KITE. We'll talk to Bill about this book, his writing, and what's up next.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Bill. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I work with computers and I'm married with three kids. Though I read all kinds of books, I've been a fan of science fiction since grabbing a paperback edition of The War of the Worlds from a Bookmobile at about age 10. I also remember which book I read right after that, The Time Machine.
Where did you grow up?
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Summers at the shore in Wildwood NJ.
When did you begin writing?
First stab at a novel was in the early 80s. But I remember school assignments that were well-received.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I find a clear mind and post-dream state waiting for me when I wake up early in the morning. Never thought I'd be an early riser but now I get up at about 5 am, settle in and then get a good hour of writing in before the chaos of the day begins.
What is this book about?
Kite is about a working-stiff aboard the utility ship, Kite, the flagship of the Earth Orbit Maintenance department's fleet. His job is to cleanse the space around Earth of debris that comes along with the tourism and other commercial activity that's commonplace up there, although in the time of the book there is a recession. His name is Mason Dash and he has a highly customized and beautiful companion, a virtual personality named Sheila. On the last day of his three-month shift he spots some movement on an abandoned space station where there should be none. He decides to investigate, suspecting foul play. Meanwhile Sheila embarks on her own adventure, and finds a touch of romance, in the Kite computer system, which is undergoing a kind of digital power struggle. Amidst all of this, humankind's first unearthly visitor happens to make an appearance. He goes by the name of Troy and he's none too pleased with what he finds. The world's fate hangs in the balance with only Dash, Sheila and the humble maintenance ship Kite standing between Earth and destruction.
What inspired you to write it?
By the turn of the millennium and beyond, every country with a space program had been blasting junk up there without regard to who would clean it up. Eventually this pile of trash will get big enough to get in the way. If Earth is our home, then in the cosmic scale of things Earth's orbit is like the front stoop. Imagine if every trip out of your house on the way to work you dropped sharp objects on the steps. Eventually it will become too dangerous to leave the house. If humans ever want to spread out to the rest of the solar system, and not just send robotic probes, we'll have to sweep the stoop.
Back when I first conceived of the idea for a story about it (Who knows really how these things happen?) the issue of space debris was not nearly as prominent as it is now. At least once a week these days you see news about the problem. The International Space Station has had to dodge some and they considered evacuating because of it. Plus the idea that space would someday be a work-a-day place always intrigued me, so the story of a working stiff in orbit was a natural.
Who is your favorite author?
Alive: Neal Stephenson
Dead: Robert Heinlein
Very dead: Edgar Allan Poe
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Here are the links:
Barnes & Noble
Books a Million
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
The main site URL is
The Kite page, with synopsis and a two-chapter excerpt, is here:
What is up next for you?
Soon to be released ebook, a paranormal mystery called The Doppelgänger Song. And a high-pedigree science fiction film project for a small outfit is in the scripting phase. Still under wraps but I'll let you know when there's news.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Just thank you, and best of luck to you and your readers.
Are you intrigued? I sure hope so, because you have a chance to win a copy of Kite for yourself. Here's how:
1) You must be a follower or subscriber of The Book Connection to win.
2) For your first entry, leave a comment with a valid email address. You can't win if you don't provide an email address.
3) One additional entry if you friend me on Facebook. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're friending me.
4) One additional entry if you follow me on Twitter. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're a follower.
5) Two additional entries if you like the Kite page on Facebook.
6) You must be 18 or older and reside in the U.S. or Canada to be eligible to win.
Deadline for entries is 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday, March 27, 2011. Winner will be selected out of all entrants who followed the rules governing this contest. The author will ship direct to the winner. The Book Connection is not responsible for lost or damaged items.