W,C Leger

Biography

William Leger grew up in New England. His father was in the Navy so he traveled a lot but finally settled in Maine. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served two years in Viet Nam, as a combat engineer.
Upon leaving the Army, he worked several jobs and was married before becoming a professional firefighter. Attending classes nights at the University of Maine, he got a Bachelor's degree in History in 1979.
After graduation, he worked two more years in Maine before leaving the fire department and moving to the mid-west. There, he went to work for the government and apprenticed, as a machinist, getting his journeyman card in 1987.
Bill later became a Quality Assurance Specialist, which took him back to New England for several years. He then returned to the mid-west ten years later and retired in 2012.
Throughout; history has been his passion. As his history professor emphasized: “History is the story of the lives of people and not just a study of names, places, and dates.”
The author is therefore interested in putting history back into a human perspective because that is what it was really about.
Since the late “middle ages”; that time just before the Italian Renaissance was so important even to modern events: that is what the author has concentrated his studies on.
One last disclaimer: Characters in his novels occasionally use derogatory dialogue regarding issues of religious beliefs because that was, as natural for various factions at that time, as it is now. Please do not mistake or construe any of the character’s statements or comments, as reflective of the author’s personal opinions or as an attempt to exalt or vilify any particular faith.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
While in college, I was assigned a book on the fall of Constantinople: present-day Istanbul. That and subsequent things that I read about that siege were incredible; like the story of the Alamo on steroids.

The Turkish Sultan surrounded and besieged the city with over a hundred thousand soldiers and a relatively enormous navy. His artillery train included several enormous guns that could propel stone cannon balls a yard in diameter a mile which shattered the city walls. His navy not only isolated the defenders but engaged them several times trying to gain entrance into the Golden Horn (the city’s harbor) which was protected by a huge floating chain.

For 53 days the 8000 defenders staved off repeated attacks on their five miles of walls and harbor, located and destroyed each of the tunnels they dug beneath the walls and even destroyed a siege tower! Only treachery was able to gain them entrance into the city and even then they might have been forced back had their commander not been mortally wounded and taken from the walls which caused the famished and weakened defenders to lose heart and panic.
I found the story so fascinating that I could only imagine what it might have been like to be one of the defenders. I wanted to not only put faces and names on those who so bravely fought for their freedom but explore what happened to those who were captured.
So I created a fictional character, Giacomo Sforza an idealistic young man from a small village five days ride from the city of Venice. That of course, required a biography of sorts which is covered in the first book. Book Two, All that was before takes him and his love interest through the siege and the third explores what happens to each of them after
When did you first start writing?
As a Quality Assurance Rep, I did a lot of writing but it was mostly bland reports. My first attempt at novel writing was on the first book which I began in June 2000 and finished in Feb 2001. The story was generally good although I eventually rewrote much of it several times because it not only didn't tell the story I originally wanted but was too severe. I immediately began books two and three and finished them all in 2004.

My editing left much to be desired so when I tried to market it, I failed and well I should on two counts. Like most newbs I didn't understand how to write subtle nuance so my villain who is frankly diabolical was much too scary and in either case, the story was not about him. It took a while before how I learned to say something without being too graphic.

Formatting and punctuation was poor as well and it took me some time and research to understand how to tell a story that didn't sound like a report. Dialogue and scene development took a lot of practice too. After failing miserably both because my work stunk and because everyone seemed to want stories about women or LGBT plots I put it all aside for four years.

I rewrote the first chapters of bk 1 to emphasize the real protagonist and soften some of the graphic scenes but other events caused me to put it all aside.

I retired in 2012 and sure to form the wife was diagnosed with cancer 8 months later. In 013 I went back to rewriting and editing to try to maintain my own sanity but the stress had obvious effects on my ability and it wasn't until several months after my wife passed (7/16) that I was able to calm down enough to do what I hope is a decent job at telling the stories (once again to keep it together).

Since then I've spent as much as ten hours daily rewriting where necessary and editing. I actually got a great assist from a poor review of the first book which helped me see things that needed correction and helped in further editing.

Now I am busy trying to learn how to market and promote the books. Quite a learning curve there.
Read more of this interview.

Books

All That Was Before
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 238,540. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Medieval
Giacomo and his wife have come to Constantinople to open a trading office for his mentor. Once the greatest City in the western world, it is now a shadow of its former self and there are dark clouds on the horizon that threaten to bring war and doom. When they volunteer to help defend the city, they are drawn into the subsequent maelstrom and fate shall determine their destiny.

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