Author Interview – M.L. Williams

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author M.L. Williams who will be sharing his thoughts on reading and writing, and details of his book, SEERS OF VERDE.

M.L. Williams On Writing

When I start working on a project, many times the characters come to me in my dreams and either demand their story be told or provide me with ideas for future chapters.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Be true to your ideas and put in the time. Writing can be lonely. Find mentors or other writers who can be a support group or sounding board. Don’t let anyone else’s opinions influence you during the writing process.

Best thing about writing?

Seeing these characters unfold and tell their stories is fascinating.

Least favourite thing about writing?

Rewriting and editing.

What is your favourite genre(s)?

Science fiction and that curious oxymoron, historical fiction.

Both genres appeal to my imagination. With science fiction, the themes and characters can be endless, only limited by the imagination. I guess historical fiction appeals to my sense of romance for another period of time.

Have you ever skipped something important to stay at home and read a book? 

Interesting question. I have not gone to parties or social events sometimes, preferring to stay home and read. I also put off chores when in the middle of a good book and read well into the night when I should have gone to bed.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) What book would it be?

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I read this in a college literature class and was immediately enraptured by his imagination and sarcastic tone. It sparked my love of other fiction, especially science fiction.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far?

I am reading Raptor by Gary Jennings. I have had this book on my shelf for years and just needed time to get to it. His writing and knowledge of history and ancient languages is impressive, but he keeps using different languages throughout the story. I was curious about this author since reviewers have raved about his novel, Aztec. I do not like it when authors flaunt their expertise and vocabulary in ways that detract from the story. It’s difficult to stay with the story when the reader keeps stumbling over arcane references and unfamiliar words.

About your book…

You are living in the your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

In Return of the Earthers, I would be living on the planet Verde Grande, an abandoned and almost forgotten Earth colony. The planet has one huge land mass. A treacherous mountain range divides the lone continent into two tracts.

The largest one is a huge verdant valley that stretches for hundreds of miles. One group of colonists live there and developed a relatively peaceful society ruled by a ever watchful clan of psychic women — the Seers.

The smaller area is a narrow valley strewn with huge boulders but plentiful with wildlife. A second group of colonists escaped to here during an attack and have developed into a hunter society.

The planet was covered by a thick blanket of moss. Most of the moss has been replaced by Earth plants brought by the bioformers and cultivated by the colonists, who have been living there for almost three centuries. However, the mountain range has retained its much of its native moss so the planet looks like a giant emerald as seen by an orbiting space ship.

 You are your most recent protagonist, What do you like doing for fun?

I am Aron Nels, an orchard keeper. Even though maintaining, pruning and harvesting fruit from the trees is my livelihood, I would not trade this lifestyle for another. Being outside in nature and seeing the benefits of my hard work is extremely gratifying. My family has been doing this for generations. It’s in my blood.

After being imprisoned during a misunderstanding, I am told I am one of the last members of a secret warrior sect that has been fighting to protect its people from attackers sent by the Seers. Due to a forced hypnosis, in which my memories have been suppressed, I refuse to believe I am one of the last surviving warriors.

Seers of Verde by M.L. Williams

Marauders from a renegade planet attack an Earth colony ship forcing landing parties to split into two groups in a desperate attempt to escape. Their vessels are destroyed stranding them without their technology on either side of an imposing mountain range on the planet Verde Grande.

Descendants of a mysterious Seer now protect their people but become the bane of the hunter society on the other side of the mountain.

You can also follow M.L. Williams on his blog! https://mlwilliamsbooks.com

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email me at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

8 Reasons why Scrivener is my writing tool of choice #amwriting #writing #writingtools #Scrivener

I have been writing for a long time now, over twenty years in fact. When I first started, there wasn’t even the basics such as Microsoft Word. I was pretty excited when Word came out!

But in 2011 I moved from a Windows PC to an Apple Mac, and I have been using Scrivener ever since. It was originally only available on the Mac, but you can now get a windows version.

So, I have been using Scrivener for quite a while.  I can honestly say that I am more productive with Scrivener than I ever was with Word or those even worse writing applications that came before. And I thought I would share a few highlights as to why I love Scrivener so much.

  1. It lets you chop up your book. If you are anything like me, the order of chapters at the start is not the order at the end. I pull stuff about, chop it out, put it back, and generally hack the sequence within an inch of its life. Scrivener makes this easy. Chapters can be placed into folders, and I can move them, or delete, and if need be… restore them.
  2. You can categorise chapters. I write in a number of character perspectives so I categorise (And further colour code) my chapters so it is easy to see which chapter is which character. But you might use this colour/ category for many purposes such as location or something else.
  3. Chapters have a status. The status allows you to set whether a chapter is Draft, Revised draft, To do, complete etc. Its configurable, so you can make your own status to suit you. If you are anything like me, some chapters are completed early and some I go back to many times. Using the status makes it easy to see what has been completed and what parts need more work.
  4. Compiling is easy. You can convert your scrivener project to just about any electronic format you can think of, i.e. mobi, epub, ibook, word, pdf, and a whole lot more. It takes seconds! Yes there is a little configuration to do, but the default compile is good for most purposes and it is only if you want to get fancy with font etc. that you need to play with the settings.
  5. It comes with standard novel templates so you can get the book title, chapter list, title pages, front and back matter, built into the compile.
  6. You can add icons to chapters. I mark my quarter points, which makes it easier to see the book breakdown.
  7. Target word counts. I love target word counts, they keep me motivated and moving forward. See Using Target word count.
  8. There is a notes and synopsis section for each chapter. If like me you sometimes hack sentences out but you are not sure you are ready to trash them, you can keep them in the notes section of that chapter so they are easy to see until you are confident you no longer need them. I also use the notes for jotting down comments about the chapter, or points I want to address. The synopsis field is great if you want to put a brief note of what the chapter is about during the planning stage.

I have skimmed the surface of what Scrivener does, and I am sure everyone has different features they swear by. It has been a great tool to use and I can’t imagine going back to Word now. I would love to hear about your writing tool, if you have tried Scrivener what you think, and if there is any other writing software out there you would recommend.

And if I have tempted you to look into Scrivener, you can get it on a free 30 day trial.

Writing Software – changing technology

I am a prisoner in a book #writing #amwriting #writingquotes

Once I dive into these pages

I may not come out for ages.

Books have powers over me.

Inside a book I am not free.

I am a prisoner in a land

of print on paper in my hand.

But do not worry. Do not fear.

I am a happy captive here.

 

Captive by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

3 Cures For “Can’t Finish-itis”

Great tips 🙂

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

Your humble host. your humble host

I made a new friend at a book signing the other day, and I heard something I have heard a LOT from people who want to write a book or are writing one they can’t seem to finish.

I hear this all the time, so I thought I should address it.

We’ll call it “Can’t Finish-itis.”

It’s a terrible affliction, but there are cures.

Here’s an example from a blog post of an obviously dismayed author friend, followed by my reply – but first an ad for my writing contest:


Word Weaver logi FINAL trimmed

Hey, I’m having a WRITING CONTEST this month – wanna enter?

  • Get valuable FEEDBACK on your writing

  • Possibly win a share of $400 in PRIZES

  • Be the envy of your friends with MASSIVE BRAGGING RIGHTS

  • Cool e-ribbons you can proudly display if you win

Check it out and enter by clicking HERE.


You really should enter that…

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Creating Your Character – A Checklist

An awesome character checklist 🙂

Writers After Dark

creating character post1
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that characters are kind of big deals when it comes to fiction writing. They’re the heart of the story and the main reason our readers gift us with hours of their lives. Let’s face it: without characters, the reading experience wouldn’t really be electrifying. Like, at all. May as well hand them a book on mathematical physics, I say.

I mean, sure, some readers enjoy plot-driven stories, but almost every great story is about the people. Even a fantastic plot-driven book would feel empty without well-developed characters. Why? Because there’s nothing like connecting with a story on an emotional level. And having rich, layered characters in your book is the way you achieve that. How? By making them realistic. I know, I know. This goes without saying . . . but it’s best to add a reminder. Just in case.

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