Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m an unapologetic story-telling addict with a penchant for writing experimental, genre-bending books.
To date, I have written nine books, including a children’s chapter book; three sword-and-sorcery novels (Rebels and Fools, Heroes and Liars, and Martyrs and Monsters); a standalone fantasy story that has yet to be published (Magic’s Daughter); an e-book compendium (Capricon and Beyond); and a series that explores life, death, and dreams (The Soul Sleep Cycle). If Souls Can Sleep, the first book in that series, published on Jan. 30, 2018.
The sequels, If Sin Dwells Deep and If Dreams Can Die, will be published in late 2018 and 2019, respectively.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
If Souls Can Sleep was inspired by a quote from one of the characters in the novel. The entire quote is “If souls can sleep, then why not dream?” I loved the alliteration of the first phrase as well as the hypothetical nature of it. After all, every story begins with “what if?”
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. I schedule my writing time and stick to that agenda rigidly. Generally, I have music playing in the background — an eclectic collection ranging from chiptunes to Bollywood to electric swing to alt country.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The authors of the fantasy novels I read while a teenager motivated me to take a stab at the written word as well as try my hand at world building. They include Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman — not only because of their contributions to the DragonLance saga, but also for the Death Gate Cycle — and R.A. Salvatore, primarily for his DemonWars series. Tad Williams, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien have also impacted me as a reader and writer.
Beyond fantasy, I try to draw from literature, such as the works of William Faulkner.
What are you working on now?
Getting Books Two and Three of The Soul Sleep Cycle ready to publish will occupy most of time in 2018, though I look forward to jumping into a completely new story (series?) after that.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still learning. Every book is a new experience — and a new experiment. With If Souls Can Sleep, I used NetGalley to post advance reader copies and attract reviewers, which seems to be working.
The best place to learn about my fiction is http://david-michael-williams.com.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Do your research, and take your time.
I’m glad print-on-demand publishing wasn’t available when I was in my early twenties. Self-publishing almost makes it too easy to put one’s work out there, and I’ve seen plenty of examples of writers publishing before they are ready; I’m afraid I would have been one of them!
Don’t skimp on editing and cover design. Put yourself in your prospective readers’ shoes. Shed as much subjectivity as you can. In short, wait until you’re prepared to treat your fiction like a business before you even think about publishing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
– “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t, you’re a writer.” —R.A. Salvatore, author
– “Treat your writing like a job. Write on a schedule.” —Margaret Weis, author
– “In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail.” —Gaius Cassius Longinus, Roman senator
What are you reading now?
For the past couple of years, I’ve enjoyed a renewed interest in graphic novels, from Robert Kirkman’s Invincible and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to older Marvel compilations, such as Squadron Supreme and Fantastic Four. Right now, I’m thoroughly entranced by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staple’s Saga.
What’s next for you as a writer?
First and foremost, I’ll publish the remaining novels of The Soul Sleep Cycle. In addition to books, writing for a video game and producing a graphic novel are both on my bucket list.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
1. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
2. The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner)
3. The Bible (various authors)
Author Websites and Profiles
David Michael Williams Website
David Michael Williams Amazon Profile
David Michael Williams Author Profile on Smashwords