Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Chat with William Graham

1.When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

One of my clearest memories of childhood is teaching myself to type when I was around seven, using my mother’s manual Royal typewriter.

  1. How long have you been writing?

Ever since!  I had some luck in the early 1980’s, tried to make things progress.  I got very very close selling a television series I created, and when that didn’t work out I stopped writing for years.  I’ve been back at it since 2001 or so.

  1. What drew you to the subject of SOMETIMES THERE REALLY ARE MONSTERS UNDER THE BED?

Since 2002, I have been the owner and lead investigator for a licensed firm specializing in computer forensics, and have had the opportunity to work with both State and Federal law enforcement. 

  1. Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it?

Sadly, no, I did not.  While a lot of the technical things in the story are glossed over for the sake of brevity, MONSTERS is solidly based on professional fact and experience.

  1. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?

(laughing)  If memory serves, it was titled THE CASTLE EXECUTIONER, about a haunted castle.  I think I was 13 or so and no, I never tried to get it published.  Around that age, I DID try and sell a short story to “Playboy”; they published John D. MacDonald, they published Ed McBain, they published Ian Fleming…. I really DID read it for the articles!  In retrospect, all I can say is something about the exuberance and confidence of Youth…J

  1. How many rejections have you received?

I’m not certain, I don’t believe today’s computers are capable of producing that number…J

  1. What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

Keep it your story.  Always remember, this is YOUR story.

  1. What was the worst? Did you know it at the time?

A producer in Hollywood told me once he was going to try and make this happen without screwing me too badly.  If it worked out, terrific, if not, well, God bless and maybe next time.

  1. Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?

I surrendered gracefully and embraced the eBook revolution.  International Thriller Writers accepted my story SPIDER’S TANGO for inclusion in the newest THRILLER 3, due next summer, and that re-ignited the flame for some earlier efforts.

  1. If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

What did you NOT like?  No one is without flaws, and I’m always curious as to what a reader DIDN’T like about my works.  Maybe I can avoid it next time, maybe not, but I am curious.

  1. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know?

I collect DVD versions of 1960’s British detective series; THE SAINT, THE BARON, THE PROTECTORS, etc.  Back when a hero was a hero, and that was that.

  1. If you have a day job, what is it?

As mentioned above, I am a licensed computer forensic investigator.  Most of the time, I enjoy my work, but I have learned the hard way the truth of the adage, “Once you see something, you can’t UN-see it.”

  1. Describe your book.

I have two currently available; the aforementioned MONSTERS, and a police thriller titled STREET HEAT, very much in the ‘Lethal Weapon’ style of police work.

  1. What’s your writing schedule?

Depending on workload, I seem to be at my best first thing in the morning.  I’ll just let the keyboard do what it does, then go back and clean things up in the afternoon.

  1. What’s your favorite quote?

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.

T. E. Lawrence
(Lawrence of Arabia)

  1. What three things would you want with you on a desert island?

The Complete Sherlock Holmes in book form, the James Bond movie series on DVD, and my iPod with an assortment of music.

  1. What is your favorite word?


  1. What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go?

London.  That city has always had a siren’s call to me for no reason I can explain.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about your book?

One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from a reader who read MONSTERS, and said I’d handled ‘a terrifying subject with restraint and grace’.  That one I value.

  1. What do you do when you are not writing?

I read.  Obsessively.  Compulsively.  When I gave in and got an iPad, it stuns me to carry an entire library around.

  1. Who is your greatest cheerleader?

If I have to pick one, it would be my lovely wife.  I’m lucky enough to have a circle of friends who are also writers, and we back each other up all the time.

  1. What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?

I’d love to be competent with wood-working.  My father did it as a hobby, and he was remarkable with what he could build.  Give me a picture, a nail, and a hammer, and someone needs to be around to dial 9-1-1.

  1. What was your favorite scene to write?

The last line of actual dialogue in MONSTERS is something I’m proud of.  I don’t mean to tease but, taken in the context of the story, all I can hope for is the reader has the same reaction to it I did.

Author Bio:

William Simon publishes under the pseudonym ‘Will Graham’.  His two novels, STREET HEAT and SOMETIMES, THERE REALLY ARE MONSTERS UNDER THE BED are available for both Kindle and Nook.  His website is:

Book Blurb:

STREET HEAT:  A former detective in San Francisco confronts the serial killer who got away.... and the woman who broke his heart.  (Kindle, Nook)

MONSTERS:  An investigator and his heiress partner find not all monsters are make believe on that most special of days, Christmas Morning.  (Kindle, Nook)


Raymond Benson said...

All great stuff, William. I wish you all the possible success in the world.

Melissa said...

Wonderful interview! I loved "Street Heat." It kept me guessing right up till the end. :)

Can't wait to start Monsters Under the Bed! It's fun to hear bits and pieces along the way, but also makes it hard to wait for the book to come out! LOL The last line of actual dialogue in this book is Priceless!!

Anonymous said...

Great interview...I read Street Heat and loved it...I'll be starting Monsters soon!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview! Super questions, Chris. I learned something new about you, Will. ;-)


Unknown said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments, and extra special thanks to Chris for having me here today!

Anonymous said...

I've read a lot of your pages and I can't say that I didn't enjoy each and everyone of them. Mixed Marriages was fun and dangerous, Street Heat was thrilling, and the new novel is shaping up to be killer...pun intended! Thanks for being a great writer who's willing to share their knowledge and expertise.