William Stadler couldnt stop grinning as he walked around the patio of a Durham coffee shop Thursday night.
After months of writing until 3 a.m. and on his lunch break, Stadlers first fantasy novel, The Pioneers: Extracted, had just been released on Amazon.com. Dozens of family members, friends and fellow writers gathered to toast his success.
Stadlers wife, Michele, was the first to sing his literary praises; she had set up the whole event, tracking down his old friends from N.C. State and his co-workers from Electric Supply and Equipment Co. Michele jumped in early on and became his pro-bono marketing supervisor, William joked.
Michele told Thursdays guests that she had been behind the idea from the start.
I have been so overwhelmed by seeing how hard my husband has worked for this, she said, sporting a black T-shirt emblazoned with the books title. Im just hoping it really takes off.
When William first mentioned his dream of becoming a writer, his wife could rightfully have asked some discouraging questions. What about your two day jobs that keep food on the table? Dont you have two young children to think about?
But William wasnt about to turn in his resignation and become a full-time writer. He planned to fit in a novel only after finishing his other duties: as a husband, as a father, as an employee at Starbucks and the electric supply firm.
The way that hes approached it makes me comfortable, Michele said. Hes not delusional.
William said he has been writing about 7,000 words a week. He takes every possible moment even a 10-minute break at Starbucks to jump into the fantasy world of The Pioneers. Its a world where four warring provinces gain their power from stones, and protagonist Caleb Eaves is struggling to escape prison and return to his beloved wife.
Its not difficult if its a passion, the author said.
In a matter of months, he finished the novel and moved on to part two of the trilogy, Infused. Now hes wrapping up editing on books two and three and starting on a new series. Infused is set for release in December.
Friends say Williams Stephen King-esque productivity has pushed them to make time for writing. Hanging out with him has inspired me a lot to rediscover the passion that I have, Ryan Davis said.
But Davis said hes not too sympathetic when his buddy complains of writers block. Im like, calm the heck down youve written a book in three months and youre halfway through another one, Davis said.
William is a self-published author for now, hoping to get exposure with a $3 e-book on Amazon. And like many writers, he hopes his creation could one day hit the big screen with a movie adaption.
But regardless of whether The Pioneers makes him famous, he wants to help other writers find their voice and their audience. He puts daily tips on his blog, wstadler.com, and he hopes to create a sort of retreat program where writers can work without distraction.
No matter where Williams literary endeavors lead, his wife will be behind him. He deserves to succeed, Michele said.