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 is pursuing 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 typewriter for Jr. That same year, Sr bought a new desk to replace the one he had built by hand in 1954, which he gave to Bill Jr for his bedroom. Another time Sr brought home a used mimeograph machine for his boys to play with. Bill Jr and his brother Jeff printed comic books, which they drew and wrote, with made-up monsters and super heroes. They mostly handed out the comics with candy on Halloween and secretly hid them behind real comics in the rotating rack at the Rexall Drugstore and watched from the lunch counter to see what happened when kids found them. Neither of those distribution models proved fiscally sound.
Bill’s dad showed him how to use build electrical gadgets, follow instructions in 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.”
In 1975, the Navy transferred Bill to an airbase in Jacksonville, Florida called Cecil Field, 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 “the happening place.” When Bill was honorably discharged from the Navy in July 1976, his first civilian residence was in the Riverside neighborhood.