Book Stuff

Kind of a theme here, huh?

In the Beginning

What was Bill's first book? So glad you asked. He suspects this was written for Christmas in second or third grade. (One hopes it wasn't in high school.) An in-class assignment that would propel him . . . Anyway.

Click to discover the tragic tale of . . .

The Christmas Ball

So. What have we learned?

  • Bill didn't proof the cover copy.
  • Bill played fast and lose with his capital letters in an homage to e.e. cummings.
  • No wonder Bill never illustrated another book. He had reached perfection.
  • Bill based his work on a verse from Scripture: Brod goeth before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

A peek behind the curtain . . . or . . . self-confessed tidbits on Bill's books

How to Write Your Novel in Nine Weeks This is the one if you want to write a complete novel. All kinds of suggestions on what works and what doesn't. I added "Little Willie Sockspeare" to the mix to make it more interesting and fun for me. And, I hope, for the reader. (Willie and I are also on a podcast collection and we're on YouTube. Horrible sound. And accent.) A reviewer said: "A humorous easy-to-read book that cuts through the hype and encourages novel writing. I enjoyed the witty writing and am now very seriously considering picking up my abandoned draft and resuming the writing process."

Pope Bob When I was editor of The Catholic Northwest Progress in Seattle I covered Pope John Paul II's visit to Vancouver, British Columbia. That got me thinking about a story of a pope visiting there and . . . what if that pontiff was an alchoholic and wasn't sure he wanted the job anymore? A reviewer said: "Bill Dodds' book Pope Bob provides a rare blend of insider humor (Catholicism) and universal themes (alcoholism, loss of faith, purpose in life). As an earlier reviewer wrote, Bill may be the best novelist you haven't heard of--yet. His characters are real, his situations believable and his inherent sense of grace among the flawed (all of us, actually) make Pope Bob one of those memorable reads that stays with you longer than you ever expected."

My Great-grandfather Turns 12 Today I wanted to do a book for kids and I wanted something with time travel because I'd never written anything like that. A reviewer said: "As a retired middle school teacher, I think I would have enjoyed having a "Bill Dodds" in my class. Bill is definitely a man with an excellent, quirky sense of humor and one whose story captures the essence of a pre-teen, middle child! This book is a quick, entertaining read for a young reader who will be able to relate to the various characters, learn some valuable, practical history of how life was in the past, as well as a very important lesson that older relatives are to be cherished." 

The World's Funniest Atheist I thought it would be interesting to write a story that's the opposite of the preacher who loses his faith and instead it's a famous atheist suddenly has faith and he doesn't want it. A reviewer said: "This is a great book with an entertaining plot and funny, believable characters. I especially liked the cast on the reality television show."

Mildred Nudge: A Widower's Tale I wrote this a year after my wife, Monica, died. Somedays after I finished my daily writing (word count!) on it there were some tears and that horrible feeling of grief. But, at the same time, the part of my brain that is the "writer" was thinking "Ooh, that's good!" I was well into it when I realized I had included a widower character in a lot of my previous books. I had them all get together for a scene in this one. (All but one. He had died.) A reviewer said: "I found it light enough to be pleasant, but profound in its depiction of grief. The protagonist's take on the commonly offered 'sympathy' phrases can be laugh-out-loud funny."

O Father: A Murder Mystery I wrote this for the 3-Day Novel Contest and was the first American to win! As I often do, I have a character in it whose name is the same as someone I went to school with. (With whom I sent to school. With.) A reviewer said: "The P.I. is a Jim Rockford wanna-be. It all starts with his three-year-old daughter, Carla, saying 'I have to go potty' while he was on a stake-out. It is a story written in a humorous vein. It is funny in places and touching in others."

The Cream Cheese War For this one I made up an entire Central American country because, well, I'm the author and I can do whatever I want. I liked giving the reader an opportinity to see a hot-shot Hollywood actress from a different perspective. A reviewer said: "A great read, with humor, intrigue, twists, and surprises."

The Hidden Fortune I used my childhood neighborhood for this book and had the action take place in the house across the street from where I lived. At one point, just for my own sake, I had my own kids visiting at my old home. A reviewer said: "I just loved this book and I thought it was very well written. I was into it the whole way through and it was very inspiring. At some parts I even cried because it moved me so much."