Interview with N.A. Williams

What is your writing process?
Ten percent inspiration and 90 percent desperation. I struggle with the writing process as much as anyone else, but my writing is character driven and that helps. The people in my stories are just that, people. They have opinions and world views that they want to expresses. They are practically pounding at the walls for someone to hear them. Their tenacity makes the writing process a lot easier.

I usually start off with premise that is inspired by real life events. Some news article or even something mundane, and then I extrapolate that little tid-bit out and say, "what if?" Once I have a premise I make a list of characters to populate this new world and really flesh them out. Then it is just a matter of combining the two and seeing what they do.
How do you approach cover design?
Obviously, I like to keep it simple. Sure, it would be awesome to have an epic Drew Struzan-esque book cover, but the digital world is too limited these days. You get a one inch square plot of e-book real estate and that's it. It better be clear what you're selling.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
These are all books that will change the way you think about the world. They make your brain go off like an atomic bomb, and once it explodes, the landscape is irrevocably changed forever.

1984- For the same reason everyone else loves it.

The Catcher in the Rye- I was full of angst once too.

Raptor by Gary Jennings- Subversive and captivating. I read this book every summer for years and years.

UFOs 101 by Harold Burt - blew my mind when I was a kid. The way Burt explains numbers and physics really stuck with me when I was younger, and it changed my world.

The Secret in the Bible by Tony Bushby- This was an odd one that I stumbled across several years ago. It too had these mind bending moments that completely change the way you look at the world.

All of these books in some way shaped my world view, and each one is represented in everything I write.
What do you read for pleasure?
I still like sci-fi and fantasy stuff when I am feeling nostalgic. I am old enough to remember what it was like to drive hours to find a bookstore that you heard might have the kind of books you are interested in. I also remember the early days of Amazon when you had to scour the entire site in the hopes that you might find one new zombie novel. It is a different world now. Independent publishing has changed everything. I read a lot of independent authors now. I'm enjoying post-apocalyptic fiction and horror. I also really enjoy books on astrophysics.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I really enjoy having a dedicated device. I'm not a fan of the tablet PC all in one kind of readers. I need a way to be in front of a screen that doesn't feel like being in front of a screen. I use a nook light right now, and used to use a kobo. I like a simple straight up e-reader with an e-ink display.
Describe your desk
It is surprisingly clean right now. We live in a house that was built in the 60's, and I carved out a spot for myself in the basement that is holed away from everything. I hid the entrance behind a book case, and inside it is like a 1970's time capsule. Brown carpet, faux wood paneling, the usual. I've covered it in posters, books, and oddities inside, and it's just a weird place to go and write without any judgements.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My home town is the setting for The God Cure, and it is one of the strangest places in the US. It is a town that is filled with monsters, ghosts, bottomless pits, secret tunnels, giants, the occult, murder, plague, insanity, and a whole shit load of skeletons. As for where it is, you will have to figure that out for yourself. I've left clues all over The God Cure so you can find it.
When did you first start writing?
I didn't start writing seriously until about one year ago. It was something I had been toying with for years, but after a medical scare last November, I decided that if I am going to be checking out early that I want to leave something behind.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The God Cure is, I feel, interesting because I didn't really make much of it up. The science is real. The situation is real. I've just taken it all to the next level and said, "What would happen to the world if this was done on a massive scale?" This book is, for the most part, entirely plausible. Every word of fiction in it has a grain of truth to it. We all already have everything we need inside of us to make The God Cure a reality, it would just take the right vector and environmental cues to activate it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I just wanted to see if I could do it on my own. I like the brave new world of indies. It is fresh and rebellious and changing the landscape of the literary world. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? There is nothing wrong with trade publishing and given the right opportunity I would probably go that route, but I gotta give this a go first.
What are you working on next?
You'll see...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do sculpting and mold making as a hobby. I mostly make monsters and horror related things. It sounds like a joke, but in my bio it says that I spend time in the basement creating screen accurate replicas of the baby from Eraserhead in my basement, and I really do.

I am also an RN in a busy emergency department. Sometimes, my writing is a way for me to cope with all of the things I see everyday. I have become far too familiar with illness, injury, aging, and death. It is cathartic to put those things down on paper. It also adds an element of realism to my work.
Published 2014-10-12.
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