Thursday, July 16, 2020

Book Tour and Giveaway: Seventh Circle by William Becker

Title: Seventh Circle 
Author: William Becker
Publication Date: May 20th 2020
Genre: Romance 
Michael is an awkward university student. He is lonely, socially anxious, and has no experience talking to members of the opposite sex. Michael is introduced to Mia, who is everything he could ever want. She is energetic, exciting, passionate, and much unlike him, massively experienced. Michael's life changes as he falls madly in love with Mia, feeling the passion burn within him; it threatens to swallow him whole, but as time goes on, Michael realizes things are not what they seem to be.

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William Becker is a young horror author with a mind for weirder sides of the universe. With an emphasis on complex and layered storylines that tug harshly on the reader to search for deeper meanings in the vein of Silent Hill and David Lynch, Becker is a force to be reckoned within the horror world. His works are constantly unfathomable, throwing terror into places never before seen, while also providing compelling storylines that transcend the predictable jumpscares of the popular modern horror.

His first novel, WEEPING OF THE CAVERNS, was written when he was 14. After eight months of writing, editing, and revising, the story arrived soon after his 15th birthday. During the writing sessions for his debut novel, he also wrote an ultra-controversial short story known as THE WHITE SHADE that focused on the horrors of a shooting. Living in a modern climate, it was impossible for THE WHITE SHADE to see the light of day. Following a psychedelic stint that consisted of bingeing David Lynch movies, weird art, and considering the depth of the allegory of the cave wall, he returned to writing with a second story, THE BLACK BOX, and soon after, his second novel, GREY SKIES.

- What book do you think everyone should read?
Four books. The first is “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson. It’s essentially eastern philosophy dressed up with cuss words and simplified language for millennials. It isn’t as influential as some similar works, but it’s a great introduction to a very specific lifestyle. “Breaking Night” by Liz Murray is perfectly paired with that book. I found it pretty inspirational. The main theme is that no matter where you start, who you are, what you look like, or how much money you have, anything is possible. Finally, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” and “Of Mice and Men” need to be read by every writer. Both are perfect and excellent at description, pacing, and every aspect of the process.

- How long have you been writing?
I started making little stories when I was in the second grade, but I really began pretentiously and meticulously writing when I was 12 years old. It’s been seven years since then. I think I’ve learned a lot and I suck a little less.

- Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing as my main art form, regardless of if it pays my bills or not. I have film, journalism, and maybe things related to my Russian language ability to make money with. I’d rather use writing to make myself happy and share that with other people.

- What do you think about the current publishing market?
It’s awful. Anyone can get published, including weirdos like me. It means there’s a lot of garbage being written and thrown out there, which devalues actually talented people and makes them harder to find. One of my favorite authors of all time has like 5 reviews on Goodreads. Getting traditionally published is costly and very very difficult. Maybe that just means I suck at appealing to the masses or I’m not good at writing, but the market isn’t very good.

- Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I like anything weird, experimental, or disturbing. “Cows” by Matthew Stokoe was really interesting to me. “House of Leaves” was also fantastic. Anyone who knows anything about that book probably will think I have some serious issues, but I’m not sure how far off the mark that is.

- Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I love to write with music. Whenever I start a new project, especially a novel, I try to make a playlist based on the atmosphere of the novel. Seventh Circle never got one because of how short it is, but Grey Skies has a pretty sizable one full of dark jazz, ambient, and black metal.

- Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I usually balance a novel with a short story. I’ll get a few months into writing a novel, then stop halfway through to write a little short story. “New York Onions” (which is free on my website, by the way) was written when I was approaching the final few chapters of my second novel, Grey Skies. I’m working on a super secret project right now and balancing a shorter super secret project at the same time.

- If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
The Bible. Take that as you will.

- Pen or type writer or computer?
I have disgustingly bad handwriting. My partner is something of an artist and they always make fun of me for my handwriting. It’s somewhat ironic; a writer that can’t write very well. Typewriters are cool, but they’re mostly used by hipsters, people who like feeling powerful, and people who want to act like they’re really interesting. They’re the same kind of people who have a coffee-shop themed Instagram and listen to Eminem and say, “man, all the rap out there these days is mumble rap. They don’t make the songs like they used to.” Don’t get me wrong, they’re wonderful machines, but they’re just not very practical. As a writer, I’m looking for ease and perfection with the process, so a computer works best for me.

- What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I was always a very creative child. Not the creative type in the sense that I went and built computers or robots or was very good at math, but I had a very colorful imagination. I wanted some kind of way to use my imagination. I got fairly decent at writing and then it turned into something. As my imagination has gotten more specific and weirder, I’ve realized that writing is the most practical way to handle that. I obviously can channel it into my film and music work, but to me, writing is the cleanest pallate where anything can happen. In film, you need to have a crew, actors, a location, a set, food to feed your crew, etc.. It takes a lot of money and effort which forces you to compromise some of your artistic vision based on what is possible or what will produce income. I believe it was Banksy who said that nothing can be allowed to exist if it doesn’t make a profit. In my world, I’ve found this to be very true about every medium besides writing.

- Advice you would give new authors?
A few pieces.

1. We all suck just a little bit at writing. Embrace the fact you suck, find your weaknesses, and build up on them.

2. Show people your writing. You could write a piece that’ll be a classic in a hundred years. Even if you publish it and never make a single dollar, keep writing because you love it. Never hide your art from the world.

3. Execution of an idea is just as important as a good idea. If you have poor execution and a good idea, you’ll probably be ignored. If you have good execution and a poor idea, then you’re in a different kind of trouble. The latter is preferable in an economic sense, but pretentious people like me will moan and complain.

- Describe your writing style.
I mix picturesque descriptions with digestible writing. It’s very important for me to balance complexity with accessibility. If you have a dense book that’s full of descriptions and not much else, then it won’t be very fun to read. I try to make my stuff just easy to read.

- What makes a good story?
One that’s enjoyable to read. That’s about it for me. If I can read a book written for five year olds about talking goats on the moon and still have a good time, that is just as good (or maybe even moreso) as Moby Dick. Some books are just fun to read, others are a bit of a slog.

- What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I kind of bullsh*t my way through and act like I’m really good at what I do. Outlines help a bit when the inspiration runs dry, but for the most part, I write a series of images and interesting scenes I want to include. I think a lot of writers who want to do this as a career or in any format that is even mildly serious fall into the trap of never pushing themselves. They never go out of their way to write when they aren’t super inspired. It’s usually fun to write, but sometimes, you have to stomach through and do things you don’t want to.

- Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I typically write experimental horror. Seventh Circle is my one main deviation so far from that. Take a guess.

- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t get upset at anyone offering constructive criticism to you, they’re trying to help. You aren’t as good at writing as you think you are, so keep working and listening to other people.

- What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I think that every character is different. If your main personality trait of a character is being a female, then you’ve got a damn boring character. Sure, sex is important, but writing a female isn’t that much different from writing a female.

- How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It changes from book to book. Weeping of the Caverns took me five months, Grey Skies took me four. I wrote Seventh Circle in about a week. New York Onions took two days. The Black Box (which is packaged alongside Grey Skies) took me two months. I’m working on a novel that I’ve been writing for a year and a half. It really changes from book to book.

- Do you believe in writer’s block?
No, it was made up by the Trump administration. Just kidding, it exists, but isn’t as hard to escape as some like to pretend. Immersing yourself in art that isn’t your own is a fantastic way to escape it. Music, other books, and movies sandwiched in between writing sessions can do wonders for inspiration.
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  1. Wonderful to be featured by you again. Thanks for having me!

    1. I was really happy to see you are still writing! When I saw you were doing another tour, I had no doubts on signing up. =)

    2. Always trucking along. This won't be the last tour this year !

  2. I think the cover is nice i have yet to read a book from this author but cant wait!

  3. I think that your book cover is colorful and unique.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  4. The cover art seems appropriate for the book. Good job.

  5. Sounds intriguing. Looking forward to reading

  6. the book cover is mesmerizing and doesn't hint at the horror within.

  7. The book sounds fascinating. I love the eye-catching cover!

  8. Definitely want to find the creep factor in this one

  9. I think it is unique.

  10. I like the simplicity and unknown look of the cover.

  11. I love the cover. It really reflects the title.