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Haunt of William P. Robertson--Master of the Macabre & Gothic Horror: Bio

 

BIOGRAPHY


William P. Robertson was born in 1950 in Bradford, Pennsylvania. He was introduced to the horror genre as a child when his grandmother, Bernadine Johnson, told him stories of trolls, haunted swamps, and other Swedish folktales she brought with her from the old country. His father, Paul Robertson, also told him scary tales that fueled his imagination. Paul had an extensive library, as well, and encouraged Bill to read such classic horror authors as Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Algernon Blackwood.

From the fall of 1968 through the summer of 1973, Bill attended Mansfield University.  He graduated with a B.S. in English education and then went on to earn 24 graduate credits in English. While at Mansfield, Robertson heard the story of Sara, the North Hall ghost, that he later recorded in "North Hall Is Haunted." He also had his own ghostly encounter while renting a room from a dear old lady on Academy Street. "The Late Mr. Wilson" chronicles this experience.

After leaving MU, Bill worked in factories, taught high school English, and ran a successful house painting business. His real love, though, was writing, and he began freelancing in 1978. He quickly learned that while only 10% of his general interest stories and poems got accepted by magazines, 80% of his horror writing found its way into print. Also, there was a particularly difficult California editor who inspired Bill. He kept rejecting story after story, always adding the tease, "This was very close to what I'm looking for." Soon, Robertson had 20 stories written, that rejected by the California guy, were later published worldwide. One of these tales, "Wide Spot in the Road," was translated into the Romanian language.

Another major influence on Bill's writing was the Gothic rock of Jim Morrison and the Doors. Actually, their spooky lyrics started his love affair with language, and later Bill admitted, "I doubt if I'd have ever written a single poem or story if not for Morrison's inspiration." Yes, it was "the Word Man" who first made Robertson aware of the power of imagery, onomatopoeia, and alliteration before he knew the technical names for those devices. Also, the Doors drove home the truth that poetry is a performance art as much as it is words on a page. That caused Bill to collaborate with the rock band ShadowFox on two audio books of haunted verse and macabre music that drew rave reviews.

Later in life, Bill began penning novels with his friend and teaching colleague, David Rimer.  The duo completed the seven book Bucktail Civil War series in 2007 and then wrote two French & Indian War adventures, Ambush in the Alleghenies and Attack in the Alleghenies. Robertson and Rimer next tackled another novel series about the 149th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, also known at the "New Bucktails." That resulted in two more books, The Bucktail Brothers of the Fighting 149th and The Bucktail Brothers: Brave Men's Blood.

On the horror front, Robertson just completed a "greatest hits" collection of his stories and poems that first appeared in periodicals and then in his books, Lurking in Pennsylvania, Dark Haunted Day, and Terror Time.  Entitled The Dead of Winter, this new tome also features a recently written ghost story never before in print. The e-book version of the project will include all of Bill's chilling tales. The Dead of Winter was released on December 3, 2010.