1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I used to live in Bolingbrook, IL and have a passion for writing about the village. Since 1998, I’ve maintained the Bolingbrook Babbler satirical blog where I publish fictional “news articles” that are a cross between the Weekly World News and the Onion. I contributed to the Demon: The Fallen role-playing game line, and even shared a credit with Chuck Wendig for our work on Saviors and Destroyers. In 2022, I finally published the first two Bolingbrook Babbler Stories books. They’re dramatic stories compared to the lighter tone of my web articles.
I’ve had a passion for writing fiction ever since I was in grade school, with a particular love for Science Fiction and Fantasy. I enjoy imagining new settings and creating vivid characters, but I also believe that characters are just as important as the setting. After all, if readers don’t care about the characters, they won’t feel invested in the story. For this reason, I strive to create characters that readers can connect with on an emotional level.
2. What inspired you to write your book?
My goal with A Fire in the Shadows was to create a bridge between the first book, Pathways to Bolingbrook, and the second book, The Rift. That’s why I labeled it Book 1.5. In Pathways, Miriam decided to become a vampire, and Sara joined the Bolingbrook Babbler as a reporter. In A Fire in the Shadows, Miriam is “reborn” as Lydia, but now she has a new set of problems to deal with. Meanwhile, Sara has become the editor of the Babbler, and this story provides more details about her role and the challenges she faces.
3. What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
In addition to providing readers with a deeper understanding of the Babbler Stories setting, I hope they will come away with a greater empathy for neurodivergent individuals. Lydia is a compassionate and caring person, but in vampiric society, those traits make her a deviant. Humans, if they knew about vampires, would fear her and see her as a monster. It’s why she feels isolated and desperately alone. Through her story, I aim to shed light on the challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals.
4. What drew you into this particular genre?
Although I’m a believer in science-based skepticism, I enjoy exploring settings where supernatural creatures coexist with modern-day humans. My interest in Urban Fantasy grew out of the Goth Punk genre that I wrote in for many years. One thing I appreciate about Urban Fantasy is that it allows for a wide range of supernatural creatures, some of which may not be the traditional “monsters” we typically think of. In this genre, authors can also portray humans as terrifying monsters, adding an extra layer of complexity to the storytelling.
5. If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I would choose to speak with Aurora, Lydia’s blood sister, and ask her why she became a vampire, despite knowing that it would make her cruel and uncaring. Was she a bully when she was a mortal, or did she associate kindness with weakness? The answer is the key to understand Aurora’s motivations.
6. What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
It would be Facebook, because I spent years building an audience. Overall, I’d say my blog did the most to develop my readership.
7. What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Every writer’s journey is unique, and what may have worked for one author may not work for another. That’s why it’s important to do your own research and not blindly follow any writer’s advice. Be like Bruce Lee: Use what works for you, and discard what doesn’t.
8. What does the future hold in store for you? Are any new books/projects on the horizon?
I will release a collection of my web stories from 1998 to 2017. The working title is God to Smite Bolingbrook. It will be exclusively for my newsletter subscribers. Then I plan to resume writing the third Bolingbrook Babbler book. My goal is to release it by the end of 2023, or early 2024. I don’t have dates for books four and beyond, but I will write them. My goal is to make sure each book can be read as a standalone book. I’m a writer who can’t stand ending a book on cliffhangers.
About the Author
William Brinkman is the creator of the Bolingbrook Babbler web series and the author of the Bolingbrook Babbler Stories series.. He is currently a member of the Freethought Blogsnetwork and has been involved in secular advocacy over the years.
He’s also a former contributor to White Wolf’s Demon: The Fallen series. Additionally, William has also written science fiction works since grade school. As a student at the University of Iowa, William majored in journalism and took as many creative writing classes as his schedule allowed. After graduation, he served as an editor at two alternative publications. These experiences later helped him start the Babbler web series in 1998.
His work has been praised by Bolingbrook residents and within the atheist/skeptical community. William is probably one of the few critics of former Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar who didn’t get exiled to Florida.