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Interview with William J. Goyette



Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. Like most people, I sit in rush hour traffic, work hard to provide for my family and try to find that whole work-life balance thing. And while I live a pretty quiet and humble life, I have become a bit obsessed recently with traveling the world. As a kid, I rarely went anywhere outside of my hometown; in the past few years, I have been to Australia, England, France, Iceland, and Italy, as well as all over the U.S. The experiences I have gained through these travels have helped to expand my creative mind.

Q.2 How many unpublished and half-finished book do you have?
A. I am currently working on two new novels. One is the second installment in a series featuring Detective Jake Hawksworth. It’s called Little Red Herrings and takes place at a remote writers’ retreat. I’ve also begun writing a stand-alone novel called This Guy Walks Into a Bar. It’s a thriller about an Average Joe who gets mixed up with the Mafia.

Q.3 Where do you get your ideas?
A. They usually just come to me out of the blue – sitting in traffic, lying in bed. My mind is always in the “on” position, which can be both a blessing and a curse! I also find people watching often triggers ideas.

Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. Stick with it. Writing a novel can be a daunting task, but the satisfaction of finishing it, and hearing great feedback on it makes it all worth it.

Q.5 Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A. Both! Of course, I want my work to be read by the mainstream; however, I think today’s reader is more savvy and choosy than ever, so the bar has been raised on delivering something unique and original. I think I have achieved that with In Our Blood.

Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
A. Stop thinking about it and just do it! I procrastinated for years before finally tackling my novel. While I’m happy with the end result, I wish it had been five years earlier.

Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. I’ve been subscribing to Writer’s Digest for many years. For websites, I like diymfa.com and betternovelproject.com.

Q.8 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. Getting into their heads on an emotional level. In Our Blood features one major female character, as well as several secondary ones. It was crucial for the reader to be able to invest in, and sympathize with, these characters in order to buy into their actions.

Q.9 How do you select the names of your characters?
A. Sometimes they just come to me; other times I let the character’s personality develop, then choose a name based on that.

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. Yes, I read them all. I love hearing when a reader becomes completely absorbed in the characters and their story. My book also has a few pretty neat twists, and I get excited when readers state that they “didn’t see it coming” even though there were subtle clues that they missed. 

Luckily, I have not had any bad reviews to deal with yet, though I’m prepared when I eventually do. I have pretty tough skin when it comes to criticism, and I realize that we all have our own individual tastes and preferences. I’ll read, and value them just as I would a 5-star review.

Q.11 Does your family support your career as a writer?
A. Absolutely. My wife was my very first reader and has seen the book evolve many times. Back in the early stages, my two daughters were too young to read it; they have both turned out to be great writers themselves and provided great advice and insight on In Our Blood. They’re also amazing editors and proofreaders, and part of the reason why the finished product is so tight and clean.

Q.12 What do your fans mean to you?
A. They mean everything. I am so humbled when I hear how much someone enjoyed the book, and then tell me to hurry up and get the next book written.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. I only have one, In Our Blood, completed, so naturally, that is my favorite at this point. However, I am so excited about the other two currently in the works, that I am having trouble deciding which one to finish first.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. When I write, I must be alone. When I get into the zone, I need to fully immerse myself with no outside distractions.

Q.15 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. I would have to say raising my daughters to be the amazing women they have become today. I am so proud of their accomplishments and the values they exhibit.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A. I feel that paying someone to get reviews is wrong. With so many self-published authors these days, there are services out there that offer reviews for money. I have earned each and every one of the reviews I have received, and am so grateful for those who take the time to do so. For anyone reading this, please be sure to leave a review on the books you read; it means the world to the author.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. For the most part, it was me. I work in the advertising industry as a Copy Director and have always had an innate talent for spotting grammatical and typographic errors. Having my daughters and a couple of other upfront readers provide their input was also very helpful.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. I would love to sit down over a beer with Dennis Lehane, my favorite author, and talk writing. I admire his writing style and would love to hear how he comes up with his ideas and works through the process.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. It’s a toss-up between Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow  – Mystic River for its absorbing plot and character development, Presumed Innocent for its ingenious plot twist, which literally left my mouth agape.

Q.20 How can readers discover more about you and your work?

A. They can visit my author’s page on Amazon. They can also follow me on Twitter at @wjgoyette or on Instagram at @bill.of.writes.

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