I am excited to introduce Bill McStowe for Serial Author's very first Author Interview!
I first heard of Bill when I was looking into Channillo about a year before I ever started writing my own series on the site. At the time his series Uncharted was the most popular on the site and continues to be up on the most popular page to this day. In reading his series I've enjoyed Bill's charming writing style and sometimes subtle, always very relatable humor.
20 Questions with Bill McStowe
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Very early. I had a great teacher in 4th grade who let me fill composition books about our “Word of the Day” topics. Most kids wrote three or four sentences about “dolphin,” but I went on for pages.
2. Are you a Plotter, pantser, or a bit of both?
Both. For my Uncharted serial on Channillo, I rarely know where I’m going from one installment to the next. For the most part, the stories can stand alone. The arc is loose. Usually I sit down and free-write until the idea comes to me, then I have to plot to arrive at a satisfying punchline.
3. Do you prefer to write stand alone books or series?
I like the stand alones.
4. Do you have a writing schedule? If so what does it look like?
No, but I’d love one. I wrote from one to three a.m. the other day. Quality stuff. I was garbage for the rest of the day. I made a Harry Styles reference in the morning, but couldn’t remember the name of his band. It literally struck me four hours later. I blurted it out in a conversation that had nothing to do with One Direction.
5. How are your written works published?
Digitally and in print. Poetry, flash, and literary. I change like the seasons, probably because I’m moody. Literary in the spring and the early summer. Poetry in the late summer and the early fall. Flash fills in the gaps.
6. Where does your inspiration come from?
People. They’re the best. Checkout lines are great places to eavesdrop.
7. How do you gather information for your books? Do you research the majority of it before you start writing or more as you go?
I’ll research as I go.
8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I split my time between reading and peeling open new trash bags so I can get them in the barrel.
9. What does your family think of your writing? Do they support it?
They do. I have a very supportive family. I’m a lucky guy.
10. Which is your favourite story that you have written (published or otherwise)?
I can’t name one. There are a handful that I do enjoy rereading every now and then.
11. What writing tips have been the most helpful to you as a writer?
Read and write. It’s the best tip. Read to see how others are writing, write until you have something that others will want to read.
12. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Channillo invites readers to comment. I’ve heard some very nice things. Honestly, my favorite comments are “lol” and “Haha.” When I see those, I know it was worth writing from one to three a.m., even if it meant not remembering One Direction.
13. What do you think makes a good story?
If you’re not making me laugh, keep me interested. Make the ordinary extraordinary.
14. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
On my notebooks and pens.
15. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Or did you have other ideas when you were younger?
I remember wanting to be a paramedic, but I’m not that smart and I don’t like blood.
16. Do you read much? What do you enjoy reading?
I’m always reading something. My completion speed varies. All-time favorite authors include Vonnegut, Waugh, and Exley. Currently, I’m reading and enjoying Ashes by Sarah Mitchell-Jackson.
17. Have you written under a Pen Name?
18. How would you describe your writing style?
I’m not going to slow you down with overly descriptive passages. I like to keep things moving forward.
19. Do you have a writer’s group and how do they help you become a better writer?
Currently no, but writing groups are often fantastic. Join a mixed bag. Accept criticism and offer good suggestions.
20. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Do your math homework.
And finally where can we find you? (Social media’s website etc.)
I’m fairly active and supportive on Twitter: @billmcstowe
I have a few different things happening on my website:
A Big Thanks to Bill McStowe
It's been fantastic having you and I'm excited to see what you do next!