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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #319

Updated on July 27, 2020

My Dogs

I gave Toby and Maggie a bath the other night. They hate baths. Maggie knows when it’s coming. As soon as I walk past her carrying towels she goes into hiding. Toby, he’s learning quickly, but so far not quick enough.

So, we all got soaked, and we all got clean, and when finished my two pooches went off sulking in distant corners, and I returned to Bev and watched some television.

Five minutes later Maggie came to me and put her head in my lap. She’s got human eyes, I swear. You look at them and you think you’re looking at a human being. It’s a bit unsettling. Anyway, she looked up at me, those human eyes telling me she forgave me and loved me, and by God I got tears in my eyes. And shortly after, Toby brought his ball to me, inviting me to play, and all was forgiven.

Love is like that, isn’t it? Love means forgiveness. Love means knowing that your loved one has your best interests at heart. Love is trust and understanding and never-ending.

Love is very cool!

I am bullish on love!

Let’s do this mail thing!

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!


From Audrey: “I've been wondering what inspired you to become a writer? If this question has already been featured then what has been the biggest challenge for you as a writer?”

I think I’ve mentioned this before, Audrey, but I don’t mind doing it again.

I was inspired to be a writer a long, long time ago, sophomore year in high school. My English teacher that year was Mister Jahner, and one day he gave an assignment for a short story. I wrote mine about a fight between two gladiators, and I remember the ending was pretty good for a fifteen-year old, actually fairly poignant.

Mister Jahner wrote a comment on that story, and the comment said he believed I had some writing talent and that I should pursue that talent. I’ve never forgotten that comment. For a shy kid with very little belief in himself, those kind words were like manna from heaven. And that was all the inspiration I needed. I held onto those words for decades and, finally, ten years ago I acted on his suggestion.

The biggest challenge? Convincing myself that I actually had enough talent to share my writing with the world. It was a huge step for me, joining HubPages. I was worried about how my work would be perceived. I was worried about rejection. I had to overcome that fear, and that was very hard for me to do.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Fifteen-hundred articles and countless novels later, here I am, loving the life of a writer.

Maggie and her human eyes.
Maggie and her human eyes.

Why Do I Enjoy Writing Fiction?

From Lora: “What do enjoy most about writing fiction? You could probably write quite a lengthy answer to this question but maybe you could just provide us with the ones that you feel motivate you the most. And you did a splendid job on your porch by the way. Take Care!”

Thanks for the kind words about the porch, Lora! Not bad for an amateur DIY guy.

I am still that shy kid, sitting in my bedroom long ago, daydreaming and writing about worlds I never will experience. My imagination is on twenty-four-seven, every single day of the year. It’s always been like that. Writing fiction is a natural extension of that imagination. I can step outside of my introverted isolation and step into a world of my creation, a world I control, a world where love reigns supreme, where the bad guys get what’s coming to them, and the good guys finally find love and the rewards which come from living a righteous life.

Fiction gives me a chance to let the little guys win. It gives a voice to the downtrodden of life. In my world, the prostitutes and the abused and those recovering from addiction are finally given a chance to succeed. In my world, everyone has a voice and everyone is listened to. To borrow from John Lennon, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, and I write for the dreamers of the world.

Motivation? Knowing there are people out there who enjoy my novels and stories. It’s still amazing to me, that I can bring joy to people I’ve never met, through my words. It’s a gift I’ve been given, and it’s a gift I will continue to use until the day comes when I can’t do it any longer.


From Lisa: “When can we expect your next Shadows book? I’m hooked on Striker.”

Lisa, I’ll be happy to let Striker know he has a huge fan. By the way, I’m hooked on Striker too, and this latest book, “Shadows Across the Pond,” features Striker quite a bit and gives us more insight into events which shaped my favorite character.

I’m on the last two chapters of the first writing right now, and then editing will begin. That will take about a month, so let’s say it will be completed by September. October at the latest.

Travel Articles

From Arthur: “I have this rather bizarre idea of writing travel articles, even though I have hardly ever traveled. Do you think that’s even possible to do? It seems, with all the information on the internet, that it would be possible to sound knowledgeable, you know?”

Actually, Arthur, as bizarre as that idea sounds, I’m going to blow a few people away by saying yes, I think it is quite possible to do. In fact, I wrote an article about this a few years ago, and in it I said I saw no reason why a person couldn’t do this.

There are tons of travel articles out there. Tons! What makes one travel writer stand out among that crowd is the creativity of the writing and the marketing of that writing. In other words, find a way to build a better mousetrap, and learn how to market that mousetrap, and it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference if you’ve traveled the world or only traveled around your block.

Some people may find that to be sacrilege, but I’ll go to my grave believing I’m correct. If I set my mind to it, if I was really motivated to write travel articles, I know I could do it. I would then launch a social media blizzard. I would work on a guerilla marketing campaign. I would keyword the hell out of Google. And I would succeed!

Or maybe I’m just full of b.s. and impossible dreams. Lol

Great market out there for talented travel writers.
Great market out there for talented travel writers.

Back to Love

One of the questions today came from Lora Hollings, a writer here on HP. She wrote a poem once about her father, and her love flows through that poem. Check it out here if you get a chance. Lora is also a huge animal lover, which automatically qualifies her to become a member of my “Favorite Writers Club.”

It’s all about love, my friends!

May your week be filled with love, and may you spend quality time sharing the love you receive.

Pax Vobiscum!

Questions for the Mailbag? Include them in the comments below, or email them to me at

Thanks a bunch! Stay safe, and hugs to those of you going through tough times. Lea, you are in my mind.

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


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