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Meet the author of a will sonnet.


Join us as we welcome WILL SONNET on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:00 PM to celebrate the release of his new book DUCK HUNTING IN QUICKSAND.



Duck Hunting in Quicksand is a marvelous tale of heroism and humility, from the melting pot of Delta blues on Beale Street to the Pacific theater of WWII. Ensign Charles Deane Smith was listed MIA after his ship, the USS HOUSTON, was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese in the early hours of March 1, 1942, a surprise attack on the flotilla of Allied warships. His survival would not be known by his family for many months, but that morning and the next day Deane rescued many men, leading them to the isle of Java until they were captured by the Japanese after 3 days. Ensign Smith’s three-and-a-half-year ordeal as a Japanese POW was foretold by humble hunting guide Arthur Campbell well before the War began.

Soon after America declared War in December 1941, the hunting and fishing retreat where he was employed closed, and Arthur Campbell sought employment in the household of one of the club members, Charlie Walterlane of Memphis. News of the demise of the HOUSTON had been the catalyst for all adult male Walterlane and Smith family members not already engaged to enlist or regain their commissions in the armed forces. Without their father or uncles, the five Walterlane children, especially the teenage boys Billy and Carlo, found a role model in Arthur Campbell. Carlo tells the story from his teen years until he became a young man: Arthur unintentionally became the family leader, and through their many adventures during and after the War, teaching his outdoors and life skills, was beloved by all Walterlanes until he died in 1957.



Will Sonnet is the pseudonym under which William L. Oates III writes fiction and composes and performs music. These passions gathered momentum after a long career in the creative arts: art direction, illustration, graphic design, copywriting, print promotion, signage design, product design and prototyping.

After graduating from Memphis University School (1976), Will moved to Dallas to attend Southern Methodist University and was employed in the advertising industry while earning his four-year BFA degree (1980). He remained in Texas, working in his chosen field of communications and design until 1987, then married and started his own firm in Memphis, Oates Design. These were busy, wonderful years: three daughters came along 1990-1996, and Oates Design grew— serving clients with international reach from Memphis for a quarter century.

Ready for a change, the family moved to Nashville in 2012. Once settled, Will began to think of what could be next. “I can’t recommend it,” he said of changing careers at age 55 (2012), but the right direction was soon apparent.

Today he is a Realtor, and a Managing Partner of Alliant Capital Advisors LLC, the Mid South’s largest business intermediary, representing business owners in the marketing and sale of their businesses and related real estate. The communications skills developed promoting design clients fit perfectly attracting buyers for his clients, and now he splits his time between career and the pursuit of longtime dreams: creative writing and the five-string (banjo). Will Sonnet hopes to release an album of original songs by late 2024. The next literary effort has been underway for a couple of years and may surface as soon as 2025. That schedule may be a bit ambitious, as it fails to account for another growing passion— Will’s grandson, now a hilarious talking toddler!

The event is finished.


Nov 14 2023


6:00 pm


Free to attend. Book is $32.95.

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Novel Memphis
387 Perkins Extd.


Novel Memphis
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