Posted on August 8, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we’re interviewing William R. Leibowitz, who writes thrillers with medical, psychological, and conspiracy bents.
Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment law in New York City for a number of years.
He has represented numerous renowned recording artists, songwriters, producers and many of the leading record companies, talent managers, merchandisers and other notable entertainment businesses.
At one point, he was the chief operating officer/general counsel for the Sanctuary Group of Companies, a U.K. public company that was the largest “indie” music company in the world (prior to its acquisition by the Universal Music Group).
Leibowitz has a bachelor of science from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University.
He lives in the village of Quogue, New York, with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
WILLIAM: When I’ve reached the point where I am satisfied with a passage that I’ve written, I read it out loud.
I believe this is essential — particularly with regard to dialogue and also with regard to any segment that you wish to have an emotional impact on the reader.
The “spoken word” is the “acid test” because it exists in the real world, apart from the printed page.
If a written emotional interchange does not cause the writer, himself or herself, to choke up or get a tear in the eye or send a shiver down the spine, then the writer can rest assured that no reader will feel the emotional impact either.
The written word takes on real life when it is spoken — and speaking it shows its flaws.
When your writing is read aloud, it has to ring true and punch hard. If it doesn’t, then the writer’s job is not finished.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most like to become romantically involved with?
WILLIAM: Without question, I would like to become romantically involved with Christina Moore, who was the lover and then wife of my protagonist, Robert James Austin.
She has such extraordinary qualities — which are a product, among other things, of the tragic experiences that she endured as a child aged nine through fourteen.
But instead of becoming bitter, depressed, damaged and withdrawn as a result of those experiences, she grew as a person and developed into a wonderfully empathetic soul, who became, as Robert said, “the angel who saved my life.”
While Christina is a physically beautiful woman, her inner beauty eclipses the ephemerality of the physical.
SADYE: What have been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
WILLIAM: I write for myself. I don’t write to please publishers or readers.
I write because I want to explore and express in a fictional context certain issues that are important to me, all of which are humanistic, spiritual and socio-political in nature.
So, when I wrote my first novel, Miracle Man, I had no expectations whatsoever that anyone would even read it, nevertheless like it. Frankly, I assumed that no one would.
But I didn’t care, because the book meant a great deal to me on a personal level. I had worked very hard on it, and I felt that it was the best that I could do.
I remember being in the gym at 8:00 AM on a Tuesday. I got off of a treadmill, and I went to the Amazon site — and saw that I had received my very first review.
A review posted by a person I didn’t know. It was glowing. I was dumbfounded.
Here was a person who had no relationship with me — who, for some reason I still can’t fathom, purchased my book — and loved it. I was awestruck.
I will never forget that moment. It was transformative.
When that happened — a positive review from a stranger — I felt that I had become an “author.” It was exciting and humbling, all that the same time. It was wonderful.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
WILLIAM: Because both Miracle Man and The Austin Paradox deal with the protagonist, Robert James Austin, seeking to find cures for diseases, I have received many letters from readers who suffer from or who have family members suffering from these same diseases that Robert cured or was trying to cure.
They expressed their frustrations with the “for-profit” medical industry in the U.S., health insurers, and Big Pharma.
These readers found Robert Austin to be an inspirational character and took comfort in his selfless quest to cure diseases — rather than just treat symptoms (like the pharma companies).
They expressed the hope that maybe one day, there really would be a Robert James Austin.
This was exactly what I had intended when I created the Austin character — a real superhero for our times — not a Marvel comics character, not a reality-TV personality, but a person of great talent who, despite his own severe inner demons, uses his abilities selflessly and disdains celebrity.
What a refreshing change from what we are bombarded with on a daily basis in the world we live in!
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
WILLIAM: Woven into the plots of both Miracle Man and The Austin Paradox are many messages and themes that I hope the reader will take away.
I’ve always thought that the best way to engage people in subjects of importance is to convey them within an entertainment context.
These novels are medical/psychological/conspiracy thrillers with numerous twists and turns, but enmeshed in them are pressing issues such as the sanctity of human life and the ramifications of the death of any one individual; the fact that Big Pharma hasn’t cured a disease in fifty years; the glorification of wealth and materialism over humanistic values; the threat of bioterrorism and cyberwarfare; the manipulation of the world’s economy by a corrupt elite.
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