Bill McCormick is one hell of a character. His writing chops date back to 1986 when he penned pieces for rock magazines and sports blogs (which earned him features in ESPN and Sports Illustrated). Since then, he has expanded his literary acumen into comic books, graphic novels, and full-length novels, tackling everything from dystopian hellscapes to light-hearted children’s tales. That … is one hell of a range. I wanted to know more, so I convinced Bill to dish out some Zeedub Bezzies.
If you were an animal in a zoo, which animal would you be?
I could see me being a penguin. I walk like one now, thanks to arthritis, and I like raw fish.
What does your writing process look like?
Liquid chaos. While I write a direct story I’ll often note things I want to deal with later in separate files. In some cases I may have as many as a hundred different documents related to the same story. No one sees them but me but I once had a publisher request source files for a reference edit. She vowed never to ask me that again.
Who is your hero?
I have several but Nicholas of Bari, a.k.a. Saint Nicholas, would be on the list. Something about a little guy who beat the living snot out of anyone who disrespected women, children, or the bible, strikes me as a good role model.
What is your biggest failure?
I have several of these too. I would have to say EsNtion Records. I went in with high hopes, and a promised budget, only to find the budget was imaginary, and my hopes were crushed under an avalanche of legal issues and daily attrition. I, essentially, created 20 Billboard hits out of wishful thinking. Had I had some resources I have no idea how successful that label could have been.
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
The Brittle Riders is one of those books that sneaks up on people. Given that it starts with the death of every man, woman, and child on the planet, people expect it to be dark. They don’t expect it to be as well researched as it is or as funny. The tag line, Apocalypses are funny that way, applies no matter how you parse the meaning.
Have you ever written a character with an actor in mind?
Not really. I don’t like other voices in my head other than the characters themselves. After things are done I’ll, sometimes, imagine so and so playing a role I created, but it’s always an afterthought.
What do you do for fun?
I love cooking. I left home shortly after high school and found that there was only so much fast food I could tolerate or afford. An old Iranian lesbian showed me the joys of making Mediterranean foods, and how to pick up hot chicks, and my life has been littered with joy ever since.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’d like to be living a little more comfortably than I am now. Seriously, I do see my writing achieving enough success that it’s all I need to do for a living. Every day brings me closer to that. Also, by then I hope to have made an honest woman out of that pesky harlot I love.
How do you incorporate the noise around you into the story you are writing at the moment?
I rarely do. I eliminate exterior noise by popping on headphones, and dumpster diving through a varied playlist. It can be anything from Chinese opera, to Transylvanian folk music, to Goth, to whatever happens to be there. For the most part I listen to upbeat stuff.
What is your favorite book or story you have read as an adult?
Flat out, A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller. The sarcastic take on the birth of a religion resonates with me still.
Learn more at BillMcSciFi.com