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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Billie A. Williams - An Interview

Author, Foodie Coach, Billie A. Williams

Whenever I think of attempting to write a romantic suspense or mystery novel, author Billie A. Williams's name lights the landscape of my brain. With 50 books, currently, to her credit, Williams is a master at romantic suspense and mystery novel writing.

Whenever I think of something good and economical to eat, foodie coach, Billie A. Williams's name pops my laptop screen--after a Google search, of course.

Recently, Billie A. Williams created, "Eating Cheap and Healthy," a juicy *pun intended* food site offering visitors economical ways to serve good things to eat. After checking out ECAH, I decided it was time for BookOrBust to track down Williams and ask her a few questions.

Here is what Billie A. Williams has to say:

First and most sincerely, Welcome, Billie A. Williams, to BookOrBust. Thank you for being here. As successful author and writer, I know you understand importance of maintaining healthy eating habits, something all writers staring at a blank page and sitting for long periods of time, as well as busy moms chasing toddlers, battling the bulge, face on a daily basis. 

Q. Please share with readers a little about yourself.

A. Thank you so much for inviting me to share your space Linda. I am happily married 2nd time around.  I have two daughters, 2 granddaughters and 1 grandson, and two beautiful little great grandchildren (1 boy, 1 girl). Tom has a son and two grandsons and one granddaughter. We live way up North in Wisconsin nearly to the Michigan border. Two cats have adopted us. Lady Slipper (long-haired Maine Coon Cat) was rescued 10 years ago when I got a contract for my book The Pink Lady Slipper, thus her name. Daisy (a short-haired, mostly white calico alley cat) who came to us just a year and a half ago, rescued from the streets. They are as different as day and night.

You can find most of my books on my website at I have several different publishers and I do write romantic suspense under a pseudonym, so they aren't all there at the moment. I have my cookbooks up on my eatingcheapandhealthy website.

I blog at and Each of these websites have places where you can sign up for my newsletters and 

Q. Billie, your credits are impressive. How exciting that you are published in the romantic suspense and mystery writing genres, and that your novels are in great demand.

I am interested and want BOB readers to learn about your latest creation, "Eating Cheap and Healthy."  Can you share where did the idea come from?

A. Actually I've been interested in eating healthy nearly all my life, but more and more I kept hearing you can't eat cheap and healthy, it's just not possible. Well, I knew it was and I decided to search and find ways to make that visible and doable for others. I have grown my vegetables and many of my fruits organically for years. "Putting Food by", as the saying goes, has always been my way of life. So I figured perhaps I need to share what I've learned and what else I can learn through the internet, books, and other resources with others who share that interest in cheap and healthy.

Why the name? I figured that would be what people would search for if they were looking for lifestyle or habit changes to their budget and their health.

People searching for ways to eat cheap, or eat healthy would be looking for those phrases I think. I did a Google search for words that people used related to those two areas and found Eating Cheap and Eating Healthy to be common choices. So I decided to make it easy for them to find me.

Q. Your newsletter, "The Eating Cheap and Healthy News" is filled with delicious information. It offers discounts, coupons, suggestions on what to eat and how to shop and prepare it, to name a few, and more. How often is your newsletter published? How would a reader subscribe? What can a reader expect to read in your newsletter? 

A. My newsletter The Eating Cheap And Healthy News comes out the 26th of every month. There is a signup box on the website in the upper right corner and get your free "Coupon Report" just for signing up.  Or you can send me an email, but since I use Constant Contact to send out my newsletter and you need to opt in to be included, it will save time and a step if you sign up on my website.

The newsletter is meant to share bargains, ideas, and ways that you can cut the costs of your food budget and some drug store bills as well. I hope to provide sources for coupons, with directions on how best to use those coupons in order to save the most money you can. I will include recipes regularly and hope to interview others who have information on special diets such as, Diabetic, MS and other diseases that require special diets. I also believe in giving back to the community and when you stockpile you can give more to the community where you live by donating items you get free or nearly free while using coupons.

Tips about what to do with out-dated coupons so that they still help someone will also be in the newsletter. For instance the military bases post stores will accept out dated coupons, some as much as a year out dated. These are the types of tips I hope to be able to dig for and share with my readers.

As well as the newsletter I have a new radio show that will be aired every Tuesday at 2 P.M. CST beginning December 4, 2012 titled Eating Cheap And Healthy.[ ] There I will provide half hour shows with tips for getting the most from your coupons, saving by many DIY projects, recipes and more.

Q. As every writer will attest, unlike busy moms, sitting for long periods, can make a writer wide. Got any tips for a sedentary writer interested in maintaining healthy eating habits? 

LOL I have a book on how to write titled Writing Wide, and the second in that series titled Writing Wider – however, while those are entertaining books about how to write, that is not something you want to be. When I was a long distance telephone operator (yes, way back in the dark ages) our boss said to wear a girdle (you do know what those are don't you?) because you didn't want to get "operator's spread" by sitting for eight hours a day. It made sense to me then. Now, I say, if you eat healthy and take regular breaks to take a walk, stretch out, do yoga or Pilates you can maintain a natural girdle to keep you "in shape". Instead of grabbing a sandwich grab a veggie wrap like spinach or lettuce with your favorite poultry or fish, with salsa or some other low cal dressing. Snack on carrot sticks, celery, raisins, almonds, walnuts, pecans. You know there are plenty of good tasting, healthy for you snacks—chips can be dried apple slices or dried bananas or other fruits. You just need to change your way of thinking. As you get older it becomes harder and harder to manage your weight, so get wiser earlier and you'll be ahead of the game.  Look for more tips in my newsletter and radio show.

Q. What is your favorite food? Recipe? Snack? Thing to gnosh on during those long writer evenings when you are working on a chapter in a new mystery novel? Do you got one?

I have several favorites besides peanut butter and dark chocolate. (You're allowed-- peanut butter is protein, and dark chocolate not only boosts your mood, it helps your metabolism too.) I have always loved bread of any size, shape or type—that's the German in me, that's the belly I try not to carry out in front of me {smile} When I first realized I had to maintain a healthy weight I joined the Diet Center to learn how to eat healthy. The first thing they told me was to cut out all bread and pasta—I thought I would die. But it was easy once I changed my habits. Now I have bread when I want it and manage a few extra blocks of walking to compensate for it. And it's not the pasta that's bad for you (not soft and mushy) it's the sauce you put on it.

One of my favorite sandwich spreads is something you can make yourself if you have a meat grinder (I use the old fashioned hand turned grinder, my favorite tool in my kitchen). First, roast a small beef and a small pork roast together. Liberally sprinkle the roasts with garlic powder, onion powder, sage, horseradish or any other spice you like. Cook the roasts until done. [You can use them for your main meal] and take the leftovers and grind them with a small to medium onion, and a couple dill pickles.

Mix a heaping serving spoon of Miracle Whip with a ¼ tsp of sugar, a teaspoon of cider vinegar, a dash of celery salt, garlic salt, onion salt, and a pinch of pepper. Mix well and then mix that into your ground meat, onion, and pickles. This will keep for days in the refrigerator. When you are ready for lunch or a party, spread it on crackers, or make sandwiches of it.

Q. How do you do it? As successful author and now foodie coach, how do you stay organized? Is it a problem? Care to share with aspiring authors one tip on how to stay organized? 

The single best piece of advice I have ever heard and I keep hearing everyday is to write down your goals for the day. A to do list of what you'll do when. Set times if you like or just list the things you plan to do for each day of the week. Try to prioritize them, but don't make too many because defeat will sabotage your efforts. Say you have 10 items on your list, can you reasonably expect to take on that many and complete them without driving you and your family crazy? Leave room for unexpected interruptions. Be realistic. Start small. If you finish your tasks you can always move on to the next day's. But if you don't finish them start with them the next day. In a week you should see how many things you can realistically expect to accomplish.

I start my day by writing 3 long hand pages in my journal. Sort of getting everything out of the way before I begin my day, clearing my throat, er, um, or head I guess. Then my schedule might say write one chapter of ----my current novel, write one article or blog post for the mystery blog or Printed Words, vacuum the kitchen [there is my exercise break], lunch, and write an outline for a new article for EC&H. [I start my writing day at 4 or 5 a.m.]

It just seems to me that once you plan and write out your plan you have focus and can accomplish so much more. It's hard for me to read fiction, but if I schedule "read a chapter in Patricia Cornwell's Bone Bed while supper is cooking" I'll do that.  A half hour block of reading isn't long—it can be done.

Q. Gosh, Billie, all your information is really great. I am  just about out of questions. Can I ask if there anything extra you would like to share?

The only thing I'd add is if you want to do something, really want to do it—you can find a way. Never give up on your dream, whether that's writing a best seller, getting into your skinny jeans again, or cutting your food budget in half, focus on that. You will get there. Believe it.  Readers can reach me by email: or or leave a comment on my blogs or websites. Drop me a note at P O Box 134, Amberg, WI 54102 I love hearing from readers and other writers – and people with an interest in eating cheap and healthy.

Thank you, again, Billie A. Williams, for words of wisdom. BookOrBust expresses sincerest best wishes for your continued success. 

Thank you so much for having me Linda.

Readers can contact and learn more about Billie A. Williams by visiting her at the following websites:
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Beverly Stowe McClure said...

It's been fun learning more about you, Billie. Great interview.

And, yes, I remembber girdles. The good old days. :) Not.

Doreen Pendgracs said...

Hi Linda: Thanks so much for posting this interview on Billie.It was really interesting, and I'm so glad she has dark chocolate on her list of healthy things to eat. Now I feel safe in checking out her site. :-)