Interview with William Belanger


Hello Everyone!

We are delighted to have author William Belanger amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about his new book Ice Cats!
Please read on …


Sid Green always dreamed of running a professional women’s hockey team that could compete against the boys. Phil Dobbins was a billionaire who was in the process of purchasing a team. Their paths would cross and they would make history.
Sid travels the globe and finds the biggest, toughest women from all sorts of sports discipline. Whether it is volleyball, soccer, field hockey, roller derby, MMA, or swimming Sid is not concerned. He just wants girls who will compete night in and night out against tough male opponents.
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So William, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question

1.Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.

My name is William Belanger, I’m 35, married with 2 kids (wife has one from previous marriage that visits on holidays and summers). I work an office job after nearly 15 years in the nuclear power and the steel industry. We are huge hockey fans and women’s college volleyball fans too. We also like sports car racing and watching movies. I have been finishing up my Master’s degree in education and I am looking forward to spending the time I dedicated for school to writing now that it’s almost over.

2.What brought you to writing?

I have loved writing since I learned that you could tell stories. I guess I used to always make up stories as a kid but I was more into art then and didn’t really write until high-school.

3.How long have you been writing?

Like I said, around high-school I started taking honors English classes and they had a lot of creative writing assignments. I supplemented my very poor book-report grades with great grades on writing assignments. I guess I am a weird one in that I don’t particularly read much but love to write.

4.Which was your first literary project?Tell us something about it.

My first would be an unfinished story called “My Alien Lover” in which a guy gets abducted and falls in love with a sexy blue alien. I was hand-writing it while on the USS George Washington when I was in the Navy. I think I wrote 24 pages by hand and gave up. It never even dawned on me to run down to the office and type it up.
I used to write a lot of poetry too, I suppose I went through some dark times and would probably scare a lot of people if I could ever dig some of that stuff up.

5.Is this your new/latest project?

My latest project is Ice Cats. It is my first finished novel. It just sort of happened. Like I said, we love hockey and I love women in sports and try to help them as much as possible. I realized they didn’t get much, if any attention in the hockey world so I created a team that had to be noticed. I am also donating sales profits to women’s hockey teams so they can buy equipment and maybe enjoy some meals that they don’t have to pay for every now and then.

6. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published? Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?

Ice Cats is self-published and available on Kindle and paperback as soon as I approve the proof. I think I like the traditional book better because it seems more hockey players and fans will buy it that way. My goal is to just get the book into as many hands as possible so I am willing to try anything short of just giving it away. I don’t care about the money but I really would like to get some donations to the girls going.

7.Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it.

Some quick background on this.One of our lead characters in the story, Sid Green, is travelling the globe recruiting non-traditional women for his hockey team. Tonia is the target in this chapter.
( Please look at the bottom of the interview for book excerpts )

8.What are your hobbies?Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.

We are weekend season ticket holders for our local hockey team, the Gwinnett Gladiators; we also attend Georgia Tech volleyball games when they are playing. We go to ALMS and Grand-am races whenever possible as well.
My biggest current hobby is collecting game worn hockey jerseys. We also play disc golf which is our family recreation along with some really bad volleyball in the back yard. My daughter (9) likes to shoot so we bought her a pink pellet gun for her birthday and we shoot at cans and whatnot out back as well.
I used to build audio equipment for fun too, I loved building things with vacuum tubes because there is nothing cooler than old technology that blows away new tech. Lately I have been working with 3D modeling and designed my own cover using the software I bought for Christmas.

9.Who is your favourite author?

Like I said I don’t read much but I really liked Dean Koontz when I was on the ship. I have been reading more independent authors and have enjoyed just about everything I have bought. I got my wife a Kindle for Christmas and have used it more than her. Of course she got a Fire too so she has used that every day but I have taken over the Touch.

10.What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?

I like horror books and I also like non-fictional accounts of war. After Ice Cats 2 is complete I might dabble in something new…I haven’t decided.

11.Do you have a role model that you get inspiration from?

I idolize my wife and daughter. They both take Choi Kwang Do martial arts and the little one is almost a black-belt and my wife is working her way up there.
For the hockey books there are so many awesome women hockey players you can just pick one, they are all inspirational. The girls who play pro are the most amazing, they work real jobs, practice and play hockey for fun and still do charity work in the team’s name too. They don’t get paid to play like the guys do, which is why I want to help them. Maybe one day I can say I had a hand in them getting their first paycheck for playing.

12.Where do get your ideas from?Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?

A good mix between fantasy and reality. Ice Cats came about because I noticed our minor league team had several guys that were as small as the biggest women hockey players were big. I thought to myself “a woman could play here” and the idea was born. I then took our volleyball experiences seeing women that were 6’ 6” and quite burly and thought if we put them on the ice they would be amazing.
I want my stories to be possible but still have some fantasy elements.

13. Do you have a pseudonym?

Nope, I have nothing to hide…I don’t think. I suppose if I write a trashy romance book I will make one up.

14.Whats your experience been like in the publishing industry?Postive or negative?Please share your experience with our readers.

I’m not the best one to ask since I have only been doing this for a week now. I will tell you this, publishing a book is like asking the world to prom. You better be prepared for 99% of them to tell you no.

15.Where do you see yourself 10years from now?

Not relaxing on the beach with an umbrella drink, my poor wife has a sun allergy so we would probably be hiding in some dive bar somewhere drinking absinthe.

16. What motivates you to write?

For Ice Cats it was doing something for the girls and women of hockey. They get 15 minutes of fame every 4 years when the Olympics roll around and then fade into obscurity again. They play a great game and it is a shame that hardly anyone knows about it. A lot of them are drop dead gorgeous too.
Besides that, it is just fun. I like creating things and writing is about the cheapest form of expression out there. That is until you get into all the publishing costs.

17. How important is good cover art for your books?

It has to look good. Just because an ugly person coined the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t mean that people don’t. You have to make a good impression don’t you?

18. Do you have a price strategy for your books?

I’d like to think it’s affordable and low enough priced to entice people to read it. I am learning that the sports fiction world is pretty barren. While it may be a good thing in some aspects (sell a book a week and crack the top 100) it also means there is a limited reader pool.

19. Have you read a bestseller that you felt was not as good as yours?

It just means that person has way better marketing and more money than me. I am not going to judge someone and say they shouldn’t be #1 because they know the game better than me.

20.Why do you think readers should buy your book?What can you offer them through your book?

There are a ton of reasons to read my book. It isn’t all jocky like a lot of sports books. I am not a jock so I could never write like one. It is very pro-women and it is hopefully very empowering to women. It isn’t just about hockey, it is about going out and doing what you are told you cannot do. It is about triumphing over adversity in any shape of form. You could take a lot away from it or you could just read it and enjoy a thrilling sports story. It’s your choice. Guys can enjoy it too, it is full of beautiful women after-all.

21.Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?

The book is available at Amazon.com right now. The paperback will be live by the time you read this if all goes well, if not it is coming soon! I will be advertising on a women’s hockey site soon and hopefully will be generating a buzz among the women players.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006P7XKRW

22.Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.

Sure, it’s still a work in progress but hopefully I will have some content coming.
http://icecatsbook.wordpress.com

23. What advice would you give to other writers?

Don’t give up but at the same time don’t force it. You don’t have to lock yourself in a room to be a writer. Do it when it feels right and lay off when it doesn’t. Hopefully the world won’t end if you don’t publish your book in record time.
Also, and I am still fighting this, don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t fly off the shelves. There are a ridiculous number of books available and you just have to find the right people. Once the book is read people will start talking and your momentum will build. Take it easy and don’t get too worked up over your numbers.

24.Anything else you’d like to share with our readers

I hope you give the book a try. Like I said, it isn’t just about hockey. My wife’s mom bought it and enjoyed it. She didn’t know a single thing about hockey and she understood it. Another reader said she felt like she was in the arena and she didn’t like sports books either.
Basically, it’s not a typical sports book, give it a shot.
Lastly, don’t let your dreams get away from you. If you always wanted to write a book make it happen and enjoy the ride. If there is something else you desired, go for it. You only live once and you don’t know when that is going to get taken from you. Don’t wake up when you’re 80 wishing you did this or that, wake up trying to remember how much fun it was.

  • Thank you William Belanger for gracing us with your presence.It was a sheer pleasure.Good luck with your book.We conclude the interview here

    Thanks again from Team MusikDIV

    Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter

    Ice Cats By William Belanger

    Chapter 10- Tonia Lewis
    It was midnight at Duffy’s and the “mechanical moose” was going full speed for the last hour and a half. The men’s record was 5 seconds and the women’s record was set at 3.5 seconds for the evening. The stakes were high; the winner’s bar tab was going to be paid. It was a weekly tradition at Duffy’s and unfortunately for Tim Duffy, the owner, Tonia Lewis was in the house again. Tonia had two records at Duffy’s, most consecutive wins on the moose, lovingly nicknamed Herbert, and highest bar tab for both men and women. The tab isn’t a “drinks on me” kind of deal either, the winner gets their personal tab paid and Tonia owned the record for both men and women as she regularly competed with the boys. She was up next, $130 of whiskey inside her, a cowboy hat, welded on jeans, a tight t-shirt and pink shape up shoes to just throw the whole thing off.
    Tonia was an interesting character from the wilderness of Maine. She grew up hunting and trapping and graduated to logging and drinking when she turned 16. She was 5’10” with fiery red hair which she usually wore no longer than shoulder length. She claimed it was harder to pull that way. She was built like a man but had a very feminine face and voice. Her nose had been rearranged in a fight in a logging bar when she was just 17. It was permanently crooked but the guy who did it required facial reconstruction. A full force punch with a 32oz Oktoberfest mug was all it took to cave in the guy’s face after he broke her nose with a sucker punch.
    Tonia’s fight stories could fill a novel. It is somewhat of a given when you work with men who are generally regarded as sexist or womanizers and in most cases both. A tough girl like her wouldn’t take the sneering remarks and comments so she had to earn her peace by leaving a trail of crumpled and bleeding bodies at bars around the state.
    After one particularly brutal brawl in Lewiston she was approached by an MMA scout who was up north hunting with some buddies on vacation. This propelled her into the octagon where she found fighting women to be even easier than drunk men. It wasn’t nearly as satisfying to her but the pay was good and the job was pretty easy. She had held the title since about 6 months into her career and there was little chance that the current crop was going to take it away. Her manager had contemplated having her fight some men, which she was all for but the sanctioning body would not go for it.
    Tonia also had a rap sheet as long as her fight card. Most were one night “sleep it off” kind of deals but there were a couple cases where the guys she ravaged would press charges. 5 of the 6 cases had been settled with little or no time served but she did spend 2 weeks locked up after a particularly brutal assault. Her buddy, Tom Ramos was at home sick with the flu that night and there was no-one there to pull her away and talk her down so she continued to wail on the dude until the police came and pulled her off.
    Tonia mounted Herbert to chants of her name. She informed the operator that she would be competing as a man tonight. Duffy let out a sigh of relief; at least he had a shot at her not winning. The next closest tab was roughly a third of what she had already racked up and it was early. She was usually good for $250 or more at times and she had that look like she was going to start something. Duffy had seen it enough. Thankfully she always paid for the thousands of dollars of damage she did to his establishment. She also drew in crowds, I mean, has anyone ever seen a woman so attractive but so fearsome at the same time? She was a pure head shaker, a nut no man or woman had ever cracked and possibly may never crack.
    Herbert swung to life and the giant LED counter with it. The crowd called the time for every second that ticked off. At 3 seconds it looked like it was over, she was almost completely off the moose but she somehow hooked her foot on the saddle. When the moose jerked the opposite direction she used the momentum to pull herself back into position. The crowd gasped and Duffy moaned. 5 seconds came and went and the operator took it up a notch. For women they generally ran from 40-60%, for men 60-80% and for Tonia it was not uncommon to exceed 90%. It was rumored that she was the only person to ever experience 100% but nobody would admit that Herbert had been turned up that high as the contest was supposed to be fair.
    At 6.5 seconds a violent back and forth shake coupled with a drop finally bucked her off. She immediately jumped up off the mat and took a bow and a curtsey to the rousing applause of her fans. There was about 12 competitors left on the list and she had a really good chance of taking the tab home. Luckily for Duffy she was only carrying another $50 so it was going to be a “light” night for her anyways. She had a low level fight the following night in Portland so she wasn’t planning on getting hammered.
    ***

    Buy Ice Cats by William Belanger On Amazon Kindle >> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006P7XKRW


    MusikDIV India Online Magazine is an online platform dedicated to promoting talented musicians and writers and giving them the ultimate platform to showcase their talent through our website http://www.musicdiv.co.cc
    If you want to be featured in our MusikDIV India exclusive Interviews kindly email us at : musicnd@yahoo.com

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