Saturday, October 20, 2018

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: The Whole Damn Cheese by Bill Wright (Biography)


Greetings Friends!
Today's feature is an INTERVIEW with author Bill Wright as part of the Lone Star Book Blog Tours for his biography.

THE WHOLE DAMN CHEESE
MAGGIE SMITH BORDER LEGEND
by
BILL WRIGHT

Genre: Biography / Texana
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram)
Publication Date: October 12, 2018
Number of Pages: 160 pages with B&W photos






Anecdotes about Maggie Smith abound, but Bill Wright’s The Whole Damn Cheese is the first book devoted entirely to the woman whose life in Big Bend country has become the stuff of legend. 

For more than twenty years, Maggie Smith served folks on both sides of the border as doctor, lawyer, midwife, herbalist, banker, self-appointed justice of the peace, and coroner. As she put it, she was “the whole damn cheese” in Hot Springs, Texas. A beloved figure serving the needs of scores of people in Big Bend country, she was also an accomplished smuggler with a touch of romance as well as larceny in her heart. Maggie’s family history is a history of the Texas frontier, and her story outlines the beginnings and early development of Big Bend National Park. Her travels between Boquillas, San Vincente, Alpine, and Hot Springs define Maggie’s career and illustrate her unique relationships with the people of the border. 

Vividly capturing the rough individualism and warm character of Maggie Smith, author Bill Wright demonstrates why this remarkable frontier woman has become an indelible figure in the history of Texas.




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How has Texas influenced your writing?
I’ve always been a fan of Texas history. And always a photographer whose favorite location in the world is the Big Bend area. Naturally, that helped determine my non-fiction subject areas.

Why did you choose to write non-fiction?
Writing non-fiction documentary-type books fits naturally with my photographic interests. They complement each other.

Where did your love of books come from?
The first book without pictures I owned and read was from the Tom Swift series. I progressed through that and the Hardy Boys. Because I was interested in science, I began to read books related to those subjects.

How long have you been writing?
My first published article was for the American School Board Journal in the 1970s. You can date my professional writing from that era.

What kind of writing do you do?
As a documentary photographer, I enjoy interviewing people and doing the research necessary for this type of book or article.

What was the hardest part of writing The Whole Damn Cheese?
Because my subject had passed away before I had the chance to know her personally, it was necessary to fill out her character through the observations of others.

What do you like to read in your free time?
Non-fiction: mostly politics and history

What projects are you working on at the present?

Presently, I am editing a journal written by an early settler in the Big Bend as well as creating a short history of the Cold War based on a trip to Russia in 1989 with my wife Alice.

What do your plans for future projects include?
A long-range project is a book based on the life of Estevanico.

What book do you wish you could have written?
Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley

Is there any person you credit for being your inspiration for reading and/or writing?
My mother stimulated my interest in reading and writing by reading to me as a child.

Do you have a mantra for writing and/or for life?
Kipling’s poem If




For thirty-five years Bill Wright owned and managed a wholesale and retail petroleum marketing company. In 1987 he sold his company to his employees and since then has carved out a remarkable career as an author, fine art photographer, and ethnologist. He has written or contributed to seven books, and his photographs appear in Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.




Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and Bill Wright! It was a pleasure hosting and getting to know more about you! Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

10/17/18
Excerpt
10/18/18
Character Interview
10/19/18
Character Interview
10/20/18
Author Interview
10/21/18
Review
10/22/18
Scrapbook Page
10/23/18
Review
10/24/18
Excerpt
10/25/18
Review
10/26/18
Review

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