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Meet Dr. Bill - A self interview with William Leverne Smith (Homeplace Series)

Updated on November 29, 2014
Homeplace Series profile image

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Bill Smith in 1978

Following first successful weight loss program.
Following first successful weight loss program. | Source


As other writers here have noted, I enter on this challenge with some trepidation… also on several levels. This writing challenge came from Jen, or Availlavision on HubPages.

The challenge has resulted in some exceptional articles by a number of my favorite writers here on HubPages and these have encouraged me to give this challenge a chance. However, I must start with two caveats. First, I am a “writer” in retirement. I have chosen to be a writer during my retirement years. I do not need to make money from my writing, but it is (certainly would be) nice to earn some extra spending money (and satisfaction from having earned it) from my writing.

Second, my writing here at HubPages falls under three titles - good on the first hand, confusing on the second hand: DrBill-WmL-Smith, Homeplace Series, DrBillSmith Writer. The first is entirely my "Weston Wagons West" series of short stories, wherein the fictional Weston family interacts with my actual ancestors across the USA. The second has become home to "The Homeplace Saga" series of stories. The third is my transfer account from Squidoo (family history/genealogy as well as heritage tourism and miscellaneous) plus a number of original essays written here.

As a writer, I would like to be known as the creator of “The Homeplace Saga” of the family saga, historical fiction series of stories in many formats and on several platforms. It currently consists of four novels, a novella, a short story collection, an ebook, and over a hundred hubs (under all three names) - source material for at least 3 forthcoming ebooks. The stories now cover the period of 1833 to 1997 in the Southern Missouri Ozarks setting with extended families and friends in the Oak Creek valley (a fictional branch of the Current River system) and the town of Oak Springs.

“Dr. Bill” is a tradename I’ve adopted, first for my blogs, over the last 10 years, and then in other writing, as a way to distinguish myself from the generic "Bill Smith" - that is so common. I’ve written my fiction novels under my real full name William Leverne Smith. Whether that was a good or bad decision is probably worthy of a separate article of its own. I became Dr. Bill at the university from which I retired as a business school professor in 2009. We had three Dr. Smiths - Faye, Barry and Bill… we became Dr. Faye, Dr. Barry and Dr. Bill, more or less by default… but, I kind of liked it. Now you know! ;-)

My first and still the best novel... if you haven't yet read it, it is brand new, to you!

Video Book Trailer - what fun! ;-)

Bill enjoying the rippling sound of a Colorado mountain stream

Would you like to have a home here?
Would you like to have a home here? | Source

Brief Background

I’ve recently passed my 75th birthday, having been born and raised on a family farm in west central Iowa (near Coon Rapids). I am the oldest of five boys spread over 16 years. We had loving and caring parents, Dad worked very hard as a farmer, Mom doted over her five sons. As the oldest, I went off to college before the other boys had hardly grown at all, it seemed. The younger ones were more contemporaries of my three daughters than brothers, in those early years. My wife and I knew each other our entire lives, grew up on farms with a small rural church as the social center, attended all the same high school classes (after different one-room country schools) and then went off to different colleges. We married two years later, and my wife taught school a year while I finished my undergraduate degree (Math).

We had a widely varying next 30 years, living all over the United States, including three years with the U.S. Air Force, several with General Electric Corporation, with a small business conglomerate, a national management consulting firm and LOOK Magazine. I served as a personal assistant to the governor of Iowa, for two years, and two more as Deputy Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Social Services. For eighteen years, we owned and operated a nationally franchised accounting and bookkeeping service for small businesses. After age 50, I attended the University of Arizona and earned my PhD in Business Management. I was a Business School Professor (and Department Chair the last six years) for fifteen years leading to retirement.

Bill pondering the world we live in...

Rocky Mountains... nothing quite like them...
Rocky Mountains... nothing quite like them... | Source

Actor’s Studio Questions

What is your favorite word?

Distinctive. A favorite English professor said to use distinctive rather than unique. It has worked well for me.

What is your least favorite word?

Anything that would be considered a “curse” or “cuss” word… (precludes a later question)

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

I am a very positive person. Positive, uplifting stories and experiences are what I find most inspiring. Good results from positive, hard work.

What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Negative things. Conflict, war, disagreements. [And I want to be a writer??? ;-)]

What sound or noise do you love?

Generally quiet. But, I do seem to need “white noise” on most occasions.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Agree with billybuc, Loudness. I do not like loud noises of any kind.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

You may have noted, I’ve actually been privileged to try many of them. I did, in fact, love being a university professor… guess I finally got it right. Writing has been my “other than” choice.

What profession would you not like to do?

I am very risk-averse (physically). Anything with physical danger would fit this category, Law enforcement, firefighting, anything on water, etc.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“Welcome, Bill. Are you as surprised as I am?”

Challenging Questions

In the film version of your autobiography, who would you like to play yourself?

I’d like to have chosen James Garner, but Tommy Lee Jones is probably more likely…

What quality or talent do you wish you could cultivate?

I’d like people to read what I write and enjoy it.

Who is your favorite fictional character ever?

No way I could mention just one character. Many different characters in many different stories, for sure.

If you could have the career of any author, who would it be?

Again, not possible to mention any one.

What inspires you?

Stories of accomplishment, overcoming obstacles, positive outcomes.

When did you first realize you were a writer?

1987. Attended seminars at The Author’s Resource Center (TARK) in Tucson, Arizona. Liked it. Led to publishing over 80 articles in a variety of trade publications. Enjoyed fiction writing as well.

Confirmed by successful academic writing during a very successful academic career.

... when I realized, recently, that I "cannot not write!!"

The most recent novel in "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stories

Video Book Trailer


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Chris, a challenge for sure. I graduating from high school the year you were born. I think traveling widely also contributes to a desire to write. What do you think about that? A dairy farm is a LOT of work, for sure!! No let up... those good cows just keep producing... ;-) Thanks for the visit! ;-)

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      6 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thanks for this, Bill. It's good to meet the "real" you. That certainly was a tough challenge to take on. I did it as well.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      For sure! Thanks for stopping by. These interviews have been a fun experience! ;-)

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 

      6 years ago from California

      We've crossed paths in genealogy circles, but I don't think I knew many of things about you. You've lead an interesting life and I'm glad you share your writing and family history with us.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much. It has been fun, for sure!! ;-)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      How nice to get to know you! This has been a great challenge allowing us to get to know our neighbors here in Hubville. It is so interesting to read about the exciting lives of so many talented writers.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, John. I appreciate your visit! Interesting set of questions to consider, for sure! ;-)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 years ago from Gondwana Land

      Wonderful self-interview Dr Bill. It was good getting to know you. You chose two of my favourite actors to play you in James Garner or Tommy Lee Jones too. Well done.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much! Lots of lessons learned, for sure. You know what is said, you never learn as much, until you teach! So true! I appreciate your comments a great deal! ;-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I can't think of a better person to portray than James Garner. His positive character matches yours. I'll bet you have so many great lessons in life to share from your years as a professor. Thanks for a look into what makes you such a great person.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, MsDora, for stopping by and leaving a comment. Perhaps, ever more, on a future challenge, suppose? ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Pleased to know you "a little better." Your answers are very interesting. Great read!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      So happy you enjoyed it, FA, it turned out being fun to write and share! ;-)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I enjoyed reading this, as it answered questions about your name and background, Professor! I especially enjoyed your humor with what God will say to you in Heaven. Great interview!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Jo, you are very kind. I'm sure you have have shared some truths, here! Grandma Kinnick did make really good apple pie!! ;-) I was fortunate to have a very good life, even with a number of bumps and bruises. Thanks, so much, for leaving your comments! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      My pleasure, vkwok... I'm always so pleased to see each of you comments! Neat! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Alicia, Thank you so much for leaving a comment. Much appreciated!.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      6 years ago

      How very cool to read about your fascinating life, Dr. Bill! So very cool to read about the kind of life which to me is like the Little House series.

      But, your life is real and so interesting with a good hometown feel.

      Just like Grandma's apple pie! :-) A pleasure to meet you. And Sir, if your don't mind me saying. You are in deed a writer! :-)

      Up and shared....May God Bless you and good health for years to come!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      6 years ago from Hawaii

      It was nice getting to know you better, Homeplace.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing this interview. It was very enjoyable to learn more about you!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Suzette. I obviously thrive on positive feedback. I appreciate it, so much! ;-)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      You certainly have had an amazing life! What a variety of jobs you have had over the years. I have enjoyed reading this as well as some of your historical hubs. They are so well written and give a great look at historical times through the eyes of your characters. You did a great job of interviewing yourself and it is good to know more about you.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      bravewarrior, I loved reading your interview, and learning where you got the name. Yes, going back to school was quite an experience!! ;-) One of the best things I've ever done, though, of course!! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      esmonaco, you are so kind. You keep me working at it! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Annette, thank you, so much, for stopping by.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Dr. Bill, you have led a very interesting life. I find it quite commendable - and brave - to have gone back to school in your 50's.

      Thanks for letting us into your world!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      6 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Hi Bill, Thanks for sharing, it's nice to learn little more about you. You do have a wonderful talent, and I do enjoy reading what you write.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great article! It's always interesting to find new "tidbits" about you!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Bill. I'll admit it took some courage. Thanks for the support! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the part about arriving at heaven...great line! It was very interesting to get to "know you" a little bit better. Thanks for doing this, Bill. Fun read.


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