Interview with Bill Babcock

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm retired from the advertising business, but I'm remarkably busy. I don't know how I had time for a job. I live in two prime watersport locations--on purpose--I surf, do Stand Up Paddle downwinding and racing, windsurf a little, paddle outrigger canoes (OC1 and OC6) race vintage cars, restore cars and motorcycles, tinker with electronics, build weird gadgets like my high-speed electric recumbent trike, and apparently now I write books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. I'm sure it was very forgettable. Despite the fact that I built my advertising agency as the head writer, I don't think I knew how to write until I wrote Riding Sophia, and then went through the editing ad rewrite process. I was fortunate enough to find a fine editor who taught me a great deal.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I've read Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series of books at least five times. I could pick any five of those. I also like Bernard Cornwall's books so I could pick any five of those--but the Archer's Tale particularly resonates. I read Richard Feynman's Lectures in Physics every few years and I'm pained to say that none of it seems to stick. That's a love-hate relationship. As someone once said "Feynman lectures are like Chinese Food--you think you've got what he's saying, but half an hour later you're dumb again."

I've also read everything Winston Churchill wrote, so I could pick a few out of that pile.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I really remember is "The Man Who Sold The Moon". It hooked me on science fiction for life.
Describe your desk
Messy. I have ADD, big time. I'm one of those people who change completely when they take a Concerta. So I don't. That means I skip from thing to thing like a puppy exploring a backyard--only with less focus. I use a stand-up desk but I cheat with a stool. I'm standing now, but only because I reminded myself.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly browsing and looking at what my favorite authors are doing. I like Sci-Fi, waiting for George R. R. Martin to publish something new, historical fiction, physics and cosmology, and technology how-to stuff. Lately I've been reading up on 3D printing and eBook publishing.
What is your writing process?
I take a structured approach. I outline a plot and then lay the book out as a three-act play. That might seem mechanical, but I have no idea where the story is going as I write--I simply know what elements must be in each section. I think it makes a much more readable book. More experienced authors might do that automatically, but for an ADD poster boy like me, a set a 3X5 cards is a godsend.
How do you approach cover design?
For Riding Sophia I contracted with a freelancer on eLance to do an illustration of Sophia--a 1958 BSA A10 with some very specific accessories. The illustrator did a wonderful job, and I used that as the basis for the cover, which was selected from five different designs that I bought on Fiverr.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad. I sure like the looks of the Kindle paperwhite though. Backlit e-ink. Hmmm.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Boston. Too many ways to characterize. It's a great city. I've never lived there as an adult, and it pulls me.
Published 2014-05-01.
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Books by This Author

Riding Sophia
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 130,250. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Riding Sophia is a coming of age story about a geeky guy who builds a motorcycle as a way to escape the narrow confines of his life.More than just a travel adventure, it's a story of how the world changed dramatically in the 1960's. It's about teen angst, encountering dangerous characters, first love, first sex, first heartbreak, and the freedom of independent travel.