Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Gabrielle. I’m Author Bill Wetterman, and I write thrillers.
My first novel, Room 1515, culminates seven years of workshops, critique groups, conferences, and multiple contest entries. In 2011, Room 1515 won the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation’s Mystery, Suspense, Thriller Competition, and in that same year, a short story of mine placed eighth in the Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition out of over 11,700 entries.
I’ve been asked when you know your good enough to publish a novel. My answer is when readers who don’t know you say you’re ready. I have four other novel lined up to enter the marketplace, one every six months for the next two years.
I am not a happily ever after writer. My novels use anti-heroines and likeable protagonists who have admirable goals. They just believe lust, murder, betrayal, and greed are good as means to achieve those goals. To me character arc and action play equal roles in great thrillers. Characters have to grow, learn lessons, and become different people from who they were when you first met them. Internal tension experienced by the main characters is as important as external tension shown by action.
In Room 1515, a female agent named Peacock goes on a mission to woo and win the heart of the world’s most influential power broker. Her job is to learn his secrets and foil his plans. Instead, she falls in love. What better internal conflict situation to place her in, and then force her to decide between betrayal and love.
I write faction, using present day problems to create believable fiction. Room 1515 is a story of world domination, greed, betrayal, and romance. Have you ever felt unsure of the financial future and the future of our country? Greed drives decisions, and greed driven decisions are always short-term. Say a shrewd group of power players is manipulating the world economy to accumulate long-term wealth. They could rule the world. Don't fear the 1% against whom crowds protest. Fear the .0001%. You’ll never hear their names. However, they exist. One man will emerge to lead them. This premise has built in tension, before the first word is written.
Here is a review from Amazon.
“Room 1515 is the first thriller I have ever read that relies on character development at least as much as action / adventure. There are plenty of close calls and lots of blood in the streets, but the most interesting part of the novel is the main character, Peacock...”
So far, the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon have been stellar, all four and five stars. More important, they deal with the craft of writing. I am a believer in honest critique. I’m also a believer in craft over sales. I write for readers, and I desire to bring them the best I can produce.
Here is an excerpt from Room 1515.
“Please sit down, Applicant Twelve.”
The man speaking to her seemed pleasant enough. But the day hadn’t gone as expected. She didn’t anticipate standing where she was. The scent of lemon polish tickled her nose. He motioned to a comfortable looking leather armchair, one of two that sat in front of his mahogany desk. He pointed again and smiled. So she sat.
“You can ask me any three questions you wish,” he said in a mellow tone. “After that, I’ll do the talking.” He seemed relaxed. The creases in his face complimented a soft smile much like her father’s had been when he was trying to be reassuring.
“One minute I’m sitting in an auditorium filled with CIA applicants. My number is called, and I’m whisked halfway across New York to your office. Why am I here?”
“Would it interest you to know that only one in every twenty thousand candidates meets me?”
He’d sparked her interest. She nodded ladylike. “I always knew I was special.”
“Your test scores say you’re unique. Your intelligence is Mensa level. But it’s your personality profile that earns you an audience with me. You’ve been tapped for possible inclusion into a select unit.”
“Do you lead that unit?”
He grinned. “That’s your second question. I’m in charge of one segment of it.”
Her gut told her he was honest. Having rarely experienced fear, she tended to go places normal people don’t. So sitting here didn’t faze her. He’d stimulated her curiosity. “I thought I was applying for an administrative position in hospitality with the CIA. Do you even work for the CIA?”
He sat up straight and folded his thick, paw-like hands in front of him. She guessed him to be well over six foot tall and close to two-hundred twenty pounds. Maybe he’d reached fifty years old, but she couldn’t tell for sure.
“No,” he said. “In a sense, the CIA works for the same organization I work for.”
“What is your organization called?”
“Sorry. You’ve had your three questions. Now it’s my turn. Please answer honestly.”
“Your parents and your brother were killed in a car accident eight years ago?”
“How did their deaths affect you?”
“I’m sorry. How do you know that? The accident part isn’t on my paperwork.”
He smiled. “Within an hour, I’ll know your entire life story, including your bra size. Please answer my question.”
“Everything inside me numbed. I lived. That they died and I didn’t doesn’t seem fair.”
“I’m truly sorry for your loss.”
People were always sorry for her loss. What people said didn’t matter to her anymore. She didn’t care what others felt. She didn’t feel anything toward people at all. She loved bunnies and squirrels, and little fuzzy kittens. But she kept people at a safe distance emotionally.
“You’ve never had a boyfriend?”
“I’ve dated, but no to the boyfriend part.”
“Your closest living relative is your mother’s first husband, a Sheldon Cross, living in Frankfort, Germany?”
“Yes, if he’s still alive. We weren’t close.”
He stared at her with a slight smirk on his face. So she stared back at him wondering who would blink first.
“Your psychological evaluation is astonishing.”
“I could have told you that without an evaluation.” She studied his eyes. He seemed genuinely concerned for her. So she decided to trust him, smirk and all.
“I don’t know what you’re looking for,” she said. “But I do know a good job match is based upon talent and compatible personalities. I’ve lost whatever ability I have to feel emotional attachments. Years have passed since I had those connections. I can tell if someone else loves, hates, cares, or doesn’t. Except for an occasional twinge, I haven’t experienced love, hate, or caring in the past eight years.”
“But you’re not a sociopath.”
“No, I have a high standard of rational values.”
“Why never a boyfriend?”
“A boyfriend requires a relationship. I’m not capable. I get off on physical stimulation. I enjoy sex. But I don’t understand love, compassion, or anything a man needs outside of the physical.”
“If I told you to act compassionate, could you?”
“Act compassionate? Yes, but I wouldn’t feel it emotionally, only intellectually.”
He nodded and looked as though he was going to speak. But he didn’t.
Had she revealed too much? She wanted adventure and purpose. She didn’t want to lose this opportunity, so she spoke up. “My inability to connect with people makes me vulnerable. I need leaders around me to guide my decisions. I don’t trust myself to make them alone. But I’m very capable of executing a plan once I understand it.”
“One of those leaders would be me, if I select you. Three more questions.”
“What motivates you?”
“Succeeding and being praised,” she said. “I need responsibilities within my capabilities.” She smiled and leaned toward him again making eye contact. “I want to be rewarded for my achievements.”
“You used to be a gymnast?”
“Yes, until my breasts got too big, then I took up martial arts.”
He chuckled. “I suppose breast size would be a problem in gymnastics. Describe your ideal job, please.”
“What I do doesn’t matter. I want to serve my country. That’s why I applied to the CIA.”
“You said you have a high standard of rational values. What do you mean?”
The question seemed absurd. It meant what it meant. “I have no sense of good or evil. I do have a sense for positive outcomes. If something accomplishes a rational goal, it’s right. If not, it’s wrong.”
“You may call me, Ursa.”
A strange name, but a form of acceptance came with the gesture. “Ursa, it is.”
Ursa leaned forward and spread his hands apart. “If a man threatened the United States, and over time I put you in a position to get very close to him, even to the point of having a sexual relationship with him. . .” He paused and appeared to study her face. She didn’t blink. “After finding out what had to be done to squelch the threat, I ordered you to kill him. Could you?”
“Yes.” She surprised herself at how easily she said the words.
Ursa stood and pushed a button on the wall behind him. A large muscular man entered the room. Ursa came around the desk. “Please stand up, Applicant Twelve. Welcome to the Hercules Project.”
“Thank you, Sir,” she said and shook his hand.
“You won’t see me again for a year. When you do, you’ll be fully trained physically, fully educated in our methodology, and technically equipped for battle against anything our country’s enemies can throw against us.”
“I’ll do my very best.”
Ursa turned to the muscular man and asked, “When were you born, Magnus?”
“1,670 days ago, Director Ursa.”
Applicant Twelve struggled to understand.
“Today,” Ursa said and pointed at her, “you are one day old.”
To contact Bill to schedule speaking engagements, Email him at email@example.com.
For more information about Bill, please visit http://www.billwetterman.wordpress.com.
Room 1515 can be purchased as an eBook or paperback on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Room-
1515-Bill-Wetterman/dp/ 1463001177/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8& qid=1337975366&sr=8-
Barnes & Noble. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
For more information on Room 1515 watch this video on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx4wLFD2GTY