Interview with William Presley

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I actually do. I was eleven or twelve at the time and it was called Franken Weenie. The book was about seventy pages, and it followed a frankfurter-type monster on a series of adventures.
What is your writing process?
I don't go in knowing the plot fully, I just sit down with a good idea, letting it develop naturally as I write. This means a lot of revisions as I come up with new segments, but I'm usually more satisfied with the end product than I would be if I had everything rigidly planned out.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I ever read, but the first story I really remember is A House Called Awful End. That book, along with the other two in the Eddie Dickens trilogy, still influences my writing style today.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm not really good with computers and graphic design. I had an idea, and I put a rough sketch together, but I took it to a professional (Joleene Naylor) for the final product. Covers, to me, should be simple and eye-appealing.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - I'm a Harry Potter fanatic. It's not just the plot I find captivating; the amazing and very detailed world of magic that J.K. Rowling created is a source of never-ending interest to me.
2. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson - I've always been interested in the supernatural, and the Lutz family's story was of great interest to me. The book was hard to put down!
3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - I'm a history buff, big time. On my mom's side, my family has been in the United States since colonial times, and I descend from the Putnam line (through my great-great grandmother Luceba Putnam) largely responsible for the Salem Witch Trials, so I have my eye on Salem in particular. More than that, I loved the overall idea, supernatural elements of the story and the writing style of the Romantic period. Roger Chillingworth was my favorite character.
4. How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter by Ann Coulter - I'm very interested in politics, because I think it's every American's duty to know what's going on in our country. I believe, and I think the Founders would agree, that our country would fall apart if the government were allowed to operate without the watchful oversight of the concerned citizen. I tend to identify as a Libertarian-Republican and am firm on separation of church and state, so I don't always agree with Ann, but her wit, dry sarcasm and logical points always make me want to re-read this book.
5. The Eddie Dickens Trilogy by Philip Ardagh - I've always loved these books. They're the first ones I can remember reading and forever influenced my writing style.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'll read about anything from horror to fantasy to politics. I just got done reading the Hunger Games series and plan to start Statecraft by Margaret Thatcher.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm brand new to the writing field, so I haven't really seen results from anything yet.
Describe your desk
Messy. It's just a heap of papers with subject matter ranging from genealogy to first drafts of my novel.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in small suburb of Detroit, Michigan, but that never really influenced my writing. Most of my stories actually take place in the south, particularly Tennessee, a love of which was instilled in me by my father and grandfather. That's where the roots of my Presley side are, and I plan to return to it permanently some day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
As an amateur genealogist, I spend a lot of time building my family tree (yes, it turns out I am related to Elvis). I also collect antique medical/apothecary items and am an avid player of Minecraft.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing short stories just after a learned to read. I think it was around kindergarten.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I knew I wanted to write a horror novel, but for the longest time I didn't know what I wanted it to be about. Then, I was out fishing one day and the words "A Letter From Hell" popped into my head, and I built up from there. Little by little, bits in pieces started to come together based on influences in my personal life. For instance, I am a huge fan of Celtic Woman, so there is an Irish undertone in the story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It's so hard for previously unpublished authors to find an agent in a niche market like horror, especially with a novella, so I decided to publish it electronically.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's given me a platform to share my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I just like having a medium to pour my thoughts and ideas into. I can create my own characters, my own settings, my own plot... it's like having my own little world.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't have any fans yet, but if I did, it would mean the world to know that someone liked what I wrote enough to pay for it.
What are you working on next?
I'm not sure yet, but I had an idea for a psychological thriller called Blissful Insanity.
Who are your favorite authors?
I like J.K. Rowling, Philip Ardagh, Suzanne Collins and Ann Coulter especially.
Published 2014-03-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Blissful Insanity
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,740. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Courtroom
An English jury is called to hear a murder trial in which everyone involved - even the victim - is neither innocent nor sane. Faceless demons, shifting realities and scandalous secrets all culminate in a slew of deaths. But what really happened? Is the cause supernatural, or is there something more maniacal afoot?
A Letter From Hell
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 34,050. Language: American English. Published: March 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
W. Virgil Hollingsmore has spent years trying to pry his soul from the clutches of Satan, and now that he's cornered, Lucifer has come to collect. In his final days, Virgil is left to face his own, living Hell, filled with demons of his past, fiery images of his presumed future and tortures of the worst kind. Through it all, he must fight with every fiber of his being to escape eternal damnation.