Name K. Williams
Where are you from – Saratoga Springs, NY, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Born in Saratoga Springs, New York, K embarked on a now twenty year career in writing. After a childhood, which consisted of voracious reading and hours of film watching, it was a natural progression to study and produce art.
K attended Morrisville State College, majoring in the Biological Sciences, and then continued with English and Historical studies at the University at Albany, home of the New York State Writer’s Institute, gaining her Bachelor’s Degree. While attending UA, K interned with the 13th Moon Feminist Literary Magazine, bridging her interests in social movements and art. Topics of K’s writing include the environment, animal welfare, gender limitations, racial disparities, and the trauma of war.
Published novels by K include the Civil War drama Blue Honor, the Second World War spy thriller OP-DEC:Operation Deceit, and the controversial science fiction/fantasy series The Trailokya Trilogy. In addition to writing novels, K enjoy’s the art of screenwriting and has worked on the screen spec 8 Days in Ireland, and the adaptations of her current novels. Currently, K has completed the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program for Film Studies and Screenwriting at Empire State College (SUNY), and is the 2013-2014 recipient of the Foner Fellowship in Arts and Social Justice. In 2015, K. Williams became an official member of International Thriller Writers.
K continues to write on this blog weekly, producing commentary Mondays and Fridays on hot topics with some fun diversions for your work week. Whether it’s cooking, learning a foreign language, history or dogs, you’ll find something to enjoy and keep coming back for. Always a promoter of other artists, K uses Guest Blog Wednesdays to showcase artists from around the web and bring you interesting readings to expand your horizons. A sequel to her second novel, OP-DEC, is in the research phase, while the screen adaptation is being considered for production by film companies.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just released my third book, which is the first book in a trilogy. Lucky three! I am really excited about this series, as I took of the writer handcuffs and poured everything I had into it. So far it has three great reviews.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in the 9th grade (age 14) after seeing the film Memphis Belle (1990). I was so taken with the film that I decided then and there I wanted to write. Reading had always been a big part of my life, right along with film. These two media forms have heavily influenced me to the point that I went back to get my graduate degree in screenwriting and film studies.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Once I got my degree in English studies. I didn’t think I could make a claim in it until I had a degree that said I had studied to become a writer. I remember professors saying to the classes: If you write, you are a writer. But that never was enough. Everyone writes something, just about every day. That doesn’t make them a writer. Then, also, post graduation, I actively pursued writing a book to publish. I think when I embarked on that task is when I finally allowed myself that appellation.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The film Memphis Belle (1990).
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I have been told that I do, but I can’t describe. How I go about writing, that I can describe. I’ll either have a dream or be watching something that inspires me to start thinking and then the day dreaming about it starts. I’ll write some notes and then do research once I get a better idea of when the story takes place and where.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
That was really tough. It started out being called Faith Fallen. I wrote it as a script first and let it sit for several years. Some of the details I wanted to put into the book came from a place I wasn’t yet ready to discuss. In the middle of pursuing my graduate degree, I finally felt a push to write it down. Between terms I wrote the draft of all three books. It was then that I came up with the title. Trailokya is a word from Sanskrit, used in Buddhist and Hindu traditions to describe the trinity of worlds (Heaven, Earth and Hell). I use it in the same manner in the book. The individual titles for the three parts, were gleaned from the topic of each book—reflecting a spiritual influence.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That what we think we know may in fact not be the truth. We can be so very certain of ourselves, whether it is faith or people or things. Sometimes, all of what we know is an illusion perpetuated by perspective.
This also feeds into the books voyage into domestic abuse. There are so many people out there who have no idea how they’ve gotten into such a situation, or that they’re even in such a situation. When it progresses, they’re looking for those who hear their suffering, and ways to escape it. In the later volumes, readers will go through that reasoning process with the character and get a glimpse into what it is like to endure such a relationship. It’s so easy to say, they should just leave when we don’t understand all the details. It is never, in reality that easy. I’d like readers to walk away with that understanding too.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Being that it’s a fantasy, there is a great deal that is not realistic at all. But, then again, the series deals with the sacred and esoteric. Some don’t believe in religious ideas, while many others do. The aspects of friendship and family relationships are very real. I write what I know as far as that goes, and so they reflect how I interact with others, or how I am interacted with. Domestic Violence is a very real subject. I’ve also applied personal experiences to the narrative.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Based on myself. I don’t feel it is okay to write about someone else without their permission and even if you gain that permission, what you end up writing and the level of scrutiny upon it might make them later rescind. Writing from my own time line helps avoid that.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I have always loved Shakespeare. I’ve grown increasingly fond of Jane Austen. My mother read JRR Tolkien’s books while she was pregnant with me, and I think it is those and books like them that left their greatest imprint on me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Soul Summoner by Elicia Hyder (ARC) to do a review.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Elicia Hyder! She’s a wonderful author and does a lot of outreach to aspiring authors.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on the marketing for Burning Down, the second book of the Trailokya series. I also finished the sequel to my second novel (OP-DEC: Operation Deceit). My blog is a constant project. I enjoy writing my Writing Historical Fiction series on there to give aspiring authors some tips which I didn’t have when I was starting out. I make them easy and straightforward so it is digestible and useful.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My graduate school. Empire State College encouraged me to pursue my goals with my degree, and bring my writing to the next level. I have never excelled so much in studies as I had with them. I had amazing mentors throughout the three years.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I am definitely working on it! I have three books published, and was picked up by a publisher in 2014. I am also working with managers to place my final project script, an adaptation of OP-DEC: Operation Deceit, with producers. That reality gets closer every day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change a single thing. These books are everything I wanted them to be, and I am so glad that I didn’t censor myself.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
With reading. I was reading from a very young age, and I just progressed from there to making my own stories. Between reading and watching documentaries, old and new movies—It somehow jelled.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Excerpt: Gediel, a watcher, knelt behind a layer of thick brush just in view of a wide glade. A spring pool occupied the north end, deep and wide, sprung from nothing in particular and was out of place and, oddly, a perfect circle. Ages had worn the hard surfaces that appeared more fitting to a cliff face or sea-side. The smooth lines of the rock consisted of a vertical projection and a broad, smooth stone floor, like an irregular clamshell. The forest framed the area with a natural canopy missing from the crumbling arch. The water at the edge of the pool would be pleasantly tepid in the late afternoon sun. The glade and its strange pool reminded him of places in Elysion, the furthest continent circling the inner half of the southern hemisphere of Zion, and where he lived outside the tight confines of society. The glade was the most beautiful in all of Eden. His appraisal may have been biased, for the location was also the bower of an erela Gediel favored above all others. No Naiades or Oreiades female could compare in charm to her.
Gediel at that moment was fraught with trepidation, as the bower of this erela, the glade was considered by her a sacred place that none should trespass upon. Though they were friends and he came there to deliver a special gift, he hoped his black garments, the uniform of his order, would sufficiently hide him from her detection. Recalling the shining circlet of silver on his crown, his golden, wolf-like mane, and the silver of his wings, which would stand out against the earthy browns of the forest, his breath turned anxious. What if she could see him? A single glint from whichever conspicuous attribute, and he would be in grave danger. He tensed and considered burying the mark of his svargaduta, or svarg, resonance inside his jacket or put his back to a tree to conceal his appendages. Yet he was afraid to do either, for so rare was he that there was no confusing him with any other engel in Zion.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Letting go. Ending the book, finishing the edits, and allowing it to go to print. I always feel I haven’t done enough. That it’s not perfect enough.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have an absolute favorite. I love many of the classics. I don’t like Hemingway, which is pretty divergent from the usual answer. His work was too sparse for me, and I didn’t find that particularly creative or good. Writing has gotten away from the point: the clever use of language to tell a story. It has been replaced by the most frugal use of language to distract for a bit. I think this is why I go back to the classics. On my tops list: Dickens, Shakespeare, Austen, Capote and Greene (Graham). Most of my favorites are British authors.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have not had to do much travelling yet, but I believe that research can best be done by doing so. I need to take the time to fill out some grant applications to see if I could get funded. That’s a lot of work and I just haven’t had the time.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Scott Deyett of InHouse Graphics: http://ihgraphics.com/ He’s amazing.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Allowing myself the freedom to write what needed to be written. In many cases it’s not so easy to just pour all that out there. There is the fear of rejection. The fear that it won’t work or look foolish once on paper. There is the fear that someone will get angry with you. All of that is just doubt attempting to stop you from writing. The final product shows the integrity of that honesty, but also is so rich for it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned to better apply the skills I’ve been learning from the editors who go over my work. There is less and less to fix in my books as time goes on. Also, I learned a great deal about what I wish the world was really like.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what your book needs you to write without the fear of rejection or reprisal from others. You don’t do yourself or the book any justice when you skirt matters. It shows. Your readers will sense that thing missing and be less impressed by what you present them. Writers dare.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Don’t be intimidated by the first few pages. As you move forward through the story the ideas presented there will be reinforced. Many of the terms are spoken Sanskrit and spelled mostly phonetically. Don’t get bogged down in the terms and pronunciations as it will slow the reading and take the joy from it. This is a journey into what man generations of philosophers have posed as the truth despite our reality. Enjoy the trip. It’s going to be epic.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I can see a book in my little hands, in which I had written my name in pencil, but I cannot remember the title.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a pretty raw sense of humor. The oddest things will cause me to fall into fits of laughter. I have a Pinterest board titled “Stuff I’m Loving” that is loaded with some of those funnies. Also a board on my personal Facebook page called “Bein Teh Funneh” (spelling purposely incorrect).
Things that make me cry: animal abuse, people returning dogs to shelters for no good reasons, starvation and want, Chris Evans in his Captain America costume…
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I would really really love to spend time with my Great Grandmother again. I barely remember her, but I was so attached to her before she passed. The stories about her are just not enough.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
alis volat propriis, She flies with her own wings, but in Welsh instead of Latin. I am of Welsh ancestry.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I collect action figures and film memorabilia, photography, graphics, sketching and painting. I also experiment with cooking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I am loving the Blacklist right now. Hell on Wheels, American Horror Story, Copper, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Arrow, Flash, The Walking Dead—I am a huge nerd!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love French fries, I’m addicted to popcorn and peanuts. Favorite colors are orange and cobalt blue. I listen to a lot of different music. I make playlists for my books. My mainstay is club music, something you would hear when you go out dancing, hip hop and trap music. You can check out the trilogy soundtrack on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/user/arguspicks/playlist/3nC3w0GX9DQRM7osvF4gk9.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have maybe pursued doing film make up (prosthetics) or maybe a nurse, if I had stayed with biology studies. That is so like me to pick things so far apart. I have such a Gemini personality.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/K.-Williams/e/B002YFZ018/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1