Bill Stephens wrote over 1,000 weekly columns for Harte-Hanks, Murdoch, and Hearst newspapers. His features on wine, food, travel, and outdoor appeared in Wine News, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, Chef, and Field & Stream.
For over 18 years he was the cliché newspaper columnist who had “The Novel” third drawer down in his desk. He finally pulled it out one day, and his debut novel, Horizons Past is the result. This mainstream love story was followed by Vámonos!A Humorous Action Adventrue Novel. The difference in styles made him assume the pseudonym, Lisa Ray, for Horizons Past.
You can follow Bill on his Blog, “Read It and Weep.”
Stephens is a graduate of The University of Texas and studied creative writing at Trinity University, San Antonio. As an avid outdoorsman he has hunted and fished from Alaska to Mexico and has ridden his Harley Davidson Motorcycle coast-to-coast, border-to-border, and more than 12,000 miles in Mexico. He lives in Texas with his wife and her critters.
He soon will release his third novel, Woke Up This Morning, and a collection of short stories.
What inspires you to write?
I like to write about a setting with which I am famliar. I then populate it with characters and discover the conflict in their lives.
Tell us about your writing process.
I use the seat-of-the-pants writing approach. I put my butt in the seat and write. The only “tools” I use are a “Cast of Characters” so I won;t forget anybody, and a “Plot Timeline” so I keep thing chronological.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m ashamed to admit that I ask my characters questions. The plot follows their answers. The problems come when I get no answers.
What advice would you give other writers?
Unless your are already supporting yourself with creative writing, you must know that writing is a hobby. Then be amazed if you ever get any financial compensation or personal recognition.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had an agent and did the traditional publishing merry-go-round until I started getting “exception rejections” — “If you haven’t heard from us in six weeks then we are not interested in your submission.”
I said screw this, and started uploading ebooks and then moved into paperback editions.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think indie ebook authors will replace the “readers” in agent and publishing houses. These traditional gatekeepers will follow the sucessful ebook authors and offer to client them. This is already happening more and more.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Humorous action adventure novels
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print