Elgon Williams interview
A little introduction:
When did your love of books begin?
I have always loved hearing stories. As a child, I’d sit listening in fascination as the adults in my life would regale of their past experiences. Grandparents are natural storytellers, you know. My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson used to read aloud to our class and around Christmas she read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to us. I think that’s when my interest in books began.
When did you start to have the wish to become an author?
I guess I figured out I could tell stories as well as anyone else, just I needed some practice. I think I was around 12 or 13 when I first had the inkling to write my stories down and that someday I might become an author.
How have you found the process for becoming an author?
There are lots of challenges. First you need to learn the basic mechanics of the language and its grammar well beyond what you get in school. Having said that, a great editor can fix a lot of your mistakes. So don’t be limited by the rules. Remember, English is a living language. It changes over time. And you could be an agent of that change should your quirks become the norm. Anyway, you may need to stretch the rules and maybe even break a few to get a story onto a page. You must be an avid reader to experience the range and variety of expression as well as the methods others use to tell their stories. And you need to practice a lot. Write some short stories. Write some poems. Get comfortable expressing yourself through the language and connect your creative mind to the harsh reality to conveying your ideas to others. Becoming an author takes some effort and time, but it’s up to each person how it’s accomplished and it's different for everyone.
What would you say to those wanting to become an author?
A thick skin is required. You’ll always have critics, but you need to listen and learn from what they are telling you about your work. Whenever you type “The End”, you wrongly believe you’re done. It’s mostly wishful thinking or the desire to immediately enjoy the sense of accomplishment. But as difficult as writing a draft may have been, that is perhaps the most fun you’ll have over the entire process. You’ll need to revise the book, likely several times before it's good enough to pass it off to an editor. Then there’s another wave of revisions following the return of the editor’s notes. Possibly another pass of edits and your responses. Having gone through that many times, I’ve learned that if you still love your story after having read it a dozen times, you might be onto something great. And after all of that, you will submit the novel for publication only to have it rejected – probably several times. But rejection doesn’t mean never. It means not yet. There is always a reason something isn’t ready whether the publisher will tell you why or not.
Tell us about your book/books:
I have two series that I have published through Pandamoon. The first is Fried Windows (In a Light White Sauce), which started out as a standalone journey into magical realism but it garnered enough interest that I wrote a sequel titled Ninja Bread Castles. There is a third installment in progress as well. The other series is related to the first but expands the world and its characters to include a pair of precocious eight-year-olds, a boy and a girl, who are learning about their world, sharing their love of music and baseball, and their budding magical abilities, which transforms them into crime-fighting duo. It’s called The Thuperman Trilogy. The first book is Becoming Thuperman, followed by Homer Underby, and Thuperheroes.
What do you love about the writing/reading community?
Authors are amazing people who support one another. It’s not a competition between us, but a wonderful community of creative people that wants to see everyone succeed. I’ve found that horror writers are among the kindest people in the world, for example. But whenever I meet any author, I rapidly discover that we have lots in common and the ensuing conversations are always interesting. I love meeting readers because they provide the feedback I need to improve and expand my ideas. Through their reviews or even conversations with them at events or through exchanges on social media, I find out what works and what doesn’t in my storytelling.
If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?
Thank you for having enough faith in me to explore my fictional worlds. Welcome to the adventure and enjoy the ride.
Where can people connect with you?