Interview with Bill Swiggs

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work full-time as a firefighter for the Department of Defence, which takes up a lot of my time. When I'm not working, I am kept pretty busy on our 5 acre property. I'm also a member of the Bunbury Aero Club and like to get behind the controls of a plane whenever I can.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a short story called The Return of Darkie Gardiner. I was lucky enough to see it published in a magazine. They even paid me for it! I thought that was pretty cool at the time.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually search for authors that I like to read and download their ebooks. I am one of those people who judges a book by its cover, so if it's eye-catching and looks like a genre I read, then I'm in.
What is your writing process?
I work away from home and use the down time between my shifts to write. If I have an idea I like to get it written down fairly soon. I don't plot things out too much in the first draft, I just write from start to finish and then make changes in the rewrite and editing. By about the third draft I start looking for readers to give me their opinion and maybe look at a manuscript assessment for that final professional polish.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first novel for adults I ever read was In The Dark of The Sun, by Wilbur Smith. I was maybe 14 at the time, and I had seen the movie The Mercenaries, which was the movie of the book. When the credits rolled at the end they mentioned the book and I remembered seeing it in my dad's bookcase, so I picked it up and read it. I was hooked from that moment on.
How do you approach cover design?
I let the professionals do it. The boys at Ebook Launch did a fantastic job on the cover for Mekong Dawn.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favourite author is Wilbur Smith and I like all his books, however, my most favourite book is Shane by Jack Schaefer. There is something in that old western that really appeals to the romantic in me.
What do you read for pleasure?
I like to read Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Bryce Courtenay and Wilbur Smith of course.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad. It's with me most of the time.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'll let you know when I know the answer to that myself.
Describe your desk
It has two feet at the far end that turn into shins, knees and a lap. The latter is where I place my laptop. During the editing phases of writing there's usually a McQuarrie Dictionary somewhere in reach.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Esperance, Western Australia. There was no tv when we first moved there, so I did a lot of reading at night and outdoorsy stuff during the day. I guess my writing revolves around outdoor action.
Published 2016-08-31.
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