Hi guys! Today I have the privilege of introducing author, songwriter and comedian, Bill Eckel.
Hi Bill! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a retired Air Traffic Controller and I currently live in Norman, Oklahoma. Living in Norman gave me the opportunity to study professional writing at the University of Oklahoma (Go Sooners!) which I did for two years. For fun I garden and play bass (seventy’s rock, mostly).
(Hurray, another bassist! ;D)
Have you always wanted to write books? What made you start?
Yes, I have always wanted to write. I wrote my first story in the third grade. It was an aviation war story. My father was an avid reader, he left his paperbacks strewn about the house and I would gather them up and read them. They were mostly war stories and westerns. After a while, my personality being what it is, I said, “I can do that!” So, I did.
You’ve also done some comedy- what’s your favourite joke or funny story?
I did an album, “One Swell Foop” , available on iTunes, BTW, and I was performing at the Bare Bones Film Festival in Muskogee, OK. I do one of the Songs, “Abducted” in boxer’s, socks and a button down shirt open to the waist. I have lipstick marks all over my face and my tie is askew. The song is about getting caught having a tryst with a judges wife and trying to lie my way out of it. I went on stage and to my horror it was kid’s night and there were all these munchkins staring up at me. I wanted to get away and not get arrested.
What are your favourite genres to read and write?
Science fiction and fantasy.
What are the easiest and most difficult parts when you are writing a book?
For me, the easiest parts are the beginning and the ending. I write those first. That way I know who is going where and why. The big swampy middle is the most difficult for me. That is where the story is most likely to bog down or go astray. So I struggle to come up with a big scene and/or a big set-back to keep the reader interested before I take the character along the mad dash to the climax.
What piece of technology are you most looking forward to being invented?
Instead of invented, let me say perfected, and that would be Nanobots. Here’s a scoop for you. My left carotid artery is completely occluded. Dr. Min Jun Kim, a PhD in engineering, has devised arterial nanobots that he calls swimmers that unclog blocked arteries. I have volunteered to be part of his human test studies in the summer of 2019, if I’m still around that is. Barring anything going wrong such as, let’s say, a massive stroke caused by a broken off piece of plaque, I’m going to write about the experience. It will be my first venture into non-fiction.
What did you do in the Navy? Do you have any interesting stories to share from those times?
I was an Air Traffic Controller and I have a ton of stories about the times I was stationed in the Philippines, but you asked me to keep it clean. 😉 Though there was this picture I sent home to mom. I was in a bar and I had my picture taken with a hostess. I was smiling and she was wearing a pucca shell necklace — and a smile.
Tell us all about your upcoming release!
Right now, I’m licking my wounds from Cadet Adam not being selected by Kindle Scout. I’m in the process of tightening up the pacing. I’ll cut the words from 87,000 down to at least 75,000. That should help. At the same time I’m writing a sci-fi novel called Hard Kill which deals with transhumanism. (ironic about the nanos, heh?)
Who is your favourite character in this book and why?
Kurtz from Hard Kill is my favourite. He is not who claims to be and has the aura of mystery around him and he is a bad—, He’s “a bad man!” as Mohammed Ali used to say. I just like living vicariously through that kind of character.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’m presently converting the short stories from my collection, “Science Fiction Fantasies,” into a series of radio dramas. I’m going to an editing session as soon as I send this off.