Today we sit down for chat with author William Ade. William mostly writes what he describes as suspense crime—neither cozy nor hardcore. However, the reader is held in suspense throughout, wondering whether the perpetrator will get away with the crime. He also has one unfinished dystopian novel and enjoys writing humor. Learn more about William and his books at his Eclectic Stories for the Humans website.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I started having success placing short stories in my second year of dedicated writing. I self-published a short story collection and one novel in early 2020. In July, the dream came true when I signed a contract with Level Best Books for a book titled, Do It for Daisy.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I'm a hybrid now.
Where do you write?
I have a fantastic set up in the finished part of our basement. A small window over my desk allows sunlight and autumn breezes. A sliding glass door opens up to my wooded backyard. There's space for me to take breaks and play with my cat. Best of all, I don't have to share the room, so any mess is my mess.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I write in silence but edit and rewrite with either classical, opera, or 60’s music.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
In Art of Absolution, an actual criminal act drives the narrative. I heard about it when I was in my twenties and worked at a large public institution. From that incident, years later, I built my plot. As far as drawing upon real life people for characters, my sister serves as a secondary character model, but everyone else was a product of my imagination. The characters in Do It for Daisy are all imaginary, thank goodness, while my WIP is highly personal in plot and characterization.
Describe your process for naming your character?
I read the obituaries and will make a note of the intriguing first and last names. I tend to stay away from elaborate names, preferring, somewhat old-fashion first names for my short stories. Recently, I noticed I have a tendency to use names with the same number of syllables and cadence, like Billy, Bobby, Tommy, or Mary, Harry, Larry. Recently, I discovered Jimmy showed up in more stories than I realized.
Real settings or fictional towns?
I tend to draw from towns and cities where I’ve visited or lived. I find the memories of those places help feed my descriptions.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Nik Knuckles, a private eye, seems to interpret every clue incorrectly, yet somehow solves his cases.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Loudly conversing when alone, whether it is my cat, myself, or an inanimate object. Maybe that’s true of all writers. Since we spend so much time inside our heads, we find nothing wrong hearing our voices.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
I loved A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, a book that translated wonderfully to film. It's a story about quirky characters with big hearts that I found myself charmed to the end.
Everyone, at some point, wishes for a do-over. What's yours?
I wish I’d been kinder to people when I was younger.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
A storage container filled with an eclectic collection of books, 10,000 sheets of writing paper and a hundred pencils, and a robust cable connection for my Netflix.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I worked for a janitorial service for a few months as a second job. Cleaning up a tavern after a weekend of revelry taught me a few things about humans I’d never have learned otherwise.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
I fell in love with reading novels when I was sixteen and spent the hot summer nights plowing through my high school reading list. I fell hard for the classics, like Jane Eyre, Les Miserables, and Moby Dick. When I was in college, I fell hard for Vonnegut. Of course, I've read many more modern novels that were as good or better, but the sense of discovery I felt at sixteen makes the older works more powerful.
Ocean or mountains?
I grew up in a small town in Indiana, and the idea of a beach vacation had a powerful hold on my imagination. When I moved to Virginia and finally saw the ocean, I loved it. Of course, we're talking offseason, no crowds, one or two café's open, and a bookstore kind of ocean experience.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I think I’d want the city, although I've never lived or worked in an authentic downtown. In the last forty years, I've lived in the suburbs, so what does that say about me? Maybe I’m a hybrid there as well.
What’s on the horizon for you?
In addition to promoting my self-published novel, Art of Absolution, I'll be working with Level Best Books to put out Do It for Daisy in May 2021. I'm also jumping into the challenges of book promotion and marketing. My current writing project is in a beta-read status. It’s about a father who thinks he can fix anything, even his child, his wife, and his sister.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I seriously started writing when I retired six years ago. Of course, I had no idea how challenging it would be to elevate my craft and understand the business. One advantage of starting a writing career late is that I'd had enough success in life by then, that I could handle the rejections that came fast and furious at first. I've also enjoyed getting to know a wonderful community. I'd be surprised if there were a more generous group of practitioners than writers of cozy murder mysteries.
I have to shout out to the host of Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers, Lois Winston. As a writer, I admire how she uses short, richly worded sentences that pull you along, making it hard to put down her books. It’s a skill I hope to master. (Anastasia here. Lois says to tell you she’s blushing and thanks you for the lovely compliment.)
Art of Absolution
Bailey Robertson only wants a soft landing after her husband's death. Yet her son, Teddy, won't stop digging into her past. Why doesn’t he accept her explanations? She's doing what any good mother would do – lie through her teeth.
Art of Absolution is a story where sins of the past refuse to stay buried, and a child's curiosity risks destroying two families.