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IR Approved Author William Poe on his motivation: “Storytelling, having people respond to characters and become enthralled in the narrative, is its own reward.”

Simon’s Mansion received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author William Poe.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Simon’s Mansion, published September 11, 2019

What’s the book’s first line? 

Growing up in the small town of Sibley, Arkansas, living in the timber mansion his family built prior to the Civil War, Simon Powell felt out of place and out of time.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Simon’s Mansion is about a gay man in his thirties who returns to his rural hometown in Arkansas after leaving a religious cult, struggling with drug addiction in Hollywood, and self-destructing right when his work in the film industry is paying off. Simon must challenge the betrayal of a trusted friend and deal with nefarious international criminals who may have absconded with his lover, all the while confronted by family, relatives with whom he struggles to make a connection. Simon holds onto his sobriety for dear life, but it isn’t easy.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

Simon’s Mansion is the third book in a series of stand-alone novels that explore issues of cultism, drug addiction, growing up gay in a conservative culture, and, most importantly, the struggle to know how to love and to accept the love of others. I draw upon personal experience in creating the fictional character and moving his story forward.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

A judge for the Booklife Prize 2019 in General Fiction stated, “What sets this book apart is its raw originality.” People should read this book because it is unique, treading into emotional and cultural territory that will be unfamiliar and interesting to most readers.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

Simon Powell is plagued by internal conflicts that he finds nearly impossible to resolve, choosing at first to avoid his problems, then, in attempting to meet them head-on, is nearly torn apart. Simon has affinities with characters in coming-of-age stories and tales of coming out, but the combination of cultism, drug addiction, and life in both the rural South and the wilds of Hollywood, makes Simon unique.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Nathan Parsons.

When did you first decide to become an author?

After getting my life together in the early 1990s, I decided to write stories that reflect the ordeals and struggles I have experienced, hopefully inspiring people as a result.

 Is this the first book you’ve written?

Simon’s Mansion is the third in a series, after Simon Says and Simple Simon. I have also written a short story and poetry collection, Endings: Poetry and Prose and a book of poetry, Myths and Rhymes.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

In addition to writing, I am also a visual artist. See: williampoe.net

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I work for about two years on a novel, though a considerable amount of that time is spent contemplating the story, asking myself what I am trying to say and trying to figure out why the story would matter to anyone.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

If a traditional publisher wanted to re-issue my indie works, that would be nice, as the books might reach a broader audience.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

Storytelling, having people respond to characters and become enthralled in the narrative, is its own reward.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

John Steinbeck is my all-time favorite author.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

East of Eden.