Official Interview: William H. Coles

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Official Interview: William H. Coles

Post by kandscreeley » 25 Aug 2017, 07:27

Hello there fellow book lovers! It's time again for an interview with an author. This time I had the privilege of speaking with William H. Coles the author of McDowell among other works.

If you wish to view the official review for McDowell, here would be the place to do so: forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php ... mp;t=46700

Without further ado, let's get to the interview!

1. Tell us a little bit about your life outside of your writing. What else do you like to do?

I was a surgeon for 22 years, but I’ve always been interested in the arts. I play jazz piano.

Oh nice. I was a music major.

What instrument do you play?

I sing. I had to take class piano, but I wasn’t good at it.

I do enjoy painting and drawing as well. I like to help others with that but not in a teaching capacity. I also have a website that I run to help other writers with their stories. I do workshops and interviews as well as teaching classes online.

2. Your experience as a surgeon, was that were McDowell came from?

Not really. I was a member of the American Board of Surgery and have seen a lot of doctors. I didn’t want McDowell to be a stereo-typical surgeon. In fact, he could have been any profession. I like my characters to be ones that anyone can identify with. To me characters are so important in a book; the characters have to be relatable. In fact through my website, I encourage aspiring authors to have great characters that stand out.

3. Did you have a specific audience in mind when you wrote it or were you just writing for everyone?

I write for those that enjoy literary fiction. I have always wanted to write something that will be around long after I’m gone. I’ve been influenced by writers such as the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen. I enjoy books that tell you about the period in which they were written; that way of life. That’s what I try to do with my books. I try to write books that have themes about the struggles of life.

I did see that was one of the main themes in McDowell - the struggle and redemption of oneself.

Yes, McDowell comes to a kind of crisis point in his life. He has to figure out how to redeem himself and who he wants to be going forward.

4. Speaking of your website, I see that you run storyinliteraryfiction.com that helps aspiring writers. How did you decide that you wanted to help other writers?


I’ve always been involved in teaching. So even when I went into writing after being a surgeon, I wanted to teach others. Plus, it was selfish on my part. By teaching online I direct other people to my work. It’s a great medium through which to gain an audience. I have even done interviews with authors, and people have come to read my work that way.

Sounds like a win/win all the way around.

It really is.

5. So what’s your best advice for someone who wants to write a novel?

My best advice would be to ask yourself why you are writing the story. If you are doing it just to be published and to have your name in the lights, that’s not a good enough reason. You really have to want to get your story out there. I want my work to be around 200 years after I’m gone. It really has to be something that you are passionate about for you to make it work.

6. So they say there are no bad or stupid questions, would you say there are bad or stupid stories?

I think that’s a matter of opinion. Not everyone is the same. In my opinion, there are definitely stories that are bad. I think a lot of times when someone tries to put their lives into their fictional stories, it makes for a bad book. They try to add their memoir into the fiction, and it just doesn’t work.

7. Do you have an example of a popular story that you don’t necessarily like?

I don’t read as much as I used to. I’m more focused on my writing right now. And as I said, it’s really a matter of opinion. I wouldn’t want to really put myself out there like that. I’m not a critic, and I’d really hate to say.

Okay, I won’t push that then.

I just have a couple of fun questions left.

8. What’s your favorite Holiday?

I’d have to say Christmas.

9. What’s your favorite restaurant?

I think that would have to be French country restaurants.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today!

Links for William H. Coles and McDowell:
His website: https://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/
McDowell on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0141QUHTW/
McDowell on OBC Bookshelves: forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelves/book. ... ?id=189553
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Post by bookowlie » 25 Aug 2017, 21:47

What an interesting interview! Thanks to Kandscreeley for your hard work and to the author for generously giving your time to let all of us get to know you better. Now I want to know more about the book! Off to look at the sample on Amazon.
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Post by CatInTheHat » 25 Aug 2017, 21:52

I think that I'm jealous that you got to interview William H. Coles. I've reviewed two of his books recently (McDowell and Guardian of Deceit). He is most definitely my new favorite author. You are privileged to have had the chance to interview him.
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Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.

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Post by kandscreeley » 26 Aug 2017, 07:00

Thanks bookowlie. I loved how he said characterisation was so important. I completely agree. Good characters can make a book.

-- 26 Aug 2017, 07:01 --

He seemed to be very knowledgeable catinthehat. Thanks for commenting.
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Post by George I Kidwiler Jr » 30 Aug 2017, 15:41

I enjoyed the question about whether a good story makes the book. I struggled with the issue prior to writing my Book. Thanks for allowing me to view insight into another authors perspective.
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Post by Miriam Molina » 01 Sep 2017, 21:07

It is fun knowing the people behind the books. I wonder why Dr. Cole stopped operating. But he does have creative hands!

Thanks, Kandscreely!

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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Sep 2017, 12:49

George I Kidwiler Jr wrote:I enjoyed the question about whether a good story makes the book. I struggled with the issue prior to writing my Book. Thanks for allowing me to view insight into another authors perspective.
George I. Kidwiler, Jr.
You should check out his website. He has a lot of good advice for aspiring writers.

-- 02 Sep 2017, 12:50 --
Miriam Molina wrote:It is fun knowing the people behind the books. I wonder why Dr. Cole stopped operating. But he does have creative hands!

Thanks, Kandscreely!
I'm pretty sure he just retired. :) Thanks for commenting.
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Post by gali » 02 Sep 2017, 12:55

Thank you both for an interesting interview! :tiphat:
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Sep 2017, 13:09

Thanks gali.
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Post by mamalui » 30 Mar 2018, 11:49

My favourite author right after I read McDowell. I thought the story was incredible and I was hooked from the beginning to the end. I will be sure to check out the website for aspiring writers. Thanks.
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Post by fernsmom » 17 Oct 2018, 08:32

Seeing as I read two books from William H. Coles, The Surgeon's Wife and McDowell, I was interested in this interview. I was curious after reading the first book whether the author was trained in the medical field and had learned he is a surgeon so that wasn't a surprise for me. I did enjoy reading the answers to some of the questions that were asked though. I look forward to reading more books from this author as I gave both McDowell and The Surgeon's Wife 4 out of 4 stars.

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Post by Doug Jones » 25 Oct 2018, 05:54

Great interview with a great author. Many thanks, kandscreeley.
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