[Interview] Author William Bebb Talks Cheese, Kolchak and ‘Keck’
Written and conducted by: Paula Limbaugh
William Bebb is an author that I’ve been following since reading his Valley of Death, Zombie Trailer Park (Keck Book 1). With a title like that, how could I resist? Since that time I’ve continued to read his books and love them all! With a new book and another catchy title Twisto’s Town: Chronicles of the Undead out (you can read my review here), I thought it would be a fine time for us readers to get to know him a little better.
Paula Limbaugh: Can you let your readers in on a little secret, you know, that one little thing that few know about but if they did they would know exactly who William Bebb is as a person?
William Bebb: A little secret about myself that would allow readers to understand who or what I am?
I love cheese. Whether it’s Swiss, American, Parmesan makes no difference- I love all kinds of cheese. I’m a sucker for old television shows. Whether it’s the sometimes tear jerking adventures of Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie or a shoot ’em up filled episode of The Rifleman starring Chuck Connors. Or even a rumpled raincoat wearing Peter Falk in Columbo, I love watching shows from the classic days of television. Is that stuff a secret? Probably not, but everyone has deep dark secrets they’d rather take to the grave than offer to share, and I’m no exception to that. I do believe in Karma – do good things and good things happen, do bad things and bad things usually follow as a result. I like good guys striving against evil but often prefer they have a difficult time rather than settling things with a gun in a matter of seconds.
PL: You come across as sarcastic, tongue in cheek in your books, is this you in real life?
WB: In answer to the question of being sarcastic or tongue in cheek in real life, I’d say who me? Would I, ever be sarcastic or a jerk in real life? Absolutely not, I’m never ever sarcastic. 🙂
PL: Was horror a fascination as a child or is this something that developed as you got older?
WB: Horror in my early life; Hmmm, Darren McGavin starred in a television series back in the 1970s called Kolchak: The Nightstalker. And though some of the episodes were weak, story-wise, many of them were very well done and made an impression on me. Part of the appeal that I believe stuck with me was the successful mixture of horror and comedy. It’s a tough trick to do and rare that it’s done well. Dan O’Bannon did a masterful job with his 1985 film Return of the Living Dead. There’s no reason that a film, television show, or book can’t have both horror and comedy. I just despise when it’s done badly and comes across as a silly thing that is 90% comedy with just a tiny feeble amount of horror.
PL: What was the first horror movie you watched?
WB: I can’t be certain because my childhood memories are chock full of running from my mother when she was in a spanking mood. She was a great mom. Sorry, but can’t remember a first one. The first that I recall impressing me was probably George Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead. I’m not sure if I’d rate it as my favorite zombie film but it’s certainly somewhere in the top 3. Romero is the undisputed King of Zombies, as far as the majority think of them. I salute Romero’s imagination and vision because before 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, zombies were mostly portrayed in the classic Haitian Voodoo way and rarely seemed particularly horrifying.
PL: What scares you?
WB: I am not a fan of being in high places. I don’t like snakes or insects either. I never had a fear of public speaking, which I understand many folks do. Speaking as a dad, probably my biggest fear is failing my kids. The world is full of crappy parents that produce crappy kids that in turn repeat the cycle. I’d hate to be in that category.
PL: Who is your favorite author?
WB: Favorite authors/books:
JRR Tolkien – Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He did a superior job of casting good versus evil in an epic fantasy and didn’t mind having heroes that sometimes failed.
Thomas Harris’ novel Silence of the Lambs, and his other works all had a realistic and believable quality to them. There was no need to slap horrific descriptions of hideous things on every page because when the ‘punch’ came it was always worth the wait.
Stephen King and Dean Koontz round out my favorite authors. Both of them are able to spin a tale without rushing things and both have written an amazing collection of novels. Favorite King’s: The Stand, The Dark Tower series, The Green Mile, Black House, and The Girl who loved Tom Gordon.
Dean Koontz’s: The Taking, Phantoms, Fear Nothing and Seize the Night.
PL: Any recommended reading besides your own, of course?
WB: I’d recommend any of the above mentioned books.
PL: Finally, what the “Keck” is lined up for the near future, Legacy, perhaps?
WB: What the Keck!? Zombies of the Caribbean came out last October 2013 and was a huge story. It’s probably at least 3 regular paper backs combined in length and much different then the first 2 KECK Books. The biggest difference was unlike the first two outings, many main characters ended up hurt, maimed, or dead(ish). The first two Keck’s both ended with relatively ‘happy’ conclusions and I knew it couldn’t happen in the 3rd book. Even though I love my characters and hate seeing them suffer, reality and beating the odds dictated the story had to end badly for them. Keck Legacy or Legacies are simmering on the backburner of my mind but will be written.
PL: Thanks again for your time, if there is something you would like to get out to your fans, feel free to add it here!
WB: Anything I’d say to my fans? I sincerely appreciate your taking time to read my tales and hope you will continue to suggest them, especially the free ones, to all your friends (Or enemies if you have no friends). I also appreciate those who take the time to drop me an email and or scribe a brief review on my stories. Emails mean a great deal to me and I always try to respond to them ASAP. And to borrow and paraphrase something used at least twice in Valley of Death Zombie Trailer Park, I believe it’s always better to try your best to do something and fail than to sit there and not even try.
Do check out William’s Amazon page for more information on him and his books.
Leave a Reply