These You Know | William P. Pope, Author
William P. Pope is an eleventh generation American. He lives with his beautiful wife Becky in Statesville, NC where his vocation is the practice of law and his avocation is farming. Pope began to write poetry, essays, and what he calls "short stories" after he turned seventy-five and realized an obligation to impart his insight upon what by then had become the fourteenth generation of descendants from the first Pope born in America.
Pope grew up in the rural South after the war when the South was still agrarian and "Southern to the core." Storytelling was a means of passing family lore and the collective wisdom of the community on to the next generation. Pope's stories are mostly set in that timeline and populated with those characters. In describing his work Pope stated, "Although none of my stories are actually true, they could be. They are populated with characters with whom the reader can identify; they are thus, THESE YOU KNOW."
In a recent telephone interview Pope was asked to describe his writing. His response was,
“I try to use a voice for each story that fits the character and the plot. In some stories I use the first person. In some the third person and sometimes I use the third person omniscient. I have been told that very few writers can successfully use the third person omniscient and have been commended for my successful use of that technique. The reader should not however be consciously aware of which technique is being used.
One question I frequently get is “how do you get in someone else’s head so that you know what that person is thinking? “The answer is, sometimes it is easy. Often not. I think all these years of cross examining witnesses taught me to be a mind reader. It is particularly difficult to get in the head of a person of another gender, culture, or race. The personality, character and idiosyncrasies of the protagonist often make the actions predictable, until it doesn’t. That creates the opportunity for the surprise ending for which I have also received commendation. Interestingly, some people love the surprise ending. Some don’t. Some readers love that the endings make them think and they say things like,’ I never would have ever guessed that.’ Some just like happy endings. The stories in These You Know provide some of each and a few in between."
When the interviewer inquired regarding his next project, Pope responded,
“I have always been intrigued by the eternal conflict between free will and predestination. That tension is the theme of my next book.
Writing takes incredible discipline. The discipline one learns on the farm and in preparing cases for trial and sticking to the game plan have served me well, as has the ability to recognize that the facts have changed and the ability to quickly formulate a new plan.
Some people assume that because I am a lawyer my writing will be reminiscent of people like John Hart and John Gresham. That is a wrong assumption. I’m sure I am a lot better lawyer than either of them but am not in their league as an author. Only two of the stories in These You know deal with legal cases. In two others the protagonist is a lawyer.
Most good trial lawyers are good story tellers. They understand that every case is someone’s story. The outcome frequently depends on how well that story is told."