Please welcome Sandy Williams to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. The Shadow Reader
, Sandy's debut novel, will be published on October 25, 2011 by Ace.TQ
: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?Sandy
: My most interesting writing quirk? I think it might be that I don’t have a writing quirk. Well, unless you count my Diet Coke addiction. I can function without coffee. I can function without chocolate. But I absolutely cannot function without a Diet Coke (or two!) a day.TQ
: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?Sandy
: I’m pretty sure I’ve been influenced by every author I’ve read, but the ones who have made the biggest impact on my writing are the ones that I worship. Ann Aguirre and Linnea Sinclair top my list of favorites. They both have books that are the perfect blend of science fiction and romance (I’m a huge fan of genre blending!). I’m also deeply in love with the works of Meredith Duran and Joanna Bourne. They both write historical romance, and they’re both absolutely brilliant. As for urban fantasy writers, I have Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, and Richelle Mead on auto-buy.TQ
: Are you a plotter or a pantser?Sandy
: I’d like to call myself a pantser. That’s how I’ve written all my books so far. I didn’t outline The Shadow Reader or any of my previous projects. I started off with a few scenes in mind and had absolutely no idea how I was going to get my characters from here to there. That’s starting to change, though. Once you get a book contract, editors and agents kind of want to know what’s going to happen next, so I had to come up with a vague outline for book two. I have to say, I don’t hate knowing what’s going to happen as much as I thought I would. Really, the biggest difference is that I now write down all those random scenes I have in my head before I start a project.TQ
: Describe The Shadow Reader
in 140 characters or less.Sandy
: A human with the ability to see and track the fae becomes a pawn in a fae civil war.TQ
: What inspired you to write The Shadow Reader
: I had a scene in my head. Somebody attacked a space station, and a girl was hanging onto the edge of a metal platform. It was all fire and death and bad stuff beneath her, and the only way she could save her life was to accept help from her enemy. I had this one very vivid image of a man offering the girl his hand to pull her up, and the girl telling him to go to hell. Yep, that’s right. I thought that scene was going to be in a sci-fi book, but when I sat down to write it, it turned into an urban fantasy. I’m so glad it did! It’s one of my favorite scenes in the book, and you’ll recognize it toward the end of the first chapter, which you can read here
: What sort of research did you do for The Shadow Reader
: Do you count tying sheets together to see how far they stretch research? If so, that’s just about all I did. I had to know if it was feasible to climb down from a third story window with a few ripped sheets.TQ
: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?Sandy
: McKenzie was an easy character to write. Her voice came naturally to me. She was also the hardest, though, especially toward the end. I was extremely paranoid she was going to come off as wishy-washy. I hope I wrote her well enough that she doesn’t!TQ
: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Shadow Reader
: The first chapter scene I mentioned above. I love the interaction there between McKenzie and Aren. Plus, it’s the scene that gave birth to the entire story. It’s definitely a favorite. Also a favorite? The wedding scene. Page 168 to be exact.TQ
: How many books are planned for the McKenzie Lewis series?Sandy
: Right now, I’ve only sold the second book. I’m hoping to make her current story arc a trilogy, though, and depending on how things go, I can see me writing other stories set in this world.TQ
: What's next?Sandy
: I’m really looking forward to next year! I’ll have the sequel finished and (hopefully) a third book completed soon as well. I’d like to write about more characters in McKenzie’s world, maybe tell the story of how she first became involved with the fae. I’d also love to tell Naito and Kelia’s story. I do want to work on other, unrelated projects, though. I have this sci-fi romance I’m just dying to finish!TQ
: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.Sandy
: Thank you so much for having me!About The Shadow Reader
The Shadow Reader
McKenzie Lewis 1
Ace, October 25, 2011
A Houston college student, McKenzie Lewis can track fae by reading the shadows they leave behind. For years she has been working for the fae King, tracking rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn't her only secret. She's in love with Kyol, the King's sword-master-but human and fae relationships are forbidden. When McKenzie is captured by Aren, the fierce rebel leader, she learns that not everything is as she thought. And McKenzie must decide who to trust and where she stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war. About Sandy
Sandy graduated from Texas A&M University with a double major in political science and history. She thought about attending law school. Fortunately, before handing over her life’s savings, she realized case studies weren’t nearly as interesting as novels and decided to get an MA in Library Science instead. She worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. She’s now back home in Texas, writing full-time, raising newborn twin boys, and squeezing in time to play geeky board and card games like Settlers of Catan
, and Runebound
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/authorsandywilliams
Magic & Mayhem Writers Blog (group blog): www.magicandmayhemwriters.comThe Giveaway
: One commenter will win a copy of The Shadow Reader
from Sandy. (US/Canada only.
: Leave a comment answering the following question:
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: The contest is open to all humans with a Canadian or United States
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