GP: Interview with writer Trevor Williams

This week’s guest post is an interview with writer Trevor Williams, who is currently working on his first novel.  Enjoy

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Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?

Probably as young as eight years old, back when my stories were text combined with drawings I made in elementary school.

I’ve always enjoyed writing, which expressed itself in the strange enjoyment I had when writing essays for school classes and well into my post-college years when I wrote technical manuals and user guides.

I’ve always wanted to write for a living, but never really had the drive to bring that to reality… until I was inspired for the book I’ve been working on. Then I knew: I found the fire that would light my path to becoming published.

Q02 – Are there any authors who inspire you?

Stephen King is my all-time favorite author. Despite the content of his books, I grew up reading his novels, the first ever being “Four Past Midnight” which contained his novella (my all-time favorite novella) “The Langoliers”. Other prominent writers in my life include Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, Terry Pratchett, and Harry Turtledove.

Q03 – What is your dream goal for your writing?

My biggest goal is to be published – to have my story be publicly accessible to all those that want to explore the world that I’ve created, fall in love with – or despise – my characters, and to walk away from the experience a little bit different compared to how they were when they started the book.

Ideally, I would also turn writing into a full-time career and write novels, novellas, and short stories for the rest of my life – and do it on an income that would be self-sustaining. Lofty goals, but I always aim high!

Q04 – What is the title (or working title) of your current manuscript and can you tell us a little about it?

The novel is called “The Basking” (hard science fiction). It’s the first story in what I envision will become a trilogy at the minimum, with the plot for book two being solidified.

It is the first full-length novel that I’ve ever written to completion, something I’m really happy about. As of this post, it is in its fifth draft and in the hands of an editor.

One fun fact: I trimmed the manuscript length down from 163k words to 127k between the first and fifth draft.

Q05 – How long have you been working on this manuscript?

I’ve spent just shy over one year writing this story. About a quarter of that time was just spent researching the various technical, biological, and astronomical concepts and technologies.

Q06 – Do you plan your stories or just leap into the writing?

Some planning was put into it – namely the aforementioned research. Beyond that, the only things I “planned” was how the story would begin and how I wanted it to end – everything else formed organically. That’s probably why my first draft ended up being 163k words long.

Q07 – Do you have a writing routine?

Most definitely, though it changes depending on what I am writing. When I was writing the first draft for The Basking I usually met up with a group of people at a coffee shop or indoor public plaza (“Shut Up & Write” Oakland chapter represent!).

I found these sessions the most productive, especially when I had all my research prepared ahead of time – in three hours I usually knocked out two thousand words. And this would be done on all workdays, in the morning.

The afternoon hours would usually be spent conducting research or getting another batch of writing done.

Q08 – What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

Writing emotionally strong, romantic scenes. For one pivotal scene in The Basking that placed two of my main characters in an emotionally charged situation, I spent about four hours writing just 900 words… but those 900 words were SO DRAINING for me.

What’s ironic is that I went into writing The Basking with no intentions of including any romantic subplots… yet not one but two separate romantic subplots organically formed over the course of the book.

Also, because I generally pants my way through writing, unforeseen requirements for research can occur which can result in greatly reduced writing productivity.

Q09 – What are your thoughts on Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing?

Personally, I’m all about the traditional path toward publication, and that’s the direction I’ve chosen for all of my work. I recognize the benefits of self-publishing, but after spending a lot of time researching both options I’ve decided to stick with the longer road that’s ahead.

Q10 – What is the single best piece of advice you could give to new writers?

Don’t stop until you’ve finished.

I feel like this is the biggest challenge new writers have: keeping the flame that fuels their passion alive. That first book is arguably the most challenging to write because we’ll put up so many artificial barriers to prevent it from seeing the light of day. Never, ever give up.

Q11 – Are there any authors you would love to meet in person?

It would be great to meet Stephen King one day. I did meet Kim Stanley Robinson, but I forgot to bring my ancient copy of “Red Mars” for him to sign which made me really sad.

Q12 – Tells us why you love writing

Being able to create something from nothing is something usually reserved for the gods of religions. Having that power with the worlds I conjure with my writing is really empowering.

The best part is when your characters become fleshed out enough where they do what they want, as opposed to you telling them how to run their lives. When my creation becomes its own perpetual machine… that’s when I’ve felt the most satisfied.

About Trevor

Photo of writer Trevor WilliamsBorn in NYC and now lives in Oakland, I am a writer of science fiction.

Before going into writing full-time I held various roles in the world of Salesforce for over a decade.

My drive for learning more about the universe is only matched by my love of pizza and bagels. I’ve been playing Nintendo games since 1987 – still do, and likely will never stop.

I am father to a precocious little girl and husband to an incredible woman, without which my life would be indescribably different.

I need tea to live.

The Basking (WIP)

Book aesthetic for The Basking by Trevor WilliamsIn 2014, SETI detects a signal of indisputable alien origin just beyond the orbit of Pluto. Two days later, Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus are all destroyed by the source of that signal: An impossibly large ship that has set a direct course for Earth.

This story is about how three individuals – Jennifer, a by-the-books Senior Researcher at SETI; Samantha, Jennifer’s excitable but brilliant subordinate; and Muzikayise, the CEO of a multi-national corporation – react to discovering not only extraterrestrial life, but that the life we’ve found may result in our home being destroyed in ten years time unless we can do something about it.

This story focuses less on the threat to Earth, but how humanity copes with first contact and the existential crisis that is forced upon them.

Connect with Trevor

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Thanks so much to Trevor for being this week’s guest poster.  I hope you enjoyed his interview. 

Check out his links and if you have any questions or comments for Trevor, please drop them in the comments section below!

Happy writing

Ari

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10 thoughts on “GP: Interview with writer Trevor Williams

  1. That was an excellent interview! Looking forward to Trevor’s book! Of course, I’m partial, I’m his Mom!☺

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