Bill Orton is a writer and political aide, living in southern California.
What is your writing process?
My first novel, I wrote on a manual typewriter. I found it to be liberating that I could not endlessly edit the previous writing. I had to keep marching forward, sometimes struggling to type a single page. Once I had finished the initial draft of 404 pages, then I essentially had to read it word-for-word after scanning the pages and running them through an OCR scanner. For my second novel, I have worked on my desktop computer, but I could not have finished that first novel any other way. I began the third novel within a week of having published the second on Smashwords, and within two months I had roughly 25,000 words in place. I hope that mine are not words that follow the criticism issued by Truman Capote, that it is "just typing." I find this third book to be the most direct storyline I've written, plotwise. Perhaps I am getting better.
When did you first start writing?
"Hope for Change, But Settle for a Bailout" is the first novel I completed, but it is the fourth I've started. I began writing short stories in my early 20s, and made three attempts at novels in my 20s and 30s. Short fiction I found to be satisfying, as I could lay down a piece in fairly short order, but I lacked the discipline to keep marching on a novel. On one, I got 90 or so pages. Another, around 100. The third, maybe 200. So, perhaps having finished my first novel at the age of 50 tells me that I now have found the discipline and pacing that I lacked in my youth.
Written by a father as a gift for his daughter, topics are in random order and range from "Hope" and "Tomatoes" to "Drugs," "Sex," "Relationships," and "Religion." Includes extensive reader comments and links to the author and website for the online version of the book.