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?
Bill: I usually publish under William Munns, but everybody calls me Bill. I’m pushing 70, but also pushing back as hard as I can.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Bill: I was born and lived all my life in Southern California.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Bill: My education is up to three years of college but no degree. Most of my true education is from self-effort, an unceasing curiosity about the world, science, human civilization, and the mysteries of life. My father, Howard, was a commercial artist and wildlife painter. My mother, Virginia, was a college profesor. I also have two sisters, one of whom is a succesful author in her own right.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Bill: The big news is the publication of my new novel, “The Life of One With Three names”, a book 18 years in the making. It was originally intended as a fully illustrated book, but the artwork was so detailed and realistic, I finally realized I’d die before I’d ever get all the illustrations done. So I revised my ambition for the artwork, and released the book in a more standard literary form, with some accompanying illustrations.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Bill: I’ve been writing for over 50 years. I started as a teen, and found it was a wonderful way to express my curiosity about life as well as my outlook of what was good and bad about the world, or explore philosphical ideas through stories entwined around the idea.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Bill: Hard to put a date on the time, but likely while still in high school.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Bill: Actually, my first efforts were movie scripts, given I grew up in the Hollywood area and was surrounded by movie people for neighbors. But my first actual published book was four years ago, when I wanted my efforts to be available to readers.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Bill: The title of my current book came from the heroine’s own autobiographical writing that is the center of the book. She described her document as “The Life of One With Three Names”, reflecting the fact that circumstances beyond her control compelled others to demand she impersonate another person and embrace that name instead of her own.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Bill: I’m not locked into any specific genre. Stories of various kinds intrigue me, and so I simply try to write in the style of the genre that the specific story fits into. So my writing style actually varies depending on the story subject. So I don’t try to let the style rule the story, but rather let the story dictate the style.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Bill: I do draw from my own experiences, definitely. In this book about a 15 year old woman in ancient Babylon, suffice to say I couldn’t draw from modern world experiences very much, except for the eternal truths that time doesn’t diminish.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Bill: Unfortunately, for this book, all during the writing period, the location was a war zone. Babylon is in southern Iraq, and some Google earth images of the Palace ruins even showed military helicopters amid the ruins. So actual travel to the site was essentially impossible.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Bill: Generally, I do my own cover artwork, but the artwork for this book was unique in the extent of the detail included. I literally built a replica of the Babylonian Ishtar Gate in a digital 3D visualization software, for the cover and some internal artwork as well. And the Babylonian Palace Complex was visualized as faithfully as the archaeological record allows, from actual photographs of the palace ruins existing today.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Bill: I would hope that readers will embrace the novel’s speculative account of a truly great person, and the consideration of what constitutes real greatness. Our modern world is becomming so devisive, so conflicted, that tearing down a good person to simply win an argument is becomming common and it seems greatness in its pure form has vanished.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Bill: My current work demands most of my reading is technical in nature, and reading for pleasure is more a wish than a reality at the moment. So when the question of favorite authors is asked, I tend to fall back on older authors I read as a young man.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Bill: Absolutely, more now so than ever.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Bill: More ambitious artwork.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Bill: The book challenged me to consider how women are treated by human culture down through history, and frankly, it’s a sad story. So working on this book simply reminded me that trying to erase gender discrimination and give women the full equality of men, is the single most important goal we can ever aspire to accomplish, if we want to actually call the human race “civilized”.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Bill: Actually, I do have plans to make a movie of the book myself, but whereas I originally intended it to be a live action feature film, I now anticipate that I’ll do it as a 3D digital animation film, based on the artwork I’ve already completed. If I succeed, I’ll go looking for voice talent, irregardless of whether the actress suits the part visually.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Bill: Trust your inner voice, but then challenge your effort as if you were a critic. If your effort can withstand your own criticisms, it’s a fine effort.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Bill: Just that this book is the tip of the proverbial iceberg, with many more books to come under the same thematic topic.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Bill: Sadly, just technical books, on Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence systems.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Bill: Not sure if it was first, but is the earliest I recall. “The Enormous Egg”.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Bill: The irony of life makes me laugh. Deeply moving and inspiring thoughts make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Bill: If I had to pick one person, it would be the real historical person who is depicted in my book. She had to exist, even if the Babylonians deny her identity, because she was not only the wife and Queen of King Nebuchadnezzar but the mother of his two children, Amal-Marduk and Kashiashia. So I’d really like to know why the Babylonians are so determined to pretend she didn’t exist.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Bill: Work is my hobby, so to speak. Creating artwork as well as technological invention, occupy my time.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Bill: The only TV I tend to watch is an American TV series, “Law & Order SVU”.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Bill: Study nature and try to understand the mystery of life.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Bill: I’d try to put my legacy in order, so something lived on that might inspire others.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Bill: I’m drawing a blank on this one.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Not yet. Hope to set it up soon.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/William-Munns/e/B00M6DY7GC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
The Amazon book listing is: