LocalLit author spotlight: Bill McCormick of Chicago

LocalLit is a new short story newsletter that connects local authors with local readers. The family-friendly newsletter kicked off in April. Each week a new short story by a local author is sent directly to subscribers email.

Next week's short story is by Bill McCormick of Chicago. Recently McCormick took a few minutes to speak via email with Herald-News features editor Denise M. Baran-Unland.

Baran-Unland: Tell us a bit about your writing background.

McCormick: I started writing for local music magazines back in the mid 80's in conjunction with radio shows I did on WRRG (Triton College) and, later, on WYTZ (Z-95 ABC FM). Eventually I transitioned to writing blogs about the entertainment industry, sports (a passion of mine), and twisted looks at world events.

My sports articles were cited in ESPN The Magazine, on WLUP, in Sports Illustrated, and others. My views on the news ended up becoming a regular feature on WBIG 1280 AM, in Aurora, every Friday at 9:10 AM with Ryan Gatenby’s Big Wake Up Call. This is our eighth year.

I began writing science fiction as a form of personal therapy when I was going through a rough patch. In 2011 I submitted some to publishers and, much to the world’s consternation, they began publishing it. I’ve been doing that ever since.

Baran-Unland: What types of stories do you like to write?

McCormick: For the most part I stick to science fiction but I have delved into horror and fantasy. My stuff tends to be pretty dark. The majority of comics I write get rated "M" for "Mature" and my novels get reviews like "If David Brin came off a three day tequila bender and dropped acid, he would have written The Brittle Riders." That's a real review by the way. And it was meant as a compliment.

I like searching in the dark corners of the universe. I figure all the interesting stuff hides there and not in a well-lit meadow. Also, I have an odd sense of humor and my writing allows me to display that.

Baran-Unland: Give a one-line summary about your featured short story.

McCormick: The happiest day in the universe for any couple is their wedding day, and it's no different on an alien world.

Baran-Unland: Have you published any books and/or are you working on one now? Tell us a little about it, if you are.

Hoo boy, okay, here we go; stuff that’s out now includes "The Brittle Riders Trilogy" (Azoth Khem), and you can find me in the anthologies "Carnival of Madness," "Slashing Through the Snow," "The Dogs of War" (winner of a Furry Fiction award – yes, that’s a thing), "Trumpocalypse," "Bronies Gone Wild," "The Edgar Allen Poe Chronicles," and in ICC Magazine where’ I’m a staff writer.

I’m also the author of, the critically acclaimed, "Legends Parallel" and "Svarožič" comics and have three more - "Pestilent," "Bob: Sins of the Son" and "Hybrid Zero" – coming out this year. Additionally, I have a collection of short stories called "Stuff About Things" in the hands of its editor, coming out this summer.

I’m currently working on a historical look at the Chicago music scene called "The Kind: From Chicago to Chicago," a graphic novel, "Alokia The Kaiju Hunter," making me a rare American working on a Japanese title, and "Goptri of the Mists," a prequel/sequel to The Brittle Riders.

Unlike most of my stuff Goptri hops back and forth through time pretty randomly. However, like most of my stuff, it’s also pretty dark. And it has a talking mutant squid, so you’ve got that to look forward to.

That list doesn’t include any of the short stories I’ve had published as stand-alone pieces throughout the world.

Baran-Unland: Where can people find more information about you?


McCormick: BillMcSciFi.com is where I keep all my stuff.


Authors with a connection to our readership area may submit to the newsletter. Submission does not guarantee acceptance. Stories should be edited and between 1,000 words and 7,500 words.

In addition, featured authors will be spotlighted in publications before the newsletter runs so readers have time to sign up.

To submit and for more information, contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or dunland@shawmedia.com. To sign up for the LocalLit newsletter and read McCormick's story, visit www.theherald-news.com/newsletter/locallit/#//.

Past authors include Ken McGee of Plainfield, Norm Cowie of Chicago, tom Hernandez of Plainfield, Vanessa Stephens of Joliet, Anne Anderson of Sandwich, Joshua Henderson of Joliet, Peggy Lindstrom of Shorewood, Carolyn Hill of New Lenox, Kevin Trusty of Joliet, Allison Rios of Joliet, Colleen Robbins of Joliet, Diane Maciejewski of Elgin and Denise Issert of Wilmington.