Author Spotlight: William R. Humble

  • a transporter of the adventurous into speculative fiction realms

Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!

William R. Humble is a transporter of the adventurous into speculative fiction realms with dual focuses on sci-fi and fantasy. So far, all people thus transported have returned safe and sound. Except Bob. We don’t talk about Bob.

William R. Humble is a native Texan who’s been writing for longer than he feels comfortable admitting. Though he’s dabbled in other literary areas, his love of speculative fiction keeps drawing him back.

Wanting to help others achieve their literary dreams, William joined the board of directors for W.O.R.D.—Writers Organizations ‘Round Dallas. There, with the help of other like-minded folks, he strives to help other writers find their teams, and to make the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex a nationally and internationally renowned center for the writing arts.

William is also one of the three founders of Writers in the Field. Bringing in experts from all over the country to share their expertise, this unique annual event features as many “hands-on” experiences as possible.

William, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

Any pet? Ooh, wow. Well, a dragon would be hard to beat. Once trained, they can become great grill chefs. Then there’s those flying and gold-collection things. Yeah, dragons are numero uno on my pet scale… as long as they don’t chew (or burn) though my speaker cables like my cats did.

There’s a reason dragons are a classic choice. But as a grill master? What an awesome reason. I’ve literally been spraying my cat with water in the face less than an hour ago to thwart his cable chewing propensity, so I understand that concern.

What do you write? And how did you get started?

While I tend to enjoy any well-written book, I really loves me a good sci-fi or fantasy adventure that drags me to another world and won’t let go until I reach the last page. Pulse-pounding excitement combined with a story I have to clue as to where it’s going?

Sign me up!

I actually started writing way back during my college days. Yeah, I was horrible. But, I persisted and eventually wrote half of eight or nine short stories. You see, I suffered greatly from Sparkly Idea syndrome, which led me to abandon story after story in favor of the newer, more shiny idea of the week. Then one day I determined I was gonna finish a story even if it killed me.

And I did.

Write the story, that is. While it was close, I did not in fact die.

Instead, then and there I decided that if I could finish a short story, I could finish a novel. Fortunately, that didn’t kill me either. Then I realized those works were deeply flawed. So I wrote other books. Those books were pretty darn good {insert false modesty qualifier here}. Eventually, those books were so good they demanded to be published. Now, I’m really looking forward to the day I have enough time (and patience) to go back and rehab those first books into publishability.

Ah, a familiar process. So glad you made it to the publish part and found the patience for the rehab.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Write what you know

That whole thing seems pretty questionable to me. On the one hand, it’s good to know about what you’re writing so that your readers won’t throw your book across the room because you got something wrong, but I’m really hoping that those who write murder mysteries aren’t basing their books off real-life experience.

Also, my transportation services notwithstanding, it’s kinda hard to know “true” details of magic or starship engineering. That said, it’s always good to know the hows and whys of spellcrafting and ensuring that no matter what the time frame, your ships have toilets and other life support related goodies.

So true! Speculative fiction writers get to explore the unknown, but we’re usually taking humanity with us. And humanity tends to have some things in common with you and me.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Make your characters relatable.

Ooh, writing advice I’ll hold onto ’til the grave (and maybe beyond). There’s so much good advice out there that it’s hard to cling to just one of them.

Hmm…. I think I’ll go with: make your characters interesting, relatable (to some degree), and flawed. The best
way to make your characters interesting, is for them to do interesting stuff. When they do interesting stuff, you’ve got a story. To make them relatable, you’ve gotta give them emotions and reasons for those emotions, which give characters depth. When you make the characters flawed, you can use that to complicate the interesting thing(s) they’re doing while giving them (and your story) greater depth.

So true! I was talking the other day about the joy of giving a character virtues that — in the wrong setting — are flaws. That detailed-oriented type-A person can make everything work, but has trouble when the unexpected pops up. The go-with the flow can roll with the punches, but can’t be on time to save her life. Oooops!


Shameless Self-Promotion time!

The Barrington Job

Charming debutante by day, elite computer slicer by night, Charity Devalas is out to make amends by shutting down a global gun-running cartel. But just as she’s on the verge of succeeding and maybe ending her nightmares, disaster strikes.

Forced to flee with the mysterious mercenary Spectre, Charity must brave the darkness of the Barrington Free Zone, one of the world’s worst megacities. Pursued by mercs, slicers, and bounty hunters of all stripes, it will take everything they have just to survive.

Before the clock reaches zero, Charity will have to do what she’s never done – and become what she swore she’d never be.

Anders Cohagen: The Cure

On the outer colony world of Adarra, fourteen-year-old Anders discovers he’s a budding mechanical genius. Unfortunately, he’s dying of Bevalins Syndrome, a horrible affliction of the lungs. Eisa, one of his classmates, recruits him to help her uncle Haskel—a man desperate to repair his starship, the Coriolis Rose. Time is a luxury none of them can afford because the hated Confederates have a super-weapon operating near Adarra.

Problem is, Haskel is wanted for desertion. Worse, he’s in possession of illegal Confederate technology. This could get them and their families executed.

But, the tech might be able to cure Anders.

When Haskel suddenly goes missing, Anders’s and Eisa’s mothers set out to find him. Anders and Eisa secretly gather a small team to follow and help. When they all run afoul of a notorious gang, everyone gets more than they bargained for.

If Anders is not bold or clever enough, he might not get the chance to die from his Bevalins or the Confederate super-weapon.

Human

Surrounded by lies, Ethan Shaw, high school senior, doesn’t fit in. Not in school. Not in his hometown. And don’t even mention his non-existent love life. The last girl he asked out barfed on his shoes, checked out of school, and moved to coastal Mongolia.

But things aren’t all bad. Though he hides it, he’s super strong and has amazing hearing. Better still, he’s got a few friends and family who are fantastic.

As the lies that form the basic framework of Ethan’s world unravel, he’ll need all the friends he can get. Because, there’s a reason Ethan’s never quite fit in. He’s unique.

So unique most of the galaxy wants him dead.


Check William R. Humble out across the web!

Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Website

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