Most of us in Greater Charleston know Bill Walsh as the bubbly Telly and Emmy Award winning meteorologist on the local CBS affiliate, WCSC-TV.
Yet he has quite a background including being an author of three novels. The latest one, “Uncle Danny,” is an action-packed novel based on a true story of three of the biggest bootlegger/gangsters of the 1920s.
One of them was Danny Walsh who just happened to be Bill’s great uncle.
The 1920s bootleggers supplied a dry United States with outlawed liquor. Once Prohibition ended, Danny’s brother (Bill’s grandfather) opened a liquor store in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the day after. Their Rhode Island liquor license number was 000001. Bill’s dad then ran it until he retired and sold the business.
Sopheak Na now owns the store and Bill was honored to present him with one of the first copies of the novel recently based on these real 1920s bootleggers/gangsters! Incredible.
Bill “W.F.” Walsh had a book signing back on April 7 and will be back at Main Street Reads from 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 18 for an author book talk and signing of all three of his novels.
Regan: How did you become a novelist?
Walsh: I started writing on long Air Force trips overseas after reading most of authors Tom Clancy’s and John Grisham’s works. I was already writing television scripts and my agent said this one particular script would be a great novel.
R: This latest book, “Uncle Danny,” was originally going to be titled “Black Duck” — how did the name change? How much of the story is fiction versus truth?
W: Turns out there was another book years ago called “Black Duck” and we did not want to use the same title because of copyright and search engines. The story is based on three real bootlegger/gangsters. The novel is crafted using real events around a fictional plot line.
R: Tell us about your previous first two novels (published by Penguin’s Indy Group): “Red Carpet Ransom” and “The Umbrella Option.” All three books are separate from each other and not part of a trilogy.
W: The “Umbrella Option” is a national security thriller similar to Clancy type novels about terrorists who try to smuggle a nuclear device into the country. “Red Carpet Ransom” is about an Oscar nominee kidnapped on Oscar night by the Mexican drug cartels as revenge. “Red Carpet Ransom” is a follow up with some of the same characters as in “The Umbrella Option.”
R: Your favorite book is by Tom Clancy, “Executive Orders”? Do you try to emulate your writing style like Clancy?
W: Yes. He was my writing inspiration and I write in his style of storytelling.
R: You’ve done a bit of everything — military (U.S. Navy and Air Force), T.V. news meteorologist and now author. Any other dreams in life you wish to pursue?
W: I would also like to do some screen writing. I have a screenplay that is based on a true story of a man who pretends to be one of the famous Bee Gee’s. He meets the wife of famous talk show host Morton Downey Jr. and spends a year impersonating the rock star Barry Gibb.
It would be fun to do some acting as well down the road. I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild and did some soaps like “The Young and the Restless” in the past and had a blast.
Send story ideas to Mary E. Regan, at Mary@ProPublicist.com.