Instead of my usual book review and author questions, I’m presenting author William Weldy and his fascinating post about how his novel, (soon-to-be a bestseller) OUTLAWS, came to be. OUTLAWS is released TODAY! Yay! CONGRATULATIONS Bill!
I was a part of the IWW group that critiqued OUTLAWS. Even then, it shined as a book you’d pull off the bestseller shelf in a bookstore. I’m keeping my words short to give him more blog time. So my review is this: TRUST ME! Get this book! You will love it! OUTLAWS has it all: Solid plot, action, well-developed strong characters, romance, bad guys vs. good guys, rich descriptive settings. An extremely well written, “clean book” that grabs you and doesn’t let you go until the last page. I’m so impressed with Bill’s talent and with OUTLAWS.
Take it away Bill:
The really strange thing about writing is that we all try to pay attention to people and places around us to use in our character development and setting. Seldom is a novel based entirely on setting. Many times, however, when we’re least paying attention, things stick in our heads. In my case I was traveling out west with my family one summer years ago and pulled over to the berm early one morning in southern Idaho as everyone else slept. I gazed down on a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. An emerald green lake lay at the base of the valley.
For years after that I fantasized about that spot and every night I developed a habit of mentally building a log cabin in that valley as a method to fall asleep. I always drifted off before the cabin was built. Along the way I included thoughts of what it would be like to live as our forefathers did and the Amish do today. After many, many years of visiting this place in my mind I decided to write about it.
I soon discovered that I would need a plot and characters to develop it into a novel. So I wondered what would make a man want to live as a semi-recluse in the mountains and what could possibly happen to him that would make readers want to read his story. The worse thing I could imagine happening to a man would be to lose his family in a drug related shooting in a shopping mall in Detroit. My main character, Josh did and just gave up on civilization after that.
Then I had to come up with an antagonist. Having dealt with the Outlaw motorcycle gang in my previous life, I knew they would be perfect bad guys. Since I didn’t want the protagonist to have to talk to his dog through the entire novel, I came up with a romance interest in the daughter of the general store owner who is murdered by the gang. When Josh finds his friend murdered and his daughter about to be raped by the Outlaws, he has to intervene. From then on it’s a matter of survival and the remaining Outlaws try to hunt them down and kill them.
I wrote the novel in a couple of months then edited it a few times. Having received enough rejection letters from publishers to paper my house for earlier novels, I knew better than to ship it off. I found the Internet Writers Workshop on the web and decided to join and see what others thought of my latest work. Smartest thing I ever did. Several other authors and would-be authors on the site criticized my work with a poison pen. They helped me tighten it. They found plot holes. They corrected my punctuation. They expanded my vocabulary. They eliminated filters in my prose. They offered suggestions as to how to make it better. After going through the mill with every chapter of the novel, what was once 80,000 words was pared down to 67000 and much tighter.
Before self-publishing I decided to try submitting it to a few e-book publishers. To my astonishment one of the first I subbed it to, asked for the entire manuscript and shortly thereafter offered me a contract to publish. It will be released on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobel, and Musa Publishing today. It will be released as an e-book only at this time.
I am certain had it not been for the helpful critters at IWW, the novel would have joined the stagnant stack of manuscripts crowding my file drawers.
Ex-cop Josh Grant thought he left danger behind, but the Outlaws have other plans for his peaceful life.
Josh chooses to live as a recluse in the mountains of Idaho as penance for failing to protect his murdered wife and child in Detroit. His new serenity is shattered when he stumbles onto the murder of his only friend and an assault of his friend’s daughter, Jolene. By saving Jolene, Josh angers the Outlaws, a gang of vicious bikers. When they seek revenge, Josh must draw on old skills to keep he and Jolene alive.
William Weldy is a retired police lieutenant from a large Ohio city. He grew up in small town USA and still lives there with his wife, Pam and dog, Abby. Frequently pestered by a horde of grandkids who try to interfere with his writing.