home.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when my first book was published—back in the ‘80s. Seeing your name and picture on the cover pretty much says it.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had a desire to share what I knew about a focused technology—no one else on the planet knew about it. And then, to keep writing—to tell stories about my life lessons to share with my daughters and granddaughters.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My first fiction title “The Owl Wrangler” was created to explain how owls could deliver mail in the Harry Potter series. I wanted to share the untold behind-the-scenes story. My first NA title “The Timkers” was created to give the series a unique name that would come to the top in Google. “Owl Wrangler” returned ads for Wrangler SUV tires.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My books are hard to classify, but they’re full of twists and unexpected turns that keeps readers turning pages to see what happens next—and they’re funny, poignant and can make you cry. I just hope they don’t make my English teacher cry and disown me.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My Timkers series is based on historical facts about 1930s Seattle, and how women survived the Great Depression. I always include characters based on my friends, family and other relatives—and people I meet on the bus or in a diner. The Seldith Chronicles is about magic elves, so not really based on reality, but based on real teen angst and relationships with their parents, their peers and with the establishment.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I travel extensively but mostly to shoot cover art and capture more details of the places where the action takes place. I’ve lived all over, Kindergarten in Germany, Grade School in El Paso, High School in Thailand. My speaking tours took me to Europe, Australia, Asia and South America as well as to dozens of sites all over the country.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do all my own covers. I took time off and taught myself Photoshop and the techniques required to construct the covers for CreateSpace because I was not happy with the art others were building for me. I have received lots of encouragement and accolades for my graphics work and provide assistance to other authors trying to do the same.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Every novel has a message—many messages, morals and missions. I try to get the reader to understand their role in society, how to stand up for themselves and how to work through adversity. I encourage diversity, understanding, cooperation, and tolerance.
Fiona: Are there any new authors who have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Lately, I have focused on more established writers like Daniel James Brown (Boys in the Boat) which I read to research The Timkers, and Erik Larsen (Thunderstruck) for references to a new untitled novel set at the turn of the 20th century. I like the gritty detail and human challenges people faced in the periods depicted.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) her in the Seattle area pointed me to critical university classes and conferences which helped me get a running start.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I guess you would call it that, but it has never earned enough (even with a half-dozen books on the best-seller list) to pay its way. I still do little other than write and research for new books.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Every author wants to re-write their last book and the ones before that. We have to let them go and focus on the next. I do make minor edits when I make an egregious error that embarrasses my editor/daughter.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I kept my technical career afloat writing my tech books. I’ve learned volumes writing fiction—about the industry, the process and the publishing business.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For The Timkers (most worthy of being a film), I would let the director choose, as there are so many talented young people out there. Perhaps Zachary Gordon or Tye Sheridancould do the male lead, but Taylor Momsen or Dakota Fanning might do the female lead.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Sure. Write. Don’t publish anything that’s not ready. Don’t let your mother or anyone who cares about you (personally) edit your work. Always find a serious, focused editor who loves to read and make books the best they can be. Always, always edit and edit and edit again before even thinking about publishing. Authors can’t edit their own stuff. Get help. We all need it. Not an artist? Hire one.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
The proceeds from all of my books are donated to charity. I knew full well that I could no more expect to make a living writing than make it on an NBA team. Thankfully, I don’t depend on my royalties to make my payments. I never have.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m still working through Thunderstruck by Erik Larsen. I have Ready Player One, and Altered Carbon in the queue.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Back in the ‘50s? Uncle Remus? In school? To Kill a Mockingbird?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Politics and religion. Don’t get me started.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’ve met Bill Gates (I worked for him and Steve) and I’ve met Ross Perot (I worked for him too), but I would love to have spent a warm afternoon resting in the shade talking to Mahatma Gandhi.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Too many. I like photography, working on computers and cars, and playing with graphics.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a sucker for Turner Classic Movies. Love Film Noire and the old classics, but lately I’ve been watching reruns of Friends, Weed and old Twilight Zone TV shows.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Foods? None of those which are good for me. Every one of the Timkers books has references to double-bacon-cheeseburgers. Music? I have an enormous collection of ‘60s and ‘70s rock, country, classics and some pop. Colors—earth tones.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would be lost. Let’s not go there.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Finishing my memoire.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Who would have guessed that was fatal?”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/WR-Vaughn/e/B00QP70S7M