PIQUA — Piqua resident and retired police lieutenant William Weldy is working on his fifth novel, drawing from his 33 years of experience with the Dayton Police Department.
“Most of my stuff is based on action adventure, crime,” Weldy said. “Have to write what you know about.”
Weldy was first inspired to write by an English teacher who took notice of and complimented Weldy on his writing when he was a teenager.
“I’ve been writing ever since I was in high school, but never seriously,” Weldy said. “When you’re that young, when somebody gave me a compliment, I took it to heart.”
After he retired as a police lieutenant and later as a teacher at Upper Valley Career Center (known as Upper Valley JVS when he taught there), Weldy began pursuing writing more seriously.
“When I retired, I had plenty of time,” Weldy said.
Through the online writers’ group Internet Writer’s Workshop, Weldy honed his craft.
“We critiqued each other’s work, chapter by chapter, week by week,” Weldy said, explaining that at any time he could be critiquing 10 other authors on that list.
“It’s nice because loved ones, when they read your stuff, they say ‘oh, it’s wonderful,’” Weldy said. “These people (online), they don’t lie to you, they tell you the truth.”
With the writers’ group, he was able to receive help that was both complimentary as well as critical.
“My writing got better,” Weldy said. “I’m still improving … That was the big step that changed me from a person who just liked to write to a person who had a chance to get published.”
Soon enough, he was able to see his efforts come to fruition.
“Sure enough, after I got my first … novel done, I submitted it to a publisher, and I was accepted right away,” Weldy said. “It was really a shock to me.”
Weldy’s first novel, “Outlaws,” is based on a Detroit police officer whose wife and child get killed in a drive-by police shooting, Weldy said. The man then takes an early retirement and becomes a recluse in Idaho.
“[He’s] just disgusted with life,” Weldy said.
Weldy explained that when the main character, Josh Grant, is on a trip to a local general store in a town with a population of about 40 people, Grant finds his only friend out there murdered. Grant also finds a group of outlaw motorcyclists about to rape the daughter of the store owner and ends up saving the girl.
“The rest of the novel is him and the girl trying to outmaneuver the outlaws,” Weldy said. “They’re running and chasing, and she gets kidnapped eventually … In the process, they form a relationship.”
Weldy’s sequel to that novel, “Murder in the Hills,” takes place in the same setting, but it does not stay there.
“The local sheriff has a baffling murder,” Weldy said. “He [Josh Grant] reluctantly helps.”
“So then he gets involved with one of the deputies to solve this new murder,” Weldy said. “It takes them from this … wilderness into Boise, Idaho.” That then leads them over to Las Vegas, where they encounter a drug cartel and a laundering scheme.
While “Murder in the Hills” is the sequel to “Outlaws,” Weldy’s second novel was “The Onion Caper,” a coming-of-age novel. In “The Onion Caper,” the main character, Cole Mckenna, is trying to overcome his criminal history of stealing onions. According to Weldy’s description on Amazon, “[Mckenna] struggles to overcome the stigmatism by helping Officer Bradley with investigations of a burglary and later drugs in his small town high school. Along the way he discovers the dangers of police work when he’s almost killed.”
Weldy also wrote a non-fiction book “It’s Gotta Hurt” about his former high school coach Robert ‘Smokey’ Wion of Covington. Weldy first published that biography in 1980 before re-releasing it on Amazon in April 2015.
The novel that Weldy currently is working on, “Christmas Killings,” is based on a murder spree that happened in Dayton over the holidays in 1992. According to Weldy, a group of teenage drug addicts “were responsible for killing six people and wounding more.”
Weldy’s books are available on Amazon and in select stores, including Readmore’s Hallmark in Piqua. Weldy also sells his books at the Piqua and Urbana farmer’s markets in the summer.
The publishers for Weldy’s first four books include Musa Publishing for “Outlaws” and “Murder in the Hills,” and Wings ePress for “The Onion Caper,” and Create Space for “It’s Gotta Hurt.”
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall