Hi and welcome to the Library of Erana, a place of words and of their magic. Words are power, they are knowledge and they are freedom. Welcome to author Simon Williams.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a writer based in the UK who hopes one day to make enough money from writing to live on (don’t we all?!)
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.
I write predominantly fantasy, although I’ve also written a number of short stories that don’t seem to fit into any particular genre.
My main works are the Aona books, a series of novels which most people tend to describe as dark fantasy, although they contain elements of other genres- particularly sci-fi and horror. The first three books have been published, and I expect the series to run to five books in total- that’s the plan anyway!
Where can readers find your book?
The first three Aona books are available in Kindle format and in paperback on CompletelyNovel.com and on Amazon, as well as various other resellers and online bookstores.
How long have you been writing and what, if anything, made you choose the genre in which you write?
I’ve been scribbling down stories pretty much from the time I had actually learned to read and write. I never really wanted to do anything else for a living, so I would love to be able to do it “full time” as it were- I’ve never been much good at any other professions so that’s a clear sign to me that this is what I’m “meant to be doing”.
As to why I chose fantasy- when I was ten years old I read Alan Garner’s celtic fantasy masterpiece “The Weirdstone of Brisingamen” and that book profoundly changed my life. It was an amazing experience- I know that people often say they’re “immersed” in a book, but I really was, to the extent that I spent many hours lost within its pages and unaware of anything around me. There are very few books that can do that totally. From that point on I was determined that I was going to write fantasy- and although I’ve written works in other genres, it’s still the genre that appeals the most.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences?
I don’t consciously try to write like any other author, but I particularly like the works of Clive Barker, the aforementioned Alan Garner, Tad Williams, Ian Irvine, George R R Martin and Cecilia Dart-Thornton as well as many others. Oddly enough, some films inspired the Aona books as much if not more than books.
Can you name a positive experience from your writing and a negative one?
The main positive experience is really the satisfaction that comes from writing and completing a work, and also that wonderful feeling when you’re “in the zone” and you can suddenly write pages and pages that you’re instantly happy with.
I guess the negative side is the flip-side of that, when you can struggle for many hours and no matter how hard you try nothing of what you’ve written is satisfactory. That’s the time when I really push myself to keep writing, regardless of how terrible I feel that the results are- because it’s through plodding on that the inspiration eventually comes flooding back. It can take a while though!
With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why?
My books are available in print as well as digitally. I think that’s quite important- I’m a fan of physical copies of books, and although I’m aware of the convenience of digital versions I don’t think anything beats the feel of a real book- or indeed the scent of a real book (which I know might seem a little odd to some people!) And although most people prefer digital copies (mainly because they’re cheaper as well as more convenient) I know there’s a minority who, like me, prefer actual physical books.
Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write?
I can’t watch TV and write at the same time, but I do usually listen to music. I find that it can really help sometimes. The music can be any genre really (except that awful “gangsta” type music, or whiney country & western)- I like quite a few artists and bands in most genres of music, in fact I like particular artists and bands rather than particular genres.
Books are important, why is this the case? What can a book provide that say a video game cannot?
A book is an entire world that bloomed from out of someone’s mind, a creation that took dedication and hard work- and there’s something deeply comforting about a book, perhaps the knowledge that you can dip back into it and sink back into that world and meet those characters again, instantly and at any time.
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself?
Oblivion’s Forge, the first Aona book, actually took thirteen years to write, whereas the second and third books took less than a year each. I seem to be getting a little more focussed.