Despite the coarse titles of local author William McCann’s books such as “The Whorehouse is on Fire” and “Barbed Wire Hookers,” McCann does his best to inspire people with his positive words.
“I’m trying to give them hope that at the end of the darkest tunnel, all it takes is integrity and courage to overcome it,” McCann said.
McCann has five books published so far; two poetry books, two novels and one collection of short stories.
A Nevada resident for 12 years, McCann is still in awe of its “stark natural beauty that is astounding and welcoming instead of abrasive.”
“Nevada is lovely and welcoming to refugees like me,” McCann said. “There is a spirit in Nevada that is still alive and bright.”
“Barbed Wire Hookers” deals directly with Nevada; a short story about a prostitute who battles authorities, bureaucracy, and legal systems for her rights to put up an ecofriendly windmill.
“I like to think that I’ve saved some people that are worthy of saving,” McCann said about the book.
McCann’s law background greatly aided him in the writing of this book. McCann was accepted into the integrated liberal arts program at Saint Mary’s University, and then went on to the University of Berkley where he graduated in English with high honors and then went to the Hastings College of Law.
He now helps people save their homes by taking foreclosure cases. Yet his real passion will always be writing.
“The passion to write so outdistances the passion to be a lawyer,” McCann said.
His first book is “The Whorehouse is on Fire,” and despite the title, it is not an allusion to Nevada.
“It’s a metaphor for California,” McCann said.
The book is a fictional but first-hand account of the tragic destruction of the heart and soul of the once great state by the arrogant, self-serving actions of a select few.
He wrote this book as his thesis at the National University of Ireland. It was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. However, according to McCann, he could care less about prizes and critics. Instead he values the opinions of the “people in academia that are really dedicated to educating others.”
McCann said the book itself is a fictional satire on the state of California, and is “written in three subtle psychological dimensions,” and an overall theme of what comes around goes around.
McCann started writing at 3 years old, drawing off of what he saw around him. McCann spent many summers of his youth in Ireland.
“I had experiences there that were engraved in my brain forever,” he said.
His poetry books, which can no longer be purchased, have shown that he does use his experiences to shape his writing.
“You need to write about what you know,” he said. “Hemmingway will tell you that. Fitzgerald will tell you that.”