Saturday, November 8, 2014

0 Sean Williams, author of CRASHLAND, on publishing 42 novels and still growing

What is your favorite thing about CRASHLAND?
    My favorite thing is that it’s got a bit of everything. I hope that’s not a stupid answer. As I wrote CRASHLAND there were moments that I feared might be too schmalzy, or too horrible, or too lighthearted, or too cerebral, or a whole bunch of other things. Reading back over I could see that none of it was “too” anything. This book enabled me to crack Clair’s life open and see what lay inside. What I found was romance, adventure, a bit of humor, and unfortunately for her some things that still make me shudder now. I hope it’s a book that readers will think about for a long time after they finish it.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?
   Clair goes through a lot in CRASHLAND as she tries to correct her mistakes from TWINMAKER. My two favorite scenes push her to the edge in very different ways. The first pits her, alone, against the ultimate horror of duping. She almost literally drowns in the awfulness of it, and I knew when writing this scene that it was an important one, because I found myself recoiling from the details in a very visceral way. I didn’t want to write it. I didn’t want to put her through it. But she needed to experience this in order to get to the second scene, which comes towards the end. I don’t want to give away too much, but it involve Jesse and a decision that changes the way she thinks about herself. This is what we want books to do to our protagonists. We want to them to grow, and, if possible, learn. Clair does both, but it’s not easy for her, and I still feel bad about that.

What do you hope readers will take away from CRASHLAND?
   I hope that readers will be swept up in the journey of Clair and Jesse and find the ending utterly shocking. I hope they’ll look back on the book and ponder the ideas it contains deep into the night. This book is a lot more overtly philosophical than the first one. Not too overt, though, I hope: it’s still a thriller, not a textbook. But there’s a lot in there about identity and about different ways we could engage with the world around us that I hope will resonate long after the last page. And I want Devin to make my readers laugh.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
   This is my forty-second published novel--a number that never ceases to amaze me. Each was a joy and a battle and a revelation. I’m never entirely sure what they’ll be like when I start writing them, and of course you never know what people will think of them when they’re published. Deep down, I still feel like the young fellow who dropped out of university with the mission to sell a novel. By that point, I’d already written five that I knew weren’t good enough, and I knew I had a lot of work ahead. That never seems to change. There’s always a lot of work ahead. Books, like relationships, demand considerable investment, and return considerable rewards.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
   I like to work at home, although because I travel a lot I don’t always get to. My study is in the roof cavity of our house, not so far away from the family that I can’t tell what they’re up to, but not so close either that I’m distracted by them. For me, being a writer is a balancing act between needing people to keep me inspired and needing people to leave me alone. There are moments when I want to be distracted, and others where I close the windows, put my headphones, and vanish into the words.
What are you working on now?
   I am working on the final edits of HOLLOWGIRL, the last book in the Twinmaker series. It’s the hardest book I’ve ever written, and the most exciting. I wish I could say more about it.



by Sean Williams

Balzer + Bray
Released 11/4/2014

Catherine Mill's critical introduction covers the full range of Agamben's work, presenting his key concerns - metaphysics, language and potentiality, aesthetics and poetics, sovereignty, law and biopolitics, ethics and testimony - as well as his powerful vision of post-historical humanity.

Highlighting the novelty of Agamben's approach while situating it in relation to the work of other continental thinkers, The Philosophy of Agamben presents a clear and engaging introduction to the work of an innovative and influential thinker.

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Sean Williams was born in the dry, flat lands of South Australia, where he still lives with his wife and family. He has been called many things in his time, including (somewhat ostentatiously) “the premier Australian speculative fiction writer of the age” (Aurealis), the “Emperor of Sci-Fi” (Adelaide Advertiser), and the “King of Chameleons” (Australian Book Review) for the diversity of his output. That output includes over forty novels for readers all ages, ninety short stories across numerous genres, the odd published poem, and even a sci-fi musical. He is a multiple recipient of the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards categories and has been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Seiun Award, and the William Atheling Jr. Award for criticism. He received the “SA Great” Literature Award in 2000 and the Peter McNamara Award for contributions to Australian speculative fiction in 2008. His latest series are Troubletwisters, a fantasy for middle grade readers co-written with Garth Nix, and Twinmaker, a near-future thriller for young adults (and old adults too). Over twenty-five bonus short stories set in theTwinmaker universe are available online here. Sean and Garth also recently co-authored the third novel in the New York Times bestselling Spirit Animals series, Blood Ties.

He is a judge of the international Writers of the Future Contest, of which he is a past winner. He is one of only three honourary life members bestowed by the SA Writers’ Centre and an honourary member of both the Southern Dewback Squad of the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion Fan Organization. He has a Masters and PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide, where he remains a Visiting Research Fellow and an Affiliate of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.

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