Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Interview with sci-fi author Bill Adler Jr.

Author Bill Adler Jr. joins me today to chat about his new science fiction novel, No Time to Say Goodbye.

Bill Adler Jr. is the author of numerous books, including No Time to Say Goodbye, a time travel love story, The Binge-Watching Cure, a short story anthology, Tell Me a Fairy Tale, a storytelling guide, and Outwitting Squirrels, which the Wall Street Journal called “a masterpiece.”

He’s the publisher at Claren Books, www.clarenbooks.com, a fiction publishing company.

Adler grew up in New York City, went to college in New England, lived for two decades in Washington, DC and now makes his home in Tokyo.

He's a licensed pilot and unlicenced writer.

Welcome, Bill. Please tell us about your current release, No Time to Say Goodbye.
Yesterday, all Dennis Tanner wanted was to love his wife, Rachel, and to be the best doctor he could. Today, all Dennis wants is to stop traveling forward in time, before the woman he loves, his friends, and his entire world are gone.

Will Dennis discover the answer to why he's been traveling into the future? Will he finally be able to stop or will he continue to travel, alone and bereft, until time itself ends?

No Time to Say Goodbye is a gripping novella about one man's desperate attempt to hold onto love and life no matter what happens, no matter where—or when—he is.

What inspired you to write this book?
I had this thought. What would happen, what would it be like if you were traveling forward in time, but didn't know why or how. How would it feel if you knew that soon everyone and everything you knew and loved would be gone, lost in the past.

Excerpt from No Time to Say Goodbye:
“Where have you been?” Rachel repeated softly, her lips stiff. “Where have you been, Dennis?”

“I guess I fell asleep after dinner and slept through the entire day? I’m sorry that I got into bed with my shoes on. I’ll change and wash the sheets. It’s my fault.” Dennis couldn’t fathom how he’d got from dinner table to bed without remembering that, but there was no denying that he had. And no denying that he needed medical help, urgently. A freakish sickness was sucking him into deep, rocky earth, and soon the weight of the rocks would keep him from being able to climb up and out. Despite feeling good, he wasn’t okay. He knew that, as sure as he knew when one of his patients was sick.

“You’ve been gone for two years,” Rachel finally said.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m writing a time travel novel about a young girl who travels uncontrollably into the past.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve wanted to be an author for a long, long time. But I got sidetracked and became a literary agent instead. Being an agent was sometimes rewarding and fun, but it was also frustrating because I want to spend time writing books, rather than representing them.

Now I’m much happier spending my days as a writer rather than an agent.

When I was a student, I was a terrible speller. I still am, but in the pre-spell check days, every word I wrote had a chance—make that a likelihood—of being misspelled. Our English teacher marked down papers for misspellings. Because of that, I tended to use words that I was reasonably sure I could spell: slim words, simple words, safe words. My English teacher noticed, of course, and she thought I had a small vocabulary. She offered this advice: “Your vocabulary isn’t good. You should not consider a career as a writer.”

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I really wish I could write from about 3 AM until 5 AM, when my cat does everything in her power to keep me awake. These are lost hours.

I like to write in the mornings and right until dinner. I take a break from writing during the middle of the day for other work, exercise, and getting out of my apartment. After dinner it’s rare that I write. I usually read in the evenings.

My travel laptop is a small, light Chromebook. If I know I’m going to be waiting someplace for a while, I take that laptop with me so that I can write wherever I am.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write quickly, but editing and rewriting are painful, slow processes for me. True story: I was in the middle of rewriting a book when my endodontist’s office called to say that they had a cancelation and I could come in today to have my root canal. Root canal or rewriting? I went for the root canal.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember saying that I wanted to be a doctor because I had a toy doctor’s bag. That idea stuck with me through college, when I realized I enjoyed keyboards more than stethoscopes.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d like to echo Stephen King who said that reading can be done in long sessions or a few minutes here and there. Learn to sip books and you’ll be able to read as much as you want.


Thanks for joining me today, Bill.

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