Please say Hello to returning author WILLIAM WALTON

In Uncategorized on October 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

ET: Please say hello to returning author WILLIAM WALTON! He brings us a true parable to An Honest Lie Vol. 4: Petulant Parables, in the form of “Genesis 22”. He is also the winner of Open Heart Publishing’s book contest for AHL Vol 2. Can you tell us a little about your publications?

WW: I have published an article in Angels on Earth and short stories in Open Heart Publishing’s An Honest Lie, Vol. 2, An Honest Lie, Vol. 3, and now An Honest Lie, Vol. 4. I am very excited about an upcoming book of my short stories to be published by Open Heart tentatively titled Madmen and Fellow Travelers. I am currently working on a collection entitled Killing Time: Essays on the Life Cycle, Aging, and Death and a rather frivolous collection of pieces of six words or less which I call By The Short Hairs.

ET: Very nice. Your short story in An Honest Lie Vol 4: Petulant Parables, is titled “Genesis 22”. Do you normally discuss religion and politics in your writings?

WW: I generally avoid religion and politics in my stories, mainly because they tend to be divisive issues, and I am trying to get my readers to go on a shared journey with me. That said, my story for An Honest Lie, Vol. 4: Petulant Parables is based on an old testament biblical parable which I personally find very disturbing. I felt the need to address my reaction to this bothersome (to me) parable in a story. That’s the exception that proves the rule though, and I prefer to address religion and politics, if I have to at all, in essay form. I recognize, however, that political and religious conflict have been the basis of many great books, and given the significant role they play in our culture, they influence our work whether we recognize it or not.

ET: I could not agree more. As writers, you need to remember that when you write divisively, you lose half your readers. How about your viewpoint, in general? Do you think it is important that you make the reader see your viewpoint, or make the reader see theirs?

WW: I don’t want to make my readers do anything, but I don’t see how I can write a story without at least inviting, or even encouraging, them to see my point of view. I hope that my viewpoint helps them put theirs in a broader prospective, that understanding mine can be a starting point for looking at theirs from different angles. Whether their viewpoints are confirmed, changed, or refuted entirely is up to them. Sometimes I wish I could know their thoughts so I could make the same choices with respect to my own point of view.

ET: Alright, enough seriousness. Having read your stories, and looking forward to your upcoming personal anthology, I know your writing can be cheeky and fun. How about an example for our readers, in the form of a flash fiction. You are in the grocery store parking lot when you see a hundred dollar bill on the ground. As you lean over to pick it up…

WW: …I felt a hand on my butt. Startled, I looked up at an attractive lady smiling at me.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said, blushing. “I thought you were my pool boy.”

“I’d like to be,” I said, although she was quite a bit younger than me.

“Would you mind giving me back my hundred dollar bill?”

“Of course,” I said, passing it to her.

“Okay,” she said, handing me a five in exchange. “We have a deal.”

ET: There’s some of that unique, fun voice we’re used to. How about another fun question. Describe the last time you were pulled over by a police officer.

WW: “How can I help you officer?” I asked.

“You were driving twelve miles over the limit, sir.”

“Yeah? So were you.”

“Hey, you are not helping yourself with remarks like that, sir.”

“That’s okay. I’m pretty much beyond help anyway.”

“Do you always have such a smart mouth?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so.”

“You know, so do I when I’m off-duty. Have a good day, sir.”

ET: Cheeky. Now that the readers see you can be both serious and funny, let’s get back to the topic of writing. How does your family support your writing habit? And what about your writing area?

WW: My immediate family consists of my dog, a boxer named Cyrus (the Virus). He supports everything I do. If I ever get to thinking that I am really in charge, he simply asks me “who picks up whose poop?” But he is a great comfort, which helps with everything, including my writing. One can learn a lot from a dog.

My writing area is quiet, secluded, and often in disarray. It is a very comfortable place to be. I call it my Chapel of Chimes because I have five antique clocks with beautiful chimes in it and in the next room. Although I set them frequently, being old mechanical, mostly pendulum, clocks, they don’t keep perfect time. Soon they are slightly out of sync and chime in a sequence. When the first one chimes the hour, I stop everything and listen until they are all done. These simple chimes have sensitized me to all the unnoticed, unappreciated forms of beauty that surround us. It has me more attentive to beauty in all its forms. It makes me try harder to achieve it in my writing. One can learn a lot from a clock.

ET: Sounds like the perfect place to indulge in ritualistic creativity. How did you find out about Open Heart Publishing?

WW: A (then) fellow member of one of my writers’ groups, Bob Clark, published a story in An Honest Lie, Vol. 1. Since Bob’s stories are kind of quirky, as are mine, I thought, “if he can do it, maybe I can too.” In other words, I had reason to believe that my stories might be a good fit for Open Heart Publishing’s An Honest Lie anthologies. I guess I was right since I have had stories accepted for the last three volumes. For that I am truly grateful.

ET: Do you have a blog we can follow?

WW: I have a blog, that is focused primarily on my writing.

ET: Good deal! We’ll finish with a haiku. Take us home, William.

WW: A Texas Yalie
Savors Courvoiser, chugs beer
Bad boy with manners


Grounded voyager
Sailing seas within his mind
Read right returning

(Note: I think I like the first one better)

ET: I sort of like the second one better. Grounded voyager, sailing seas within his mind. Love that! Anyway, thank you, William, for indulging me in the interview, and for being such a good sport. I look forward to seeing “Genesis 22” in An Honest Lie Vol. 4: Petulant Parables, coming soon.

William Walton Bio:
William Walton was raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country. His rougher edges were later honed at Yale, where he graduated with a B.A. in Latin American Studies. He earned an M.S. degree in Sociology from Trinity University, and then taught for a year at The University of the Americas in Mexico. From there he moved to Buffalo, N.Y. where he spent over a decade creating, developing, and reforming programs for troubled adolescents. Finally, he moved back to his native Texas where, today, he makes his living managing agricultural properties. His avocations have included sailing, scuba diving, and working with abandoned animals, both as a volunteer and a member of the Board of Directors of the Gulf Coast Humane Society. William’s passion, until he was forced to give it up, was voyaging under sail. He has crossed the Gulf of Mexico many times, and the Atlantic Ocean once, in a small sailing vessel. When that was no longer possible for him, he rekindled an old love, writing stories. That continues to be his passion to this day. William’s article “Stray to the Rescue” was published in the May/June 2008 issue of Angels on Earth. His stories “Ozzie the Clown” and “Mike, from the Mail Room” were published in Open Heart’s An Honest Lie, Volumes. 2 and 3, respectively. Also, his story, “Genesis 22” will appear in An Honest Lie, Volume 4: Petulant Parables. William has also secured a contract for the publication of a collection of his short stories, Madmen and Fellow Travelers through Open Heart Publishing, scheduled for release this fall. Other writing projects include a collection of essays titled Killing Time about the life cycle, aging, and death.

– Eric

Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novel Out of the Great Black Nothing. He is currently represented by Debrin Case at Open Heart Publishing. See more of Eric’s work here: Publications

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