Wednesday, September 28, 2011
INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW WILLIAMS
What part of writing do you find most satisfying?
Completing a manuscript.
What part do you find most difficult?
What comes first for you? Characters? Story? Setting?
I usually have an idea for a story and then build the characters and setting from that idea.
Where do you find inspiration?
I read a lot and also find inspiration in real-life stories about ordinary people. I worked as a newspaper reporter for several years and enjoyed the many people I met and wrote about.
Tell us about your latest Avalon release.
The story, a mystery, revolves around a sled dog race. It is loosely based on an actual race that happens in Northern Michigan every February.
And your previous Avalon books?
My two previous Avalon books were modern day mysteries that had a historical twist. I enjoy local history and had a good time creating the history for my fictional town of Apostle Bay and weaving that history into the plot.
What other projects are in the works?
I am taking a break from writing. This last book took a lot out of me. It was in production for almost two years and I worked with three different editors during that time. The re-writing process was a major challenge (over 10,000 words were cut). In the end I just felt like I was going through the motions to get it published.
I think a lot writers can identify with that.
What other authors do you especially admire?
Right now I’m reading George R.R. Martin and I really appreciate his ability to tell so many stories within a story, with such detail and still have you forget that you’re reading. I also love reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
Interesting choices. I have to admit I'm not familiar with George R. R. Martin, but I just finished Shadow of the Window by Ruiz Zafon and loved it, both for the scope of the story (actually, as you said of Martin's work, stories within story) and the beauty of the language.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I am a fulltime swim coach.
Obviously, you're a busy man. Do you have a schedule for writing or do you squeeze it in when you can?
I typically write late at night, after 10 pm.
I'm so glad to hear you say that. I'm a late-night writer too and it seems almost every other writer I know says they write first thing in the morning.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you first started writing?