Hey guys, so as the title reads I currently did an interview with the lovely A.R. Williams and loved her answers from the time I read them as well as reading her book, which the post is below if you want to read it. Also keep reading till the end for the giveaway guys! Anyways enjoy this treat.
1. When writing “The Camellia Resistance” did any of your childhood adventures give you inspiration?
It was more the adventures that I didn’t have as a kid that fed into the inspiration for the book. I grew up in a pretty restrictive conservative Christian faith. A lot of the culture was built around being afraid of the big bad secular world, and so the list of things that we didn’t do was pretty long. I wanted to write about starting in a place of fear and dealing with what happens when the thing you fear the most takes place. In this case, (as in most cases) it doesn’t kill the protagonist. She has to find her way when her world has been turned upside down.
2. Who are your favorite authors that influenced your writing?
I don’t want to claim too much for influence because I am still aspiring to live up to the example of my favorite authors, but I love the earth-bound magic realism of Gabriel García Márquez. I wish I could bring Arundhati Roy’s freshness of language to the page or the masterful timing that Raj Kamal Jha offers in The Blue Bedspread. Barbara Kingsolver’s humanity, or Peter S. Beagle’s … well, everything that Mr. Beagle offers as a writer. Jane Austin’s nuances, Alexandre Dumas’ sense of adventure, or J.K. Rowling’s vast control over a million details. There are a lot of authors to try and live up to.
3. How does philosophy play into your writing?
Philosophy is really important to me and what I hope to accomplish as a writer. Books, at their best, give us the tools to manage the things that happen to us. Philosophy is supposed to provide a framework for living. So, to me, fiction and philosophy go hand in hand. My favorite authors have been there for me in times of massive change or major stress, showing me through their characters that there is a context for difficulty and a path through it. They offered principles to measure my situation against and examples of managing with a little dignity. I was a compulsive writer long before I had any idea of being to someone else what the authors mentioned above have been to me, so I can’t say that’s why I am a writer. But my measure of success for myself is wrapped up in whether or not I’ve been able to make someone’s difficult day a little more manageable.
4. What’s your favorite type genre to write?
I don’t think much about genre as I’m writing: the story is the story and then the classification into a genre comes after the fact. There are advantages in everything – the dystopian world lets you comment on the real world we live in without judgement. Urban fantasy lets you ground the fantastic elements of your wildest imagination in concrete and bone. There are advantages in every genre, it just happened that Willow’s story was in a time and place that was dystopian, urban, and pretty fantastical.
5. What’s your favorite type of character to write?
My favorite characters to write are the ones that are relentlessly themselves. Who knows where they come from, but they spring up fully formed and demand a voice that is uniquely their own. Morrigan, who shows up later in the book, is one of those characters. A woman who has endured a great deal, she’s come to peace with herself and her situation when it all gets turned upside down. She has no filter, she seeks no one’s approval, but she’s startled to find that after everything that has happened, she hasn’t managed to squash her capacity to care. I adore her. She’s got some of the best lines in the book.
6. What advice would you give to new authors who write dystopian/ urban fantasies?
Pick your story and your characters first: the world will come as a byproduct of the story. Let the story lead you. It is the people, the human interaction that will hook your readers, it is your characters and their journey that your audience will remember. If you focus on that and let the genre or the setting flow from who your protagonists are, then you’ll have a story that will resonate, no matter the genre.
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