Turkish Delight – interview Bill Blake (31 January 2007)

Introduction

I received an email from Bill about a software he thought was useful and I should consider investing in. I receive many emails like this but this one was different – Bill made it a point to tell me he was a subscriber to my newsletter and this piqued my interest. After I had a look at the software I hopped over to his site (www.blakepublishing.com)and was fascinated with the material he has posted there. I asked him if he would agree to be interviewed and he said yes.  Without further ado, I have great pleasure in introducing to you Bill Blake …


Aneeta: Bill, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Bill: It is a pleasure sharing with other creative souls and in your case because I find your Newsletter & Website very useful for writers.

Aneeta: Thank you. Before I venture to ask about your travels, tell me, please, a little about your childhood. Where did you grow up? What was your family background and so on?

Bill: I grew up on the east coast of the USA in Connecticut and spent a major portion of my life there before doing some changes as an adult – to Florida, across country to CA, Vegas, and finally in San Francisco where I met and married (2nd time) an Irish gal and moved to Ireland in 2002 where I still live with my one and only soulmate in life.

I was married the first time at about 24 for about 15 years and have a son and three grand-children back in Conn. The divorce in 1986 sent me on my mid-life suicidal journey into depression and homelessness of which will be my 2nd Novel.

I think that phrase used about many creative artists: “Tortured Soul” probably sums up a lot of the personal writings and poetry. I never knew my father. I grew up in 7 foster homes by the time I was twelve years old while my mother worked at a live-in job and we saw her if we were lucky on Sundays.

At 12 or 13 mom decided to marry and off we went to what I thought would finally be a “normal family” environment. As it turned out, he was an abusive stepfather and my mother did nothing as she needed him as her provider.

This was back in the 1950’s early 60’s.

They had two children = ½ sister and brother – I got stuck with a lot of the caring for them – and the cleaning of the house…

There was a small gas station business of which I had to run/work about 10-14 hours a day (plus school).

With school grades doing poor in my junior year from all the stress – I did not want to be around for his wrath – so I took off in an old car with no drivers license at age 16-17 from Connecticut all the way to Texas and got a room for a month before returning home.

Aneeta: In your email to me you said that you had moved from the States to Ireland and now have an apartment in Turkey. Would you like to share some of your more exciting experiences with us?

Bill: Because of my unstable childhood I usually get stuck-in and stay in one place. But thanks to my Irish wife, we have travelled – both before we left the USA and now here in Europe.

There were so many exciting and majestic places in the states I still have never seen but thanks to my wife, I saw the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Hawaii, Lake Tahoe, the giant Redwoods and the beautiful wine country in California and more.

Moving in my 50’s to Ireland was a big adjustment for me. The cold winters are still very difficult to deal with, but I like the people and the country landscapes.

My goal is to use the income from selling my first novel {:)} to select a place in the sun for my senior years – but where not so hot in the summer.  We have traveled to Majorca, Lanzarote, Italy, Croatia, Malta – and finally invested in an apartment in Turkey because of the prices as an investment were the best we found, and the location on the Turkish Riviera along with the nice people, climate, food and cheap prices.

I feel it is a very important and positive experience for a writer to see and learn new cultures and all that goes with it so as to broaden your view of the world and all the people and beliefs that make up the real and true stories that happen every day.

Aneeta: It’s obvious you’ve done a variety of work. Please provide us with an explanation of each one of these:

Bill:
Screenplays: While in San Francisco, I wrote 6 feature-length Hollywood movie

screenplays as being part of a screenwriters group that met at my house each month. I was the first to get an agent (very hard to do), had a few studio reads of my scripts but no sale after 5- years so I moved on to websites and ebooks. I had / have the ability to write any genre – and was told this was rare and that my scripts were all above average. But the nature of the business = it is who you know not how good your writing is. It is easier to get a book published than to sell a script.

Sample of some pages from one screenplay “Altitude” can be downloaded @ www.writer-freelance.com

Poetry:This was my way to express my feelings and emotions – never really studied the structure and forms of poetry, just wrote the words as they came. “White Mane” (which is posted on my portfolio website / Blog and a poem about being homeless are my two best poems. See: www.billyvirgo.wordpress.com  for “White Mane” Poem.

Keyword Rich Articles: Articles are used for many purposes. As a storyteller, articles about writing or about your books can be offered and circulated in the following ways:  free email subscriptions, submit to article websites and ezines, and offer as free content to other websites and authors. The whole point of the article is that it has your name, links, and contact information always included in the resources box at the end of each article. Good for promoting your book(s). The idea of keyword rich = include many keywords that relate to the subject / title / niche category of your book you are promoting.

Sample(s) can be seen at: the link for ezinearticle website @ www.writer-freelance.com

Web Content: This is just basically the words you see on the web pages of any website in addition to content such as free articles to read on the website.

PDF Ebooks: These are the digital format ebooks that can be downloaded instantly after an online purchase, as a free download, and as a link for a free download in a newsletter or email you receive. The majority of ebooks we offer on our many websites are in the PDF (Adobe) format. Most all computers come with the adobe / acrobat readers and if not, it can be downloaded fro free online. The .exe format ebooks can only be read on the PC and not the MAC, whereas the PDF can be read on both. This is the way I recommend you to start if you choose to offer your story as an online download.

Blogs:  I started the Blogs to share information with others. They are a great way to also get feedback about your posts, opinions, writing, etc… I feel every writer should try to start and maintain a Blog that goes along with their writing projects. You can post pages of your work and ask for feedback as well as build up relationships with other writers from all over the world! Sample Blog with good ranking: www.mrvirgo.wordpress.com

Press Releases: I write Press Releases for myself – ebook offers, websites, etc. and also offer to write them as part of my freelance services. It is a quick method to announce to the online world and media that you have just written your first –or—book and tell others about the book, your writing experience and what your book can do for them and where they can buy it and review your work. I use PRWEB for my Press Releases. I have received the editor score of 4/5 on my submissions. Samples can be seen along with their stats at :   www.writer-freelance.com

Sales Pages: I specialize in the sales page that goes along with books, ebooks that are used on the website for your book. You can see samples of sales pages @

www.blakepublishing.com/services.html

An autobiography: This is the hardest to write because it still brings back powerful emotions and memories. The worst part is that there is also a lot of time and history I can’t really remember. Two samples of True experiences are listed for PDF download as short writings – One = Childhood   & One = Mid-Life titled:

“Lost Childhood” &   “Homeless in Las Vegas” @  www.writer-freelance.com

2 Novels: At present these are the childhood and mid-life stories based on my life but with some fiction mixed in with the non-fiction. I am using Billy Virgo as the alias name and the first novel runs from early childhood until about early 20’s, The second novel is from about 40-45 with the suicidal journey to no where. I actually have both in process at the same time.

A Play:

I have a burning passion to do this play that will be a comedy-drama about old-age and homecare. My wife has done work for years this and I even did some for a few years in CA and the reality of the humor and drama that you experience is a real wake-up to our mortality and how we deal with getting older and our loss of independence. Fact = we will all grow old. If you don’t have a sense of humor you will not last and either will the homecare providers that care for them!  Possible Title = “Pensions & Dentures” (Or Bedpans &—).

I have it all in my head and I can see it on stage with the wife in her bedroom and across the hall is the husband both yelling to each other, two home care people doing shifts and family members that are just waiting for them to die so they can fight over who gets what.

{Aneeta: NOTE: There are samples of all these types of writing posted for download or links to where they are at my Portfolio website:  www.writer-freelance.com }

Aneeta: Let’s move on to the services you provide. Please explain the ones which will be of most use to a storyteller.

Bill: I can take the story / writing project from a word document and format it into colorful design numbered pages that can contain images; links, etc. and then are formatted into a PDF Ebook. The PDF format is popular because it can be read on both PC and MAC computers and is the most widely used worldwide. I can also design a 3-D book Cover Image to be used on the sales pages and website ads. This image is a key factor in the sales of any ebook online. We can also provide a graphic header for the website sales page along with the actual written sales page for the book. Samples of all theses services can be reviewed @ www.blakepublishing.com/services.html

Aneeta: As you know, this website caters for storytellers. What advice would you give storytellers?

Bill: To be a good storyteller, I think it sincerely has to be part of who you are. You write because you have to! We have all heard it a thousand times, “Write what you know about” – this is still good advice to start with as you can then transfer the emotions and memories into words that are real.  Many authors started seriously writing only after keeping a diary or a daily journal – and that got the blood flowing for the need to share words as a writer. A story should touch all our senses and emotions when possible. I want to laugh, cry, worry, and care – all that makes us human.

Aneeta: Bill, this is all I have to ask you. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Bill: I just want to say that anyone looking to get their first how-to guide, recipe collection, short story … published to test the market and their skills before going into the expenses related with print books, should consider starting with a digital ebook format that can be offered for free or for sale online for instant download worldwide. It is a great way to get your name and writings out to the public in a way that offers your readers “instant gratification” by way of a download to their computer. Many authors and publishers now complement their sales by also offering their printed book in this popular e-book format as seen on such websites as the Amazon and Barnes & Noble book websites.

I have worked with many individuals and companies that required their writing formatted and published as an ebook, many also needed a 3-D cover image for their ebook and we have always enjoyed helping new storytellers on their way by saving them time and money with our PDF Ebook Publishing Services @ www.blakepublishing.com/services.html

Aneeta: Bill, thank you.

Bill: Thank you Aneeta so much for allowing me to share with your many readers some of my knowledge and experiences as a writer-storyteller over the years. I wish all the best for all your readers and yourself as storytellers that share with others.


This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact editor @ howtotellagreatstory.com for reprint rights.

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