M.L. Williams is an award-winning ex-journalist. He retired after 39 years of battling deadlines to venture into the world of science fiction.
Williams lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He spends his time reading, writing and enjoying his role as Grandpa. This is his debut novel.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
What was the inspiration for your book?
A I found myself being intrigued with the writing style of Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert in the Dune prequels. I tried to emulate their writing style.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I try to follow a routine Same time and work for same amount of hours, usually three or four. When you get tired, stop.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Doing research is a good way to take your mind off writer’s block. Sometimes you have to take a brain vacation.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
Be confident in yourself.
What are your current/future projects?
I shortly will be editing and doing rewrites of the sequel to Seers of Verde The Legend Fulfilled.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
Science fiction and fantasy have always stirred my imagination.
What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?
It looks like the future for indie authors is bright with all the publishing options available. However, it is not an easy path due to all the responsibilities of writing, publishing and marketing fall in the author’s lap.
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
I decided to self publish for my first after hearing about the difficulties of attracting the attention of agents and publishing houses. I chose to work with CreateSpace and IngramSpark.
Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?
I am not the far along in the process to have done this.
What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)
My book has only been available for two weeks so all this is still new.
What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?
I am still exploring and studying marketing avenues. A Goodreads giveaway just started for my book and soon a Kindle discount sale will start.
If you are a self-published author, which platform do you prefer? (Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Author House, or something not mentioned), and why?
I have worked with Amazon and a bit with Smashwords.
What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?
My science fiction novel has been called an epic and space opera.
What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?
You can’t always take notes at inconvenient times. When you do have private time, try to relax and remember where you were when the thought came to you. Oftentimes, you will remember it. d
Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?
When you feel the story is told then that’s enough.
How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?
Writing has made me more conscious of managing my time. Don’t think I have any affect on anyone else yet.
How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?
I think the title and cover are good at grabbing attention. Obviously, content has to be strong to keep a reader interested.
Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?
Still new in this process.
Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?
Yes, I believe so because I look for reviews as a reader.
What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?
Review swaps might be a good idea. I am suspicious of paying for a review.
Do you believe there are competitors or general readers out to sabotage authors with bad reviews and what are your experiences with this?
I hope this doesn’t happen. No experience with this yet.
Have you ever had an interesting, funny, or even bad experience during a live interview, reading, event, or autograph session?
Have not done any public experiences yet.
With self publishing being so easy these days, do you believe there is an over abundance of books out there and how do you sort through all the hype or copycats?
Yes, this is an over abundance. That’s why it’s difficult to attract attention to a book.
What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
No one will like it.
If you have multiple books published what do you feel is your greatest work, why?
Not there yet.
What is the intended audience for you book?
Science fiction fans.
Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?
I used personalities of many friends and families for characters. Also juxtaposed spellings of names for character.
If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?
Don’t be afraid to try a new author.
Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?
Yes, Facebook, Twitter and blogs are good places to connect.
What makes a good story, why?
Any time a reader can connect with a reader and a situation makes a good story.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
It is a bit difficult coming up with unique names. I used Google translate and different ethnic names searches.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
No experience with that yet. I imagine I will respond if there’s a question but will try not to get into a pissing match.
What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?
Several author readings, attending a writers’ convention and conversations with other authors has helped.
What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)
Actually the hardest part is coming up with a name for a character or place when you’re on a roll.
What would you like to write about that you have never written about before?
Might try a historical fiction/fantasy piece based on my family.
Have you ever had a book idea or characters come to you in a dream? What did you do about it afterwards?
Yes, I have dreamed about characters continuing the story.
Do you have any characters you would like to introduce in other books or a combination of characters from multiple books you would like to write about in one book?
Not sure yet.
Were your characters based off real life people/events or did you make it all up?
It was a combination of both. I drew on the personalities of a lot of people I know but also others were just out of my imagination.
What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
Set aside time and have a consistent place to go to write without interruptions.
What book(s), author(s), or significant life event(s) have had a positive or negative influence in your life that inspired you to begin writing?
Vonnegut, Tolkien, Asimov, Frank and James Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, Walter Jon Williams, Heinlein all have inspired me.
What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?
Kind of feeling my way with these different options. Personally prefer print but eBooks probably are the future.
Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?
As a journalist, I did write and edit as a career. Now, it is a combination of hobby, labor of love and creative outlet. Found it can be therapeutic, too.
Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?
No big challenges, just finding the time to finish the project.
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?
A combination of both. But several editors helped greatly with catching things and offering suggestions.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of self or traditional publishing?
You can control your own destiny but be prepared to put in the work.
Do you have a subject/genre you would never write about, why?
Probably a mystery. Just not interested.
What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
It is a creative outlet for my imagination.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
Strong characters with a story that grabs the reader.
Do you design your own cover? If not who does, why?
No, bought it from a graphic arts vendor.
What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?
Rewriting and editing. It gets hard to go over the same content again and again.