THE MIRRORED HEAVENS
THE BURNING SKIES
THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT
Note: Mr. Williams will be touring for THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT. He'll be in the Toronto area, signing at Bakka Phoenix Books on Saturday June 12th, at 3 pm. Check out his appearances schedule to see if he'll be coming to a city near you.
> What's the premise of THE MIRRORED HEAVENS?
September, 2110 A.D. The mysterious terrorist group Autumn Rain destroys the world's space elevator and promises more attacks. Among the American agents sent into the field in response are Claire Haskell and Jason Marlowe. She's an expert hacker; he's a specialist in physical combat -- and they're former lovers as well. But they soon learn that their memories of each other may be constructs implanted by their spymaster-handler--and that the Rain are now hunting them. Things go downhill from there.. . .
> What about the two subsequent books in the trilogy, THE BURNING SKIES and THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT?
Well, THE MIRRORED HEAVENS is self-contained in the sense that it doesn't end on a cliffhanger-- you get narrative payoff, but at the same time the door's left open for an expansion of the canvas, as Autumn Rain targets the U.S. president himself and seeks to ignite total war between East and West. At the risk of revealing spoilers, I won't go into any more detail than that . ..
> What led you to write a series about space terrorism?
I felt there was a certain contemporary resonance to the terrorism concept―and that science fiction was a good angle from which to regard it without recourse to ideological filters.
> Do you think science fiction reading is on the rise again?
I'd love to say yes, but honestly, I suspect it's all shiny vampires and lovable werewolves these days. So buy my books and fight the Prevailing Paradigm . . .
> What are your favourite three books?
Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, The Illuminatus Trilogy; Frank Herbert, DUNE; anything written by William Gibson in the 1980s.
> What made you want to be a writer?
The voices in my head, of course.
> Who is you favourite character in the Autum Rain trilogy and why?
Claire Haskell. For all the wrong reasons: I've been in love with for her for years.
> If you could, would you change places with any of your characters?
Not on your (or rather, my) life. Most of them are borderline sociopaths.
> What was the first novel that you wrote and how long did it take to write it?
You're looking at it. THE MIRRORED HEAVENS was written across seven years, and sold along with the entire trilogy to Bantam in the summer of 2007. I don't think my feet hit the ground again till the fall….
> What was the hardest scene for you to write?
The opening sequences. I must have written them at least five times. It took me a long time to figure out how to do justice to the nuking of that space elevator. . .
> What is your university degree in and does it help with your writing?
History, which definitely had its impact on me. The first thing I wrote was the timeline at the end of THE MIRRORED HEAVENS . . .the unfolding of our next hundred years. A lot of the art and documents on the website ( www.autumnrain2110.com) is the result of that initial world-building.
> When and where do you write?
In my apartment. The study at times; the living room at others. Right now I'm sitting on the bed typing this with my cats glaring at me.
> What’s the best/worst thing about writing?
Same answer to both: the isolation. It allows you to create whole new worlds, but at the risk of cutting you off from the real one.
> Do you have any advice for hopeful authors?
Never give up―and figure out what you're willing to give up to get there.
> Any tips against writers block?
Come up with concepts cool enough that you have to write them. I.e., if you're blocked, go back to the drawing board and brainstorm even harder.
> How do you discipline yourself to write?
I'm less disciplined than I am obsessive-compulsive. I either write or I start twitching.
> How many rejection letters did you get for your first novel or story?
For THE MIRRORED HEAVENS, I think I queried almost all the literary agents who take science fiction. All but one shot me down without even seeing any manuscript material. But one is all you need….