Potter Wins Publishing Contract

by | Apr 2021

Kaufmann describes his latest book.

Photo: Chris Emeott

Local novelist describes his latest book.

William Kaufmann works as a potter at Linden Hills Pottery in Hudson, Wis. alongside his wife Cynthia Mosedale, a painter. When Kaufmann isn’t creating oneof-a-kind ceramics, he can often be found writing.

Most recently, Kaufmann has been working on a futuristic sci-fi novel called Killing Bodhi. The book was a finalist for the Nashville Claymore Award and a winner of the Page Turner Award in 2020. Winning the Page Turner Award meant Kaufmann received a print and audio publication deal with Spectrum Publishing.

Kaufmann has been a writer his whole life. “Back in high school, I was writing poetry. In my senior English final, there was an essay question about a book. I had this brilliant idea that I wouldn’t write an essay, I would write a poem,” Kaufmann says. Creative for sure, and “the teacher said, ‘Great poem! But you just didn’t do the assignment.’”

Since then, Kaufmann has continued to pursue a love of creative writing no matter his circumstance. “For a long time, I used writing as an outlet, but never really thought of publishing,” he says. Kaufmann’s first novel, The Change, received the San Diego State University Merit Award in 2017 and in 2018, his short story, The Bruised Peach, won PULP Literature’s Hummingbird Editor’s Choice Award.

For three years, Kaufmann has been working on Killing Bodhi with the help of his writers’ group and Peter Geye at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. “The framework for the book is a brilliant scientist who has determined that humanity needs an upgrade and she is going to fast forward evolution,” says Kaufmann. “To do this, she creates Bodhi, who is an advanced biological droid. And she will lure into her experiment a human she doesn’t really know, named Bridget, who has extraordinary DNA. But as with experiments, things don’t always go according to plan.”

The tensions in the book mount with blackmail, slavery, advanced technology, war and forbidden affairs. The focal point of Bodhi’s journey is really her own road to knowing herself and the world around her. “Her internal struggle throughout the book is to answer the question, ‘Am I alive? At what point are we alive?’” Kaufmann says. “In asking that question; she has some other, deeper questions too about humanity like ‘What is humanity? Are humans programmed machines like I am?’”

“It turns out, there’s a lot of interesting characters,” Kaufmann says. A prequel and sequel for Killing Bodhi are already in the works. “I’m sure readers will be glad for that because I do leave them off at kind of a precarious place.”

The initial chapter of the novel that introduces Bodhi can be found on the Linden Hills Pottery website. The audience’s first picture of the character gives a glimpse into the dynamics of how she lives in a world with strong prejudice against her. “Nothing like starting off with a little blood and gore,” Kaufmann says, describing the snippet that launches readers into the book. (You’ve been warned.)

The Page Turner Awards are open to all fiction and non-fiction writers from English-speaking countries across the world. The judging panel for the awards includes authors, publishers, literary agents and film producers. More information about the Page Turner Awards and how writers can enter is available at pageturnerawards.com.


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