Today's interview is with Sarah Williams, author of Captive.
Jennifer Walker: Where can we find out more about you and buy your book?
Sarah Williams: My book is currently available through Amazon and Smashwords. For anyone interested in finding out more about me I have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I also have an author page on both Amazon and Goodreads.
Sarah Williams: My book is called Captive and is what I would describe as a thriller with a supernatural twist. It’s set in England and starts with a young woman named Lux who wakes up in a hotel room that she has no memory of falling asleep in. She is alone, scared and inexplicably terrified of the dark. I actually try not to go into too much detail about the book as I feel it gives too much away and spoils the twists.
Jennifer Walker: What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
Sarah Williams: I get such enjoyment from writing my books. I disappear into a world of my own making and I can let my imagination run free. I’ll lose myself for hours as I create characters and send them on adventures. One of the best feelings in the world is when someone reads your book and tells you they loved it.
Jennifer Walker: Tell us a little about your non-writing life. Family? Pets? Hobbies?
Sarah Williams: I’m originally from England but I moved to Australia in 2008 to support my partner’s business. It was actually a great move for me as it gave me much more time to focus on my writing. Living in Australia offers me a wonderful lifestyle and I feel so lucky to live next to the beach. When I’m not writing I love to read and can often be found scouring books in the library. I also enjoy gardening, yoga, good food and wine, films and music.
Jennifer Walker: Is your family supportive of your writing?
Sarah Williams: My family have always been hugely supportive of my writing. When I first started jotting down stories, writing with pen and paper, my younger sister would always be waiting to read what I’d written. When I upgraded to a word processor she would sit with me, wait for me to finish a chapter and then eagerly await as I read the latest instalment. Even now, though she lives in England and I live in Australia, she continues to be the first person to read and give feedback on my work. My mum edits everything I do and my dad is a great source for my research as he is a retired policeman. My partner and his family are equally supportive of what I do and it’s nice to know that everyone believes in me.
Jennifer Walker: Who is your favorite author of all time, and why?
Sarah Williams: I started reading Dean Koontz when I was probably a bit young to be reading Dean Koontz but his books made a huge impression on me and he remains one of my favourite authors of all time. I love the stories he weaves and the characters he creates. I know that when I pick up a Koontz book, it will be good. I’ve also recently come across Carol Goodman, who is definitely up there with my favourite authors. She is a beautiful writer and creates tales that are absorbing and impossible to put down.
Jennifer Walker: What is your writing process like--do you outline first or just start writing, etc.?
Sarah Williams: When an idea pops into my head I normally want to just start writing but I’ve learnt from experience that some prep work is necessary. I will normally outline the basic storyline and then write bios for my characters so that I know them inside out. When I’m ready to sit down and write the book, I do it to music. I have a very specific soundtrack for writing to and I find this helps to inspire the work that I create. When a first draft is completed it’s sent out for feedback and then when that stage is complete I will move onto my second draft. I’m a perfectionist by nature so I put my book through a lot of editing before I feel confident enough to release it to the public.
Sarah Williams: The easiest thing for me is writing the book. It’s getting it out there that’s the problem. In a highly competitive industry where timing can be just as important as the quality of your book I decided to self publish through Amazon. This was a very empowering thing to do but being a self published author means the marketing side of things is very difficult. Trying to get the word out about my book and making it stand out from all the others out there is going to be my biggest challenge.
Jennifer Walker: What other projects do you have coming up?
Sarah Williams: I’m currently working on the sequel to “Captive”, which is as yet untitled but will be due for release in 2012. I’ve also got a comedy in the works. With my focus on “Captive” and its sequel this has been put on the back burner but I look forward to trying something a little bit different in the near future.
Jennifer Walker: What have you done to develop your writing craft?
Sarah Williams: I always think the best way to improve my skill as a writer is to just keep writing. I’ve been writing for years, for as long as I can remember and feel my work just keeps getting better as I become more experienced. I focused on English at school and then went on to get a degree in Theatre and Creative Writing, which again helped to develop my skills. As well as writing my novels I also work as a freelance writer, which gives me the opportunity to constantly harness my skills. Writing is a part of my day to day life and that means I get to practice all the time.