I’d like to welcome Alan C. Williams to my website. I also want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
‘Happiness is cherishing our inner self … and keeping a red cape in the bedside drawer for whenever you need it. ‘ Alan C. Williams
Alan is one of the writers in the book By My Side. His story in the book is “Star Bright”.
Could you tell us about the story?
I’m a romantic at heart and Venus (or her Grecian counterpart, Aphrodite) is the manifestation of love in my mind. She wouldn’t force love on a couple however she would have wonderous skills. Imagine a goddess wandering the Earth in modern times, still keen to smooth the path of love. Meeting two people fallen out of love and bringing them together is my story – a gentle reconciliation where love blossoms again. Seeing that first ‘star’ of the evening, the planet Venus, our couple realise who that stranger was
What was the inspiration for the story?
Holidays in exotic beach locations with my loving wife, Anne. In the hectic day to day of working life, being together in a different environment allowed us to connect again. We’d talk to strangers and sometimes, being enriched by doing that, we’d change our approach to life and to one another. I wanted a story to reflect that lazy, laid-back feel where the most important aspects of life can shine through.
In 2017 Alan’s short story, “The Collector of Nothings“, won 2nd prize in the British Writer’s magazine competition.
Please tell us about the magazine and their contest. From memory, it was a magazine for authors and aspiring writers so winning a prize given the stiff competition was very rewarding. The contest was for a science fiction story. I love the title I came up with and the very concept.
I enjoyed watching your informational video for the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.
Congratulations on being included in their Author Talk Series. How were you selected to take part in the series? A fellow writer in the Romantic Novelists Association mentioned that the Foundation needed help. I volunteered to promote the foundation in organising a short story competition for aspiring writers. Writing is a wonderful way for anyone, especially children, to express themselves.
Could you tell us about the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation? Of course, Theresa. The Foundation as a voluntary organisation that helps fund literacy programmes and libraries across the world. https://janeaustenlf.org/
Not only are you an accomplished writer, you are a talented artist. I like your detailed sketch of “The Old Pack House Bridge”.
I’m fascinated when I discover that a writer is an artist.
I’m curious, do you use your art to help flesh out story ideas, or does your story ideas ever lead to art projects? In my small way, I’m a Renaissance person. I dabble at so many skills, hobbies and pursuits. As a teenager I enjoyed writing and illustrating my own comics. Although I taught art in Australia, my skills are in sketching and painting. I’ve sold over one hundred art pieces but, with Rheumatoid Arthritis I chose to try my hand at writing again. I recently was fortunate to have an Aussie publisher agree to an anthology of over twenty stories, many sold and published nationally in magazines. Asked to choose a cover for The Rain, The Park and Other Things, I had a vision of a scene so painted an Impressionistic dream-style cover that I’m quite proud of. My stories and novels are very visual so, in that way at least, I’m combining my two loves. My stories have led to the art projects – just like the way I created those superhero comics over fifty years ago.
I read that you sometimes need to do research for your novels. I spend too much time doing research.
How do you conduct your research?
I’m a novel writer who makes the plot up as I go along. In my current novel, Ice Cold Lover I needed to research Antarctica and an Australia icebreaker and base extensively. The internet is wonderful. I love to seamlessly blend reality with fantasy to give that feeling to the reader that they are there with my characters. I was recently thrilled to get an email from the station leader at the base I’ve chosen thanking me for my interest in the area and personnel. I use reality as a guide only. My novels are my world and precision isn’t the key – it’s the thrilling story. When I research, I remember those facts I want to use and, although it might be months later, I trust to my memory rather than notes of any kind. My wife says I have a one-track mind – my novels. If she asks the name of a character in a show we’ve just watched, I haven’t a clue.
Which one of your novels is your favorite? Difficult one that. My first one I guess – Lost in the Outback. There is so much of me as a new teacher in the Aussie countryside fifty years ago. The scenery, the people, my own loneliness and adventures. Okay the main character, Amy Shaw,is a woman in my novel but her thoughts, her experiences are mine. A love/adventure that began just three years ago. Now I’ve had ten published in three years.
I’ve considered trying to write a My Weekly novel. Do you have any advice for anyone trying to break into that market?
Certainly. Willing to help. I can only speak for my target market. I love to combine romance, a strong lead heroine, drama, mystery, intrigue and lots of twists and cliff-hangers. I’ve been lucky that my style suits my editor. I choose locations I’m familiar with if I can. Otherwise lots of research.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share? I have five large print books available through libraries all over the world. They are published through Linford Romance. Just check with your local library to see if they have any or can order in. Also, Amazon have The Rain, The Park and Other Things for sale. There are some sample stories there.
How can readers learn more about you and your books?
My website acwilliams-author.com or Facebook page Alan C. Williams – author. I’d love to hear from you.
Many thanks for your interest in my life and writing. I wish you and your readers all the best.
Alan, thank you for sharing your personal writing story with me and my website followers.