Meikle, William 1958-

views updated

MEIKLE, William 1958-

PERSONAL: Born January 25, 1958, in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland; son of Barclay (a clerk) and Margaret (a cook) Meikle; married Susan Watts (an information manager), May 11, 1991. Education: Glasgow University, B.Sc. (with honors), 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Cycling, playing guitar.

ADDRESSES: Home—74 Commercial Rd., Ladybank, Fife KY15 7JS, Scotland. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Novelist and author of short fiction. Former software developer; technical writer, beginning 1995.


Island Life (horror novel), Barclay Books (St. Petersburg, FL), 2001.

The Johnson Amulet and Other Scottish Terrors (short stories), Indypublish, 2001.

The Coming of the King ("Watchers" trilogy), Black Death Books, 2003.

The Battle for the Throne ("Watchers" trilogy), Black Death Books, 2003.

Contributing editor,; editor, Moonlicht Nicht (e-zine). Contributor of short stories to periodicals and e-zines.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The final volume of an alternative history vampire trilogy set in Scotland in 1745; another novel.

SIDELIGHTS: William Meikle told CA: "I'm a technical author by day and a fiction author by night. I've written as long as I can remember. Back in my teenage years it was song lyrics more than fiction. I wanted to be a rock star. Wh didn't? But I lacked one thing: talent. I can't remember when I got hooked on genre fiction. I do remember being a voracious reader of comic books in my pre-ten years, and I was addicted to Hammer horror movies. then I went through a phase of reading macho thrillers, especially Alistair MacLean and Ian Fleming. About age twelve I discovered Tolkein, then Michael Moorcock. I also discovered Led Zeppelin and Hawkwind, who used many genre motifs in their songs. From then on I was hooked. As a youth, I read a lot of pulp fiction: Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. P. Lovecraft, H. Rider Haggard, and Sax Rohmer. The first true science fiction I remember reading was Arthur C. Clarke's novelization of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and in my early teens I read everything else he wrote, and everything by Asimov. Then I discovered, about age fifteen, the so-called New Wave writers. Since then I've followed the careers of Ursula le Guin, Harlan Ellison, and Roger Zelazny. On the horror side, I still read Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice, but not quite as voraciously.

"All my work starts with an image, like a photography. It arrives in my head, then starts to run like a movie, and the story builds from there. Sometimes the image is from the end of a story, and I have to run it backwards, but everything is done visually at the start. The most recent example was a lighthouse on an island. The lighthouse had a neolithic burial ground at its base. I lined up the shot to have standing stones in the foreground and the lighthouse in the background. Then I started to wonder who would live in the lighthouse and what was under the standing stones, and a story began to run. that turned into my novel Island Life, and the publisher agreed to my picture of the lighthouse being used on the cover, so it has come full circle.

"I find story ideas coming at me at any time, anywhere, as if someone is e-mailing pictures straight into my brain. I write them all down in a notebook that never leaves my side, and sometimes one of them gathers a bit more depth, and I get a clearer image. At this stage I find myself thinking about it almost constantly, until a plot, or an ending, clarifies itself. Once I've written down where the story should be going, it quiets down a bit. Then if I find myself still thinking about it a couple of days later, I'll probably start writing the actual story. At any given time I have about twenty ideas waiting for clarity, two or three of which might end up as finished works.

"I'm lucky in that I've found I can write just about anywhere. I don't need quiet, or even solitude. Often I write with the television on, and I've perfected the art of holding a conversation with my wife while continuing to write. I think it comes from having spent a lot of time working in a busy software development department where I learned quickly to multitask and when to focus. Plus, I'm motivated by the desire to reach a large readership. When I realized I wanted to write full-time, I switched careers from software development into technical authoring. I now write for a living, and the next dream is to make a living from my fiction. And I'd love to see one of my works turned into a movie someday."



William Meikle Web site, (November 6, 2003).

About this article

Meikle, William 1958-

Updated About content Print Article