Co-authored with Suzanne Barber on a book of poetry.
If you feel inclined please check it out.
As we have very different writing styles; it was a fun project.
Let us know what you think.
When and why did you begin writing?
BB: I wrote my very first story at the age of 8. My parents, poor as they were, gave me a Paper Mate pen (all that they could afford) for my birthday and I went up to my room and wrote a one page story THE CIRCUS in my Big Chief notebooks – the one with the yellow paper and blue lines. I’ve written on and off all my life, never seriously thought I could become a published author. But when I burned out of a 16 year medical career I was 46 years old and finally decided to do what I’d always wanted to do – write a novel. Ended up selling my first novel to the second publisher I sent it to – Walker & Co. N.Y.
Do you have a specific writing style?
BB: I don’t think I have a specific writing style no. I’ve had editors tell me that if Dashiell Hammett wrote westerns they’d probably be like mine. My agent says that I have a touch of Hemingway in my dialogue, though I think he might be on some sort of animal tranquilizers making such statements.
What if any challenges do you find writing?
BB: The biggest challenge to writing for me is simply writing or trying to write better with each new book, to improve my ability to string together sentences in a way that is both clarifying and crackling good.
What books have influenced your life most?
BB: Not sure about any particular books influencing me. My reading tastes run the gamut from Shakespeare to Daniel Woodrell. I will read anything that’s well written and hardly ever read bestsellers because they’re generally terribly written, albeit with often intriguing plots that translate well for those who watch a lot of television. I find most of the fiction that garners the bestseller lists are sort of like reading the same book over and over again, just as like watching various versions of CSI. I mean I don’t understand why readers don’t tire of who murdered whom over and over again.
BB: Hemingway and Cormack McCarthy.
What are your current projects?
BB: Current project, well, if I told you, I’d have to kidnap you and hold you in a secret hiding place until they were finished.
Who has been your biggest supporter?
BB: I guess my biggest supporter at any given time would be the person who bought the manuscript and sent me an advance check.
Ott, Bill (author).
FEATURE. First published August, 2010 (Booklist).
Typically, our top 10 lists cover one year, but in the case of westerns, the rules require some changing. Not only are there relatively few westerns published in any 12-month span, but many of those that do appear are reissues of stories published decades earlier. Thus, our scan of the best of the best, while emphasizing the last year, extends back to 2001, making this list a kind of best of the decade in a genre that remains much loved among its devotees.
The Stone Garden. By Bill Brooks. 2001. Forge, $23.95 (9780812570052).
Here’s a marvelous what-if novel that explores the possibility—believed by many to be true—that Sheriff Pat Garrett didn’t kill Billy the Kid. Brooks captures the everyday humanity behind the legends while simultaneously adding to the myth of the Old West. Inventive, moving, and memorable