I’m a writer, a lawyer, a bookseller, and an amateur musician. I hope you’ll read my book The Circle of Thirteen  and me know how you feel about the issues of women’s rights that are raised in that story. Please note also that my new novel Through the Bookstore Window will be published in March 2018 and is now available for pre-order.

-Bill Petrocelli



Bill's Blog

Five Ways Men Benefit from Women’s Empowerment

This is taken from a speech that I gave to the League of Women Voters of Marin County at Sausalito, California, on April 17, 2014. This article appeared on Huffingtonpost.com on April 27, 2014

What’s the most important thing men can do for themselves? The answer seems clear to me: work for the empowerment of women.

For the last 20 years I’ve described myself as feminist. This sometimes raises eyebrows. Women occasionally look at me skeptically, thinking maybe I’ve grabbed a phrase that I know little about. Men often take it as an indication that I’ve abandoned the “team” – some probably think I’m using it as a pick-up line. And, of course, I started describing myself as a feminist just about the time that the popular media gave up on the term and moved on to something else.

Nevertheless, I’ve reached the point where feminism has become the intellectual framework that I look to first in analyzing political, economic, and social issues. I find that it cuts through a lot of misinformation and distraction and gets to the core of a problem. The reason is simple. The empowerment of women is crucial to solving a lot of seemingly unrelated problems that are as important to men as they are to women.   Read more →

Seven Questions Writers Should Ask Before Publishing

This is a reprint of an article that I wrote for Huffingtonpost.com on March 4, 2014

Years ago, the only way to get published was to type the manuscript, send it to a publisher, and hope for the best. But book publishing has changed significantly. There are more opportunities — and many more pitfalls. Here are seven basic questions that authors should ask themselves.

1. Is The Manuscript Ready?
Every book needs to go through at least one other set of eyes before it is sent to a publisher or an agent.  A publisher may edit a book later on, but the most important editing is done before the publisher gets it. If the manuscript doesn’t reflect your best writing, the book may never see the light of day.

Think of editing as a three-step process. The first step is you — the writer. Put the manuscript down for a few weeks and then read it again as if you’d never seen it before. Read it out loud, if necessary. Do the sentences flow? Is the research tucked away safely in a corner where it won’t slow down the reader? Pay attention to the narrative voice. With a full-length book, you’re asking the reader to spend several days with you. Does the voice behind the text sound like a comfortable companion?

The second step involves a trusted friend or writing group — trusted, as well as sensitive. There’s nothing more fragile than an author’s ego, so you want someone who can give you good advice without destroying your self-confidence.

The third step is the services of a professional editor. This editor should critique the structure of the book, offer alternatives, and suggest revisions.  If you skip this step, thinking the publisher will pay for editing later on, you may never get to that later stage. Read more →

Great Book Review!

Suspense Magazine says The Circle of Thirteen “offers an intriguing plot” that takes readers “on the ride of their lives.”  (March 2014)SM-Final-Logo - Copy

“The Circle of Thirteen by William Petrocelli

A plot that will keep you on your toes, this sci-fi/thriller takes the reader from 2012 to 2082, with a few other interesting stops in between.

“In the beginning, what seems like a ‘norm’ for a thriller book plays out; a man demanding to see his son argues with a woman bearing a restraining order against him. Although violence commences, the reader immediately knows this book is something far different than their mind expects, and the non-stop action takes them on the ride of their lives.

“In New York City, 2082, a brand new United Nations Headquarters is in the spotlight, as all the world’s leaders arrive to view the opening ceremonies of the grand building. Smack-dab in the center of the new hall stands a sculpture dedicated to the founders of ‘Women for Peace.’ The artist has done a wonderful job, profiling all thirteen women in the sculpture who lost their lives in a terrorist attack many years before. The commemoration of the work dubs this group as the martyrs who will forever depict the peace movement. But…shortly after the dedication, an explosion rocks the building.

“Heading back in time, the reader observes the action taking place two weeks before this ceremony is to be held. The Security Director for the UN building, Julia Moro, believes a terrorist group is planning an attack at the event, and is beyond frightened. She will do anything to stop this from happening, so Julia races to find the leader of the group who seems to be the invisible man. As Julia digs deeper, she finds herself stuck in a web of secrets from her own past that may just have a direct connection with the horror-show she’s trying to stop.

“This extremely fast thriller offers an intriguing plot that brings a fresh quality to the often-used terrorist angle. With such a multitude of twists and turns, this writer has doubled his efforts to make sure the reader’s concentration is held at all times.”

Reviewed by Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian & Co-Owner of The Write Companion