About Bill Ectric

Above: title page of Tim Gilmore’s article about Bill in Folio Weekly after the publication of the Aylett Critical Anthology.

Bill has written four books and helped write and edit another book, all discussed elsewhere on this site. His short stories and essays have appeared in other people’s books, including volumes five and eight of the critically acclaimed Emanations literary anthology series with the work of over sixty writers and artists from around the world. He has a master’s degree in English from the University of North Florida.

Bill King published his first book in 2005 under the name Bill Ectric, hoping an uncommon name would stand out on the bookshelves. He continues to write books as Bill Ectric. The first published book review of Fighting Monsters by Jim Matthews was written by Bill and appeared in the UNF Spinnaker under the name Bill Ectric King, a joining of his student name and author name.

Bill has wanted to write for as long as he can remember. He was born Billy Keith King, Jr. in Christiansburg, Virginia in 1954, named after his father, Bill Sr. In the third grade, Bill Jr started using his dad’s typewriter. Four years later, Bill Sr bought a new desk to replace the one he had built by hand in 1955, which he gave to Bill Jr for his bedroom. He also gave Jr his own typewriter. Another time Sr brought home a used mimeograph machine, which Bill Jr and his brother Jeff used to print weird comic books they drew and wrote.

Bill Sr built this desk in 1955. The top section was bought separately years later by Bill Sr for Bill Jr
The house where Bill grew up

Bill’s dad showed him how to build electronic gadgets, transform states of matter with a chemistry set, and play chess. Bill’s mother Paula introduced him to the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and the works of Edgar Allan Poe. She taught him how to recap facts and figures from the encyclopedia within his own sentences and commentary.

Bill and a friend impulsively joined the Navy upon graduating from high school in 1972. Bill was stationed in Rota, Spain where he worked in the Air Terminal keeping track of cargo manifests from incoming planes. He briefly became an aircraft handler trainee on board the USS Independence. When off-duty, he says, “I ran wild in Spain, Morocco, London, and Greece and prayed that I would someday write about it.”

  • Bill Ectric Spain Morocco London Greece
  • Bill Ectric Spain Morocco London Greece
  • Bill Ectric Spain Morocco London Greece
  • Bill Ectric Spain Morocco London Greece

In 1975, the Navy transferred Bill to an airbase in Jacksonville, Florida where he became an aircraft handler. His duties included towing, fueling, and marshalling A-7 jet aircraft. On base and off, Bill met writers, musicians, and artists who told him about Jacksonville’s “Riverside” neighborhood, which they described as “bohemian” and “like Greenwich Village” with venues for authors, musicians, painters, graphic artists, filmmakers, and sometimes radicals and politicians.

Bill was honorably discharged from the Navy in July 1976. His first civilian residence was in the Riverside neighborhood.