Better Late Than Never . . .

Author Bill Stypowany

Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten older and I attract older writers, but lately it seems that Escarpment Press has become a magnet for authors who come to their craft late in life.  One such scribe is William Stypowany (pronounced Stih-pow-ON-nee).  We’ll just call him Bill.  Several months ago, I received a query from Bill for his book called Goliath; we subsequently added the subtitle Hiding in Plain Sight.  At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  It was sort of a book about organized crime—its protagonist is a mob bagman/ hitman.  But there were hints of humor throughout it, and, if you can believe it, even of science fiction—kind of a cross between Prizzi’s Honor and The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.  But, whatever it was, all I knew is that I loved it!  So we decided to publish it.

Joe: Welcome, Bill.  I understand you came to writing late in life, in your 60s to be precise.  How did that happen?

Bill: All throughout my formal education [Bill is a graduate of Canisius College] and into my business career, I was always writing something, whether it was a college paper, or a sales and marketing proposal for the moving and storage company I owned in Las Vegas.  Later, I continued in that vein as a real estate agent.

Joe: Okay, okay.  I get it.  But what you’ve written is quite different from those other forms of communication.  Something must have motivated you to write an 80,000 word novel.  What was it?

Bill:  Well, they say there is a book in everyone, so, when my son moved to Chicago to accept a new position, I was left with his three-year-old Doberman Pinscher, Goliath, for over a year.  The dog and I spent a lot of time together, and I was amazed at his intelligence.  I often wondered what could possibly be going through his mind, and that gave me the inspiration for my novel.

Joe: Interesting.  So then writing the novel came easy, I suppose, right?

Bill:  Not hardly!  That was just the beginning.  I never realized what a long and arduous process it would become.  Being a novice, there were so many times I struggled with serious “writer’s block” that the manuscript sat untouched for months at a time.  Periodically, I would add a bit more to the story, until, finally, I had a very rough draft of a book.  Actually, it was so bad that even I didn’t like it.

Joe: Well, obviously you didn’t stop there, or we would never have wanted to publish it.  So what came next?

Bill: I reached out to an author friend for advice, and he suggested I find an editor.  Then another friend put me in touch with Hilary Lauren Jastram in Minneapolis, and she agreed to do the deed.  When Covid hit, I was left with a lot of free time, so she and I went through numerous rewrites and revisions until the book was almost finished.

Joe: Somehow, I sense there’s a but . . .

Bill: You’re right.  Just about then, I was stricken with a severe heart problem that required triple by-pass surgery.  Surviving that gave me renewed inspiration and a strong desire to finish the book and get it published.  After rejection after rejection from various literary agents, I found you and Escarpment Press, and, boom, we’re publishing!

Joe: That is an amazing turn of events.  So, tell my readers a little about the book, if you wouldn’t mind.

Bill:  Not at all.  The story revolves around my protagonist, Sam Mariani and his Italian-American “associates, and Billy Stevens—or “Billy the Kid,” as I call him—and his super smart police dog, Goliath, a pure-bred, jet black, Doberman Pinscher with red eyes.  When Sam is faced with an almost certain murder conviction, the feds offer him immunity in exchange for testifying against his boss, as well as enrollment in the witness protection program.  But that’s not all.  In addition to a new identity and location, they agree to transfer his mind into a new body as well, using an experimental device.  But something goes dreadfully wrong during the trial run experiment, and his mind disappears and is nowhere to be found.  And that’s when everything goes crazy, because wherever Sam’s mind winds up, it brings his evil ways with it.

Joe: Aren’t you worried about how the Italian-American community will react?

Bill: I don’t know.  You’re Italian-American, and you liked it.  But seriously, I’m sure I might hear some negative comments from some Italian-American readers, as well as the dog-loving folks, but I hope they’ll keep in mind that it’s just a novel.  It’s fiction, folks.

Joe: And great fiction at that!  I really enjoyed the book, and I think readers will too.  So, last question: What does Bill Stypowany do when he’s not writing?

Bill:  First and foremost, at this point in life, I’m trying to stay healthy.  That includes watching my diet and walking five miles a day.  I occasionally play golf, and keep cool by swimming in the pool.  As far as staying inspired as an author, I have a saying sitting on my desk: “It’s better to try and fail than to fail to try and forever experience the inestimable loss of what may have been.”

Joe: And those are very good words to live by.  Congratulations on your book, Bill.  I think it’s a winner.  When will it be available, and where?

Bill: I chose July 4th for its debut, and, of course, it will be available in paperback and Kindle on  And, actually, readers can pre-order the Kindle right now!

Joe: That’s great, Bill.  Thanks for spending time with my readers.

Bill: My pleasure.

Joe: Below is a link to pre-order the Kindle edition of Goliath: Hiding in Plain Sight.


About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of five books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises and Deadly Ransom. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at:
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3 Responses to Better Late Than Never . . .

  1. Don says:

    Need a sample couple paragraphs to assess it


  2. Enjoyed meeting Bill and learning about Goliath!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Richard Hoolihan says:

    Best of Luck with your FIRST (of many) Novels, we hope. Very enjoyable interview; brief and to the point. Thanks


Comments are closed.