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A Journey of Joyful Living: An Interview with William Mecham, author of Life and Living It

Mecham 1

I grew up as child #5 of 10. I was the oldest boy. We were lower middle class, but we had a very close-knit family, maintaining about a 1/5-acre garden, raising chickens and rabbits for food. I was always an avid reader, discovering the local library and its children’s section during first grade. I went on to graduate from high school with a good grade average and was accepted by a university, but did not have the funds to enroll, so I joined the Navy during the summer of 1965. I was trained in electronics and served twenty years. I married my high school sweetheart, and we have been married almost fifty-eight years. We have four children and six grandchildren. Of my nine other siblings, I have four older sisters still living and three younger brothers. We lost our two younger sisters when they were thirty-five and sixty, respectively. My wife has always been a homemaker and I have been fortunate to be able to raise my family on my income alone.

You can buy Life and Living It here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The particular book I am promoting was fairly easy to determine a title for, since it was my opening editorial remarks which set the mood of the book, all about living well, or joyfully.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

The cover art team, led by Ronaldo Alves, worked closely with me, asking what I envisioned as a cover, then giving me a number of choices they had developed using the elements I had envisioned. It took a couple iterations, but I was very happy with the final result.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

As a teen, I tried my hand at poetry and writing lyrics to some of my favorite easy-listening instrumentals. During my Navy career, in addition to writing poems to my wife, I wrote short stories about my childhood. During college, which occurred after my retirement from the Navy, I took a couple creative writing classes, where I continued writing short stories and poems. While attending my second creative writing class, we were urged to write a first chapter of a novel, which would be critiqued by the class. I did so, and had a great deal of encouragement to finish the novel. It took me nearly twenty years to complete it, though I had started several others during the same period. After my retirement from my second career as an engineer in aerospace, and my entry into my third career, I finally worked up the courage to publish my first novel, but it was through another publisher, a Christian publishing house. I felt my second novel would not meet their moral standards due to sex outside of marriage, and thus sought another publisher and found Atmosphere Press, which had many favorable reviews. I submitted my first manuscript—Second Chances. After its publication, I was encouraged by Kyle McCord to submit others, which I did, and we settled on moving Life and Living It toward publication. Kyle is keeping two other manuscripts in the slush pile, and I have nearly completed another manuscript, which I’m considering pushing ahead of the other two, when I can find the capital to do so. Being a retired person on a fixed income, I have to plan for that type of expenditure.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I have worked as an electronics technician for twenty years during my Navy career, I was an instructor in the Navy, and later in aerospace. I was a Manufacturing Engineer during my twenty-eight years in that field. I decided to change up and for a third career became a Certified Pharmacy Technician and worked at that for almost ten years before finally retiring and becoming my wife’s caregiver.

I would really like to master the guitar. I have been trying to teach myself for years, having owned and plinked on a banjo, an acoustic, and an electric guitar. I actually alluded to this by having my protagonist in Second Chances possess similar desires.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Besides just the fact I was a published author, I think some of my reviews on Amazon were thrilling. The reviews stating they couldn’t put it down, and that they loved it, was very fulfilling to me. As much as I enjoyed the writing experience, it was more important to know I had created something that was enjoyable to others. I hope to continue to enjoy that aspect of my writing, although I’m nowhere near recouping my investment.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

During this book, I actually mentioned a song and singing group which I feel sets the tone of the story—See That Girl by the Vogues—but many of the slow dancing instrumentals of the 60s would be appropriate, such as Theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith, I Love How You Love Me by the Paris Sisters, and To Know Him Is To Love Him by the Shephard Sisters.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I want people to believe they can find happiness if they try hard enough. My perfect reader would be a hopeless romantic, like I am!

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

Like I stated before, I have had two other novels published, one by Atmosphere Press, and Dr. McCord has two manuscripts. I hope to be able to submit a third manuscript by late summer/early fall, which will be entirely different in plot, though I still keep a lot of romance in it. I have a short story I wrote ten years ago which I feel needs to be expanded into novel length. I am working on that in tandem with the story I mentioned above.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

I feel I hit the jackpot when I submitted to Atmosphere Press. I feel I am dealing with the “A Team” with Dr. Kyle McCord in Acquisitions, Alex Kale in editing/proofing, Erin Larson-Burnett in interior design, Ronaldo Alves and team in cover design, and last but by no means least, Cameron Finch in distribution and promotion. I have been blessed to have the same team for both of my books, and hope to have them on my next submittal and beyond.

You can buy Life and Living It here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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