Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer of Interviews: Bill Beasley

Today I'm pleased to welcome Billy Beasley!

1. What was your inspiration for your book? Can you tell us about how your own experiences influenced this story?

It was 1998 and my best friend, and roommate at the time Jack, and I were at home watching one of my favorite movies, A Time to Kill. At one point I looked at him and said something to the effect of, "What if a rich white guy and a black guy met on a basketball court in the 60's and became best friends?" and the story grew from there.

I grew up during a time of forced busing to achieve integration in schools. It was a time of great racial conflict in my hometown, Wilmington, NC.  Coming of age during this time gave me a lasting convention of looking beyond color and to see in others what matters the most, the heart.

2. Would you classify this series as plot driven or character driven?

I strive for a healthy mixture of both in my stories.  But I continue to be inspired by the rich characters and their unique contribution to this story some 16 years after we began our journey together.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main characters?

Bret Marin, is a rich, entitled white young man, with a tyrant for a father. He enjoys the country club life of riches and women. His one redeeming aspect is the love he freely gives to his little brother, Alex.

Clarence, (Money) Wilkins lacks the outward riches of Bret's world. He possesses the greater riches, thanks to his father, a proud black carpenter, who raises his son with a firm but loving hand.

4. Without giving away too much, tell us about the main conflict.

There are several but if I choose one it would be Bret's hatred of his father, which grows to a point where he wants to leave, but he can't because of his love for his little brother, Alex.

5. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

That hearts have no color.

6.What song best describes your writing style?

Late for the Sky by Jackson Browne.

7. Night Owl or Early Bird?

Definitely early bird, especially for writing.

8. Skittle or M&Ms?

Neither, Reese's miniature cups.

9.Who are your favorite authors?

Pat Conroy, James Lee Burke, K.J. Erickson, David Rosenfelt, Robert Parker.

10.Can you tell us about any other future projects?

I have poured my heart into writing for nearly 20 years--characters and stories have evolved over that time.  This is a passion I'm committed to and inspired to share with others. I hope there is a next one published and if it is I expect it to be about a man who receives a letter from a pompous, out of touch preacher, and he does not take it kindly.

Meet Billy Beasley
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie, and one spoiled rotten black Chihuahua mix, Sydny. He has lived in this area of southeastern North Carolina his entire life and many years ago was among the very first students to be bused to another school to achieve real integration.

He shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in this novel. Faith in God and a conviction that ‘hearts have no color’.
This is his first published work of fiction.

Please visit Billy at Please visit me at billybeasley.blogspot.com and on my Facebook page, Billy Beasley-Author.

More about The River Hideaway
The year is 1967 and Wilmington, NC, is embedded in racial turmoil. Bret Marin and Money Wilkins, forge an improbable friendship.

 Bret’s life is constructed around his love for his little brother Alex and hatred of their cruel wealthy father.
Money possesses no external luxuries but thanks to his proud black father, Clarence, a builder of houses and lives, he has the greater riches. When his beautiful sister Teke visits it sets off a series of events no one could foresee. The most chilling being the dark night the Klan appears.