1: Thank you so much for being here, William. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
2: What inspired you to write?
My friends have always been my main inspiration. They’re also my main source of encouragement. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have finished the story and thought it was good enough to submit to Dreamspinner.
Hannah Rose was the main person responsible for getting me to finish Broken Bones, Mended Hearts. She was always there with whatever I needed - whether it was a few words of encouragement or a couple pokes with a cattle prod.
My beta reader, Kamerra, was amazing as well. Not only did she give me ideas and tips and find my mistakes, but she gave me just enough compliments to keep me from hitting my head against the keyboard. No matter how many times she yelled at me for formatting errors, there were always comments about parts that made her laugh or cry.
Without both of them, I probably would have buried the story on my hard drive under password protection and never let it see the light of day. But because they never let me quit, now it’s my first published piece.
3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
I love being able to create a character and live their lives with them. It’s relaxing and it’s entertaining. I’ve often read a book or seen a movie where I wish the characters had done something different or it had gone into detail on another aspect – with writing, I control the story and I can explore any aspects that I want.
I hate the submission process. It takes me longer to write my summary and query than it does to write the first draft of my stories. But the worst part is the waiting. Some publishers take up to four months to respond. That’s four months of agonizing over whether or not I’ll be accepted.
4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
I like going to the beach with my friends. One of my close friends has Shiba Inu dogs, and I have a blast playing with them all the time. I’m also always reading something. I got a Kindle 2 last year, and I’ve always got it packed with books for me to read.
5: Which authors do you like to read?
There are so many authors I like to read! I’m absolutely in love with Tamora Pierce’s books – I’ve read all of her books multiple times. Her worlds and characters are amazing and I’m always impressed.
I also enjoy reading Carol Lynne and J.M. Snyder’s books. They’ve both heavily influenced my own work. (And if you read through some of my works-in-progress and abandoned stories, you can pretty much tell which one of their books I had just gotten done reading.)
6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
I am one of the few writers in the M/M romance genre that is actually male! The majority of M/M authors are female (even the ones with male names) so it’s nice being a little bit different from everyone else.
7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
My current, and first, story is called Broken Bones, Mended Hearts. It’s a short story about two friends who explore their relationship beyond friendship.
You can read more about the story on my site: http://williamacooper.com/?page_id=22
8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Get off your butt and write. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time I spent reading writing tips and asking for advice from authors that I love. But the best piece of advice I ever got, was to sit down and write. You can improve your writing and edit the book later, but if you never write it, all that studying won’t do squat.
9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
In a way, yes. I don’t have any characters where I can flat out say “Yeah, that’s so and so” but a lot of the aspects of my characters come from people I know. Sometimes I’ll borrow their physical traits, other times I’ll borrow a personality trait or a quirk. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a name or a nickname.
10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?
My ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes they’ll come from a dream, something I saw that day or even a brief scene in a TV show. Ideas are everywhere, and that’s one of the problems of being a writer – too many ideas and not enough time!
Broken Bones, Mended Hearts was partly inspired by my own best friend. We’ve been friends for years now, like my main characters, and I know no matter what, he’s always there for me. Just like Mark helps Noah through tough times, my own best friend has helped me get through plenty of my own tough times.
11: What are you currently working on?
I’m actually working on two projects right now. The first is a twincest story that’s been bouncing around in my head. I noticed that there was a lack of twincest stories and a fairly decent readership, so I decided to try and change that.
I’m also working on a western piece that I’m hoping to submit for one of Total-e-Bound’s anthologies. It’s about a young man who goes home to his childhood home in Texas to help his brother. While there, he falls for one of the ranch hands that his brother had hired.
12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
If you keep an eye on my website, you might see some free short pieces posted on there. I write a lot of flash fiction to relax and I might post a couple of them.
“’Bout time you woke up,” I heard a familiar voice say.
“Mark?” I asked as I opened my eyes and blinked away the blurriness. I turned my head slightly and saw him sitting in a chair across the room. “Where am I?”
“You’re in the hospital,” my best friend told me. He stood up and stretched before walking to stand over me.
I blinked again. Why am I in the hospital? I looked up at Mark, his blond hair was a mess—like usual—and his dark blue eyes were full of concern.
I tried to speak again, but my mouth was too dry. “Water?” I croaked out.
Mark grabbed a cup of water from the tray next to my bed and carefully put it to my lips. I swallowed a mouthful. “Thanks.”
Mark nodded and set the cup back down. “Anything else?”
I hadn’t seen Mark this concerned about me since I fell off the trampoline and broke my arm when I was nine. “Why am I in the hospital?” I asked him. I immediately felt bad when I saw the concern on his face get worse. I hated making Mark worry.
“You don’t remember?” Mark shook his head. “A bunch of guys cornered you and whopped your ass the other day when you left the library. Someone saw and called campus security. You took quite a beating, you know; you scared the crap out of Hannah and me.”
I clenched my fists under the blanket. Oh yeah. Now I remember. “How long have I been out?” I asked.
He glared at me. “About three days. They brought you in Thursday night, and it’s Monday morning now.”
“Oh.” I managed to get my head up and look down at my body, taking inventory of my injuries. Both of my legs were in casts and so was my left arm, which explained why they felt so heavy. My right arm was covered in cuts, and it felt like my ribs were bandaged as well.
“Oh? Is that all you have to say?” Mark rolled his eyes. “Come on, Noah, you gotta give me more than that. Why did those guys come after you?” He folded his arms across his chest and narrowed his eyes.
“I don’t know,” I lied. I knew perfectly well why those guys had ambushed me outside the library. That didn’t mean I wanted to talk about it.
Mark crossed his arms in front of his chest and glared at me some more. “Dude, don’t give me that shit. We’ve been best friends since kindergarten; I thought we could tell each other everything.” When I didn’t say anything, Mark sighed. “Whatever. Oh, before I forget, I called your dad and sister to let them know what happened. They’re all worried as shit about you. Hannah’s gonna come out here to see you, so you better have some kind of answers for her when she gets here tomorrow morning.”
“Ugh,” I groaned. “Did you really have to call Hannah? She’s going to hound me for weeks about this and insist on mothering me until I heal.” Hannah was my older sister. When our mother died giving birth to me, Hannah took over the role as the mother in the family. Hannah was six years old when I was born, and she hasn’t stopped mothering me since.
I could see the smirk appearing on Mark’s face. “See what happens when you won’t tell me things? Now, if you tell me what happened, I may be able to get her to back off a little. If not….” Mark shrugged. “I may just decide to take a trip back home and see my own family for a couple days.”
“Dude, you’re freaking evil,” I said, closing my eyes. “Why are we friends again?”
Mark started laughing. “Because you’d do the same damn thing to me if you were in my shoes right now.” I could hear him pulling up a chair. “Now, are you going to tell me what the hell you’re keeping from me?”
“You won’t like it,” I warned him. Ever since we’d met, Mark was always standing up for me. I thought back to when we were eight. A sixth-grader had tried to bully me and steal my lunch money at recess. When Mark saw, he came over, hit the kid in the nuts, and then beat the crap out of him. I tried to fight back a grin as I recalled the incident.
Mark crossed his arms in front of himself again. “I’ll deal with it, now spill,” he said, jaw clenching.