What books did you love as a child? Why?
I didn’t read much of anything as a child. I have learning disabilities that led to being held back in school because I couldn’t read, so by the time I got the hang of it I hated reading. It wasn‘t until adulthood that I found my passion for the written word. I think it was a blessing in disguise though, because it led to me spending all my time outside having adventures and nurturing my creativity in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I do remember being a fan of Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss though. The more upside down, backwards, or odd something was the more I liked it.
Who are your favorite authors? How did they influence your writing?
I really don’t have a favorite author, or a favorite anything for that matter. I love variety. Most of the work I read is unpublished by unknown or little known authors. Some of the most amazing writers are yet to be discovered. One that comes to mind and stands out as influencing or inspiring at the moment is Hollie Bolster. He is a Canadian writer and friend of mine whose sci-fi stories are worlds apart from what I write but the feel of his poetry is something like my own. It drags me down into dark places where I can then find words to express what I’m trying to get out onto paper but can’t quite reach on my own.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Why did you decide to write?
I started writing poetry when I was about eleven or twelve as a way to cope with things going on in my life and never thought of it as more than that. Even later, when I started writing my first novel it wasn’t something I aspired to do or dreamed would become anything real. I thought it would be cool to leave my name on something someday but didn’t think beyond that.
I quit my job a few weeks before publishing Rain’s Fairy Tale. It wasn’t paying well enough to bother with and so there I was puttering around the house thinking what am I going to do now? I could get another job or go back to school, but what do I want to do? What do I enjoy enough to commit to spending the next 30-40 years doing? I’m nearly thirty, it’s about time I figure out what I want to do when I grow up! Writing was all I could come up with. Aside from my family, there’s nothing I love more.
What are the joys of writing for you?
I love words. I love painting pictures with them and finding new ways of making people feel things and see things in ways they hadn’t before. I wrote a poem in the midst of struggling with something very painful once and posted it for review on a website. I checked my e-mail the next day and found half a dozen letters from people thanking me for giving them a window into something their loved ones were experiencing. They had said they saw it from the outside and wanted to understand but couldn’t until then. Others thanked me for giving them hope in knowing they weren’t alone. It was incredible.
What are the obstacles of writing? How do you overcome them?
I would have to say my biggest obstacles are sporadic inspiration and lack of time. I have all the time I need from 9-5 when the house is quiet but inspiration never seems to come then. I’m not the kind who can just sit down and write. I wait. Sometimes it’ll be months before words or ideas to come. When they do it’s a frenzy. Everything rushes at me at once, usually complete which is great but while standing in line at the grocery store with no paper or pen in hand, kids starving to death, and not a moment of me time in sight there’s little hope of retaining it.
I do my best with what I have to work with. I’ll punch a few lines into my phone and hope they jog my memory later or make up a song or rhyme for the girls to remember for me until we get home and I can scribble down some notes while throwing dinner together.
What is your favorite genre to read in? Write in? Why?
Again, I don’t have a favorite. I’ll read just about anything but westerns and the kind of books that would feature Fabio on the cover. I pretty much stick with fiction and poetry in reading and writing. I read what I write and write what I read because it’s what I like.
What was the inspiration for your book?
It was bits and pieces of things I had heard and seen through the years that came together and intermingled with imagination. Once it took shape, it wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it.
What were the challenges of writing your story? The joys?
I think the biggest challenge was overcoming the fear failure. I was afraid I would pour my soul into writing this story that had been sculpting itself from nothing within me for so long that it had become part of me and when I finished it, I would be told it was crap. So I would work on it a little, give up, work on it a little, and give up again. There was always some excuse to procrastinate finishing it.
The greatest part was the day it was published. I checked it off my list with such pride. The actual writing of it was the easy part since it was just sitting there in my head waiting but the conquering of that fear was incredible.
Do you do research for your writing? If so, how do you go about it (Internet, travel, etc.)?
I grew up in the areas where my first book was based and knew someone who had survived some similar things so there wasn’t much research needed. What I did need to look up was found on Google so I got really lucky there.
I have a future project that is going to need a lot of research though, which is part of the reason why I have been putting it off. It’s going to involve traveling and probably staying in some really nasty conditions. I am a strong advocate for writing what you know and what you’ve lived rather than just about something you have seen somewhere or just imagined. So, for anything that I haven’t experienced personally I plan to go and dig in and get some real perspective first.
Tell us about your book.
Rain’s Fairy Tale is difficult to describe because the story and its main character are so complex. It takes you through years in the life of Angel aka Rain as she struggles to find a ways to cope with the loss of loved ones, a long distance forbidden relationship, and a gamut of other very difficult things that pop up while living a double life and being torn between two worlds she can’t seem to find a way to fit into.
Ultimately, this modern day fairy tale is a tragic teen love story, but is not intended for young adult readers.
What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?
In the writing of this book I had to spend a lot of time looking back at myself as a child and teen to remember how I felt about things, reacted to things, what my perspectives, priorities, and reactions to things were. Neither the story or its characters are based on me but in the creation of her character I pulled some traits from my adolescent self and found I had been more sensitive and naïve than I had realized back then. When you’re young, you think you are invincible and know everything and then you grow up, look back, and are amazed at what you survived.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Prepare yourself, be patient, and don’t take things personally. When we start out, we have these hopes and dreams of instant success. As writers, we are prone to overactive imaginations that bring about this delusion that the day we finish we are going to send it in to the best publishing house and they are going to magically be drawn to our manuscript, pick it up, and by the third line fall in love with it. From there of course we will launch overnight into stardom and be best sellers within a month.
The reality is it doesn’t work that way for even the luckiest of us. It’s hard and rejection sucks, but it’s no reason to give up.
What is your next project?
I’ve got outlines and notes for a few more novels and a screenplay in a book somewhere that I need to take a look at again but they’ll have to wait for inspiration to hit again. Pretty much anything that doesn’t get written right away gets set aside and procrastinated.
At the moment I do have a children’s book demanding my attention. It’s a cute story about a little girl whose parents are in a twelve step recovery program and what the changes in her family’s lives means to her.
I don’t think there is enough of this kind of thing out there for kids who are struggling in situations like that, which is strange and sad since there are so many families in recovery. Anyway, it’s a fun, quirky story that I think both kids and parents will enjoy, and it’s for a good cause because we’ve decided a portion of the profit will be donated to a recovery program here in Lincoln.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Sleepwalking in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock. I’m only about 82 pages in but it’s pretty good so far.
Anything else you’d like your readers to know?
Yes. I would like to stress again that while Rain’s Fairy Tale is about a teen and carries many elements of a teen love story, it was not written for young adults.
Rain’s Fairy Tale
By A.D. Williams
About the Book:
All little Angel Morgan ever wanted was to grow up and live the fairy tale life she’d always dreamed of, but when a series of tragic events make life too real, she’s forced to face an ugly truth – not all ever afters are happy.
Buy Rain’s Fairy Tale on Amazon.