Grace Bromage ’23
William Crowley is a senior at Holy Cross. In addition to this, he is a published author under the pen name of Francis Booker. Along with his co-author, Michael, he has published Stand, a YA novel that takes place in the fictional Kingdom of Regostia. The protagonist, Damon Red, is the brother of one of the Hooded, a powerful group that protects the kingdom skilled in combat and strategy and using morar to achieve superhuman feats. When Damon’s brother is labeled a traitor, Damon steps up to join the Hooded in an attempt to discover the truth of what happened to his brother.
I asked William about both his and his co-author’s writing. Here is what he said about his life as a reader and writer.
At what age did you start writing?
I’ve been hoping to become a published author since I was probably nine years old. I fell in love with reading as soon as I could do it. I started writing short stories when I was seven and pretty soon wanted to write a full novel. My coauthor, Michael, joined me in this quest when we were in high school together.
When did you begin writing Stand?
Technically, my coauthor and I really started writing in January 2019. We started the very first version of this story way back in 2014, with a whopping 50-page outline. After years of giving up on it, coming back, and giving up again, we eventually buckled down and got it finished.
What inspired you to write Stand?
There were a lot of sources of inspiration for this book. Michael was mostly inspired by all the work we’d put in over the years that never panned out. For me, my Catholic faith was a huge inspiration to try to write something that would be a source of goodness and inspiration to its readers.
Is there any significance to the pen name “Francis Booker”?
I chose “Francis” after St. Francis de Sales, my confirmation saint, as well as the patron saint of writers. This part of my name ties into how important my Catholic faith has played in my life and writing. The “Booker” part I chose because it sounded nice, and I thought it would be hilarious if I published a book with the last name “Booker” (and I was right).
What is your favorite genre to read?
I’m a big fan of fantasy stories. My coauthor likes non-fiction history.
What about the genre made you want to write a YA fantasy novel?
I think the reason I wanted to write YA was because I still feel like a kid at heart. YA novels are still some of my favorites to read because I love the fun and innocence of it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The best piece of advice I have for anyone hoping to write or publish is just keep going and don’t give up. Sometimes it feels like you’re banging your head against the wall. Often, you’ll fail (we certainly did A LOT). But, the road to success is paved in failure. Each and every failed story, each and every rejection, each and every day wondering if you’re not good enough is a necessary step. Be happy with what you’ve done and just keep going. William’s book is available on Amazon. More information about the book as well as a collection of short stories can be found on his website www.underthehood.net.
Photo Courtesy of Amazon.