Interview with Bil Howard

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was an avid reader of Dr Seuss and the Bernstein Bears. The Sugar Creek Gang books were a big one for me as a youth. Louis L'Amour was and always will be a favorite. I started hitting the classics pretty hard in college. I guess Louis L'Amour had an early impact on my desire to write, but as far as learning how to write it was a combination of classic writers that guided me toward my own voice.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to find public domain art that fits somewhere within in my book's theme and then design around that. I like for it to be period related art since I'm writing historical fiction.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Lord, have mercy! Only five? When I went digital and finally decided to sell my hard copies I had 3,000 books in my library. Each of them were my friends, some more personal than others. I'll give it a whirl.... The Bible, Light of the Western Stars by Zane Grey, A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman, When a Man's a Man by Harold Bell Wright, Red Badge of Courage by Steven Crane... I've left out thousands.
What do you read for pleasure?
Tom Clancy, Richard Herman Jr., Nicholas Evans, Tony Hillerman, Zane Grey, Loius L'Amour, B.M. Bower... to name a few that come to mind easily. I do book reviews for Reader's Favorite, so I am constantly reading new authors.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my laptop... I typically read in PDF, Kindle or Epub... Reading in word feels too much like I'm editing or writing.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I haven't seen anything being very effective to date.
Describe your desk
Computer desk against the wall with a keyboard drawer, a drawer for pens and junk mostly. Small shelves to one side and one large shelf above that has a collection of my wife's Spanish CD's filling it up. A dual woofer speaker system and amp on top with two smaller subwoofer speakers. On top of the large speaker is a cribbage board made out of a caribou antler and a deck of cards.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a cattle ranch in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. If you have read my books you'll notice that they are all in the mountains whether the Rockies or the Andes and they all involve horses. Somewhere mixed in will be a cowboy or a horseman of some sort. A professor in college told me that you can only write what you know. The deepest part of me is found in the mountains and on the back of a horse, so you will always find me wandering around those themes.
When did you first start writing?
I tried some when I was in High School, but never had the patience to finish anything major. My better attempts, at least at short stories came when I was studying literature as an undergrad. After that, most of my time was spent writing academic papers for graduate work. I didn't really get serious about writing fiction, which I love the most, until I started ghostwriting in 2010. Once I finished my first ghostwritten novel I decided that maybe I could write my own. I wrote "The Wolf of the Highlands" for Senserial Publishing in 2013. That would be the first novel with my name on it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
After visiting Zipaquirá, near Bogotá, Colombia, I was inspired to start writing about Colombia's fight for independence. Living in Medellin, however, I wanted to bring the books closer to home, so the hero and heroine relocated to Rionegro, which is considered the Cradle of Democracy in South America. One of the great figures from Rionegro is Jose Maria Cordoba, Medellin's airport is named after him. He embodies the ideals of liberty and freedom for Colombia and South America that Bolivar initially had, but lost when he decided he wanted to be emperor of Gran Colombia. You can look forward to more as we move toward how that story played out. The spirit of the Antioquians, residents of Medellin area, fascinated me and I wanted to demonstrate their spirit to the world.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Seeing other people making money off of my hard work.
Published 2014-04-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

El Nacimiento de un Sueño
Series: The Belle of Colombia. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,320. Language: Spanish. Published: July 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Historical » General
Atrapados en la lucha por la independencia de España, el capitán Santiago Eduardo Vásquez se encuentra encerrado en otra batalla cuando Ana Maribel Arboleda captura su corazón en la plaza de Zipaquirá.
A Christian Response to Troubled Times: 3 Principles for Survival
Price: Free! Words: 5,720. Language: American English. Published: July 18, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Life / Spiritual Growth, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Ministry / Discipleship
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
How are Christians to respond to what is taking place in our world? Are there biblical guidelines to help us survive these troubled times? Rest assured, there are. This short book will help guide you in how best to respond to the world around you, continue to speak the truth in love and rest in the understanding that the Creator of the Universe Will Not Be Mocked.
The Desperation of Liberty
Series: The Belle of Colombia, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,260. Language: American English. Published: April 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Hispanic & Latino
After fleeing from the ruthless Spanish General Morillo who has orders to execute any of the rebels they can find, Santiago, Maribel and Esteban make a long journey over the mountains, across the Magdalena River and then high up into the Central Range of the Andes to a small town called Rionegro.
The Birth of a Dream
Series: The Belle of Colombia, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,560. Language: American English. Published: April 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Hispanic & Latino
Caught up in the fight for independence from Spain, Captain Santiago Eduardo Vasquez finds himself locked in another battle as Ana Maribel Arboleda captures his heart in the plaza of Zipaquirá. Gazing across the valley of Bogotá, the dream of a life of raising Criollo horses and starting a family in the distant mountains is born.