Name – Elgon Williams
Age – 59
Where are you from?
– Originally South Charleston, Ohio. Now living in Orlando, FL
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
– I grew up in rural west central Ohio, the son of a farmer. I attended Purdue University and the University of Texas at Austin and have degrees in Mass Communication and Marketing. I served in the USAF where I received a degree in Chinese Mandarin. I spent two years working Asia. Most of my adult life I spent as a retail manager. I’m divorced and have three adult children.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
– One of my rare poems, “Sentinel Tree” was recently published in the UK as part of an anthology titled Naked Goddess II. The proceeds of sales for the collection go to help disabled and wounded servicemen in both the UK and the US. I’m pretty proud of that because I love poetry but have never thought of myself as a poet.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
– I started writing in junior high school. When my 9th grade English teacher told me I’d never be a writer, I decided to prove her wrong. I joined the high school newspaper staff, eventually becoming the editor. I began writing sci-fi/fantasy during college.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
– I believe I always was aspiring. I think when I finished a manuscript, I began to call myself a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
– The first manuscript I wrote was back in college. It was titled “Tarot”. Its characters were loosely based on the major arcana of the fortune telling cards. I still have it. I pull it out from time to time to remind me how far I’ve advanced as a writer. Some of the storyline made it into The Wolfcat Chronicles, the first book is coming later this year.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
– If I do it is constantly evolving. I suppose I started out writing a bit like Kurt Vonnegut Jr. But the more I read the more diverse the influences I had. My first published fiction is hard sci-fi. While that book was in edits I began writing The Wolfcat Chronicles.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
– The title for my current publication, Fried Windows (In a light White Sauce) came from misreading a headline. (I should always wear my glasses). The concept of frying a widow amused me. I was writing a poem at the time about being a kid. I posted that on FanStory. I was an active member back then. The poem was so well received I decided to write a short story with the same theme. That became the first two chapter of the novel.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
– You never have to grow up. You can always reconnect with the inner child you have always been.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
– A good portion of Fried Windows is based on my real life working in retail and being a dad, maybe about 40%. The balance is utter fabrication. It’s a fair example of how my mind works. It takes something real, flips it over on its back and tickles it into submission. What results is fantasy.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
– Some of the interactions between Brent Woods and his kids are based on things that actually happened. There’s one scene where Brent is fixing breakfast for everyone. That is pretty much the way things happened. I accidentally invented mini pancakes back in the 90’s. Should have gotten a patent! Anyway, Brent does a lot of things I would never do. And his relationship with his wife only tangentially resembles my relationship with my ex.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
– I think the earliest influence came from Kurt Vonnegut Jr. His stuff always had a sense of humor about it, kind of tragically ironic at times. But I read a lot of hard sci-fi back then. Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Samuel R. Delaney, and Ursula K. LeGuin top the list. I started getting into fantasy in the late 70’s – Stephen R. Donaldson and J. R. R. Tolkien of course.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
– I’ve been reading a few raw manuscripts that have been submitted to my publisher. I also do some proof reading of the ARCs before the books are actually published. That takes most of my spare time. The last published thing I read was Deek Rhew’s novella, Birth of an American Gigolo. I also enjoy Rose Montague’s YA books, especially her Norma Jeans School of Witchery series. I have a namesake character in that.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
– I’m really high on some books that are coming out soon from my publisher: Looking into the Sun by Todd Tavolazzi, which is being released on 2/29/16; The Juliet by Laura Ellen Scott and Love’s Misadventure by Cheri Champagne, which are coming out in March; 122 Rules by Deek Rhew, which is coming out in April.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
– I’m working on three things right now. #1 is the sequel to Fried Windows which is tentatively titled Ninjabread Cookies. #2 is a sequel to another book that will be published later this year, titled Becoming Thuperman. #3 I’m revising a project that is based on my experiences growing up in the 60’s. I have a working title, Candy Apple Red Convertible, but that might change.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
– It would have to be my most enduring muse. We became friends just before I started writing The Wolfcat Chronicles. We have continued to stay in touch. She inspired one of the characters. Her real name is Liz.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
– It already is. I always wanted to be doing what I’m doing right now.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
– No, I think Fried Windows changed as much as it needed to while it was in edits, and always for the better.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
– Probably when I was in the second grade. Mrs. Thompson, my teacher, read Dicken’s A Christmas Carol to the class and it was always a painfully tedious experience. And whenever I was called on to read aloud in class the other kids laughed at my mistakes. But once I got past that, my interest in reading led to writing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“And the directions say just before I reached the hilltop, make a U-turn and look for a street on the right. When I find it, turn left, not the first left but the second left and take the more crooked road of the two.”
“Yes, and you drive straight down that road,” he said with a laugh. “She’s telling you exactly how she gets there, obviously. That’s how she drives.”
“Straight down a crooked road?”
“Yes, precisely,” he confirmed. “She was giving you the right directions. The second road is crooked but it is the most direct way to get to her house. I think that’s what she meant by ‘straight’.”
“Okay.” Glancing down at the directions, I tried for a little more clarity. “She says to look for a farmhouse where there is no barn. It has a large front door and a small front porch but no windows.”
“Yep, that’s her place. That’s it to a ‘T’.”
“She lives in a house with no windows?”
“Well, as I understand it, there was a tough season a while back. The crops were not up to expectations and money was hard to come by.”
“What does that have to do with why there are no windows in the house? Did she have to sell them?”
“No, according to her, she actually ate ‘em.”
Did I misunderstand? “She ate the windows?”
“Fried ‘em up and served them in a light white sauce,” he said and then laughed. “That’s what she told me, anyway.”
“Before you pass judgment, get to know Mrs. Fields. She’s a gem. She has a story to tell everyone and anyone, but the story she tells is always intended just for you.”
“I really don’t have the time to–”
“You should make the time, Brent,” he said, stealing my name with a brief glance at my name badge. “It’d be well worth the effort. Just have an open mind – a wide-open mind. She has a rare gift but you really gotta wanna receive it.”
“And she eats windows?”
“Well, I don’t know that for a fact. It’s what she told me, though. Maybe she wanted to make me laugh. Her sense of humor is a little bizarre. Still, the fact remains that her house has no windows. Once you get to know her, none of that will bother you as much as it does now. Trust me on that. You’ll never look at the world in the same way.”
“If that’s intended as a sales pitch, it’s not working.”
“Hey, you make your own decisions, guy,” he said. “Do you think you can find it now?”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
– There are a lot of plot threads that are woven together in my books. Minor characters in one book become major characters in others. Keeping all of that straight is a challenge, I guess. The characters are pretty much real people to me, though. So it’s a little like catching up with old friends whenever I work on a new book.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
– Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I enjoy his sense of humor. If you’ve never read his work, start with Breakfast of Champions. I think that is kind of pinnacle achievement of his career.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
– I haven’t had to travel that much yet. It will be coming when The Wolfcat Chronicles begin gaining a following. There are ten books in the series.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
– Pandamoon Publishing has a team of graphic artists. Fletcher Kinnear is the one most responsible for the Fried Windows cover, though. It’s completely original artwork and if you look closely there is a lot of detail in the images. It was done in 600 dpi and the files scale nicely for posters.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
– I suppose it was figuring out that what I had was actually a book. It started off being 16 short stories with shared characters and a common theme. It remained that way until about a month before I submitted it to Pandamoon.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
– I learned there are no limits to where imagination can take you.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
– Never give up. No one has all the answers and all those people telling you that you are good enough are wrong. You just have to keep getting better. As long as you do that you’ll make it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
– Thanks for believing in me. There are a lot of other books on the way and the strangest ideas are yet to come.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
– The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
– Irony makes me laugh. Fortunately, it is the binding force of the universe, so there is a lot of it around if you care to look. I guess I cry whenever I see how brutal people can be to one another.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
– Mark Twain. He had a great sense of humor and a particular eye for seeing the irony in things.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
– See you soon. – Because it’s true.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
– I’m a big gadget person. If it’s something new, I’m into checking it out. I love computers. I used to custom build system for gamers.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
– I follow Castle. Have for years. I also like the Flash and Arrow. Other than that I don’t watch TV. My favorite movie is Back to The Future. Also liked The Matrix and Star Wars.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
– I love Asian food but also like Italian. My favorite color is blue and musically I like Classic Rock, although I also like more recent stuff as well.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I used to play bass guitar in a rock band. I would have probably stuck with doing that.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Brief Blurb about Fried Windows:
In the tradition of Asimov, Heinlein, H.G. Wells, and Lewis Carroll; Elgon Williams has created a universe where imagination rules and reality is not what it seems.
Leave your world behind and enter an adventure forever lost but never forgotten. Where only magic is real, and anything is possible.
When Brent Woods, a middle-aged computer technician delivers a new computer system to an eccentric woman who lives in a strange house with no windows, she offers to reconnect him with his childhood dreams and fantastic imagination. Alongside his best friend Lucy, Brent explores the seemingly infinite possibilities of the “Inworld” where she lives, a place where everything about anything can change with a thought. Nevertheless, in the process of remembering his past as Carlos, Lord of Bartoul in the Interrealm, Brent exposes a dark potential that threatens his family and his life as he knows it.
When his youngest daughter is attacked in her dreams by the same forces that took away his kingdom, and Lucy’s. Brent seeks answers that lie somewhere in the truth of what happened in his past, and how he lost his connection to the Interrealm. He must find a way to correct his mistakes and solve the puzzle of his best friend’s life.
Fried Windows: In a Light White Sauce is an unforgettable journey into imagination—a feast of delightful characters whose perspective of their worlds will change the way you think about yours—forever.
Born in Springfield, Ohio, Elgon Williams grew up on a farm near the town of South Charleston and the village of Selma in rural southeastern Clark County, “…about two miles from nowhere and between cornfields.”
Williams graduated from Shawnee High School in 1974. In the fall of that year he began studies at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. In 1978 he received receiving a BA in Mass Communication. Later in 1981 he received a degree in Marketing Administration from The University of Texas in Austin.
He joined the US Air Force in 1983 and attended the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey in California where he studied Chinese Mandarin. Upon completion of military training he spent two years assigned to the Far East.
After returning to the US, Williams left the military and began an extended career in management for several major retailers. Periodically, he also served as a vendor advocate for a national marketing firm representing many computer technology and software companies. He has also worked in advertising, sales and as a computer technician and technology consultant.
Although his early writing is considered sci-fi and fantasy, it is difficult to pigeonhole his work into any single genre. His most recent work is considered urban fantasy or magical realism.