Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sean Williams

Sean Williams is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels for adults as well as the coauthor of the middle grade series Troubletwisters with Garth Nix. As a resident of South Australia—which he reports is a lovely place a long way away from the rest of the world—Williams has often dreamed of stepping into a booth and being somewhere else, instantly. This has led to a fascination with the social, psychological, and moral implications of such technology. When not pondering such weighty matters, he can generally be found eating chocolate (actually, he eats chocolate when pondering these matters, too).

Williams's newest book is Crashland, the sequel to Twinmaker.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I’m strongly influenced by the novels I read, so tailoring my reading for the project I’m working on is really important. Nothing derails my new kids’ book faster than picking up the new Jack Reacher novel, say, or a horror novel. I therefore try to choose books that will make me write in the right mode, and also make me write better. I’m not copying; I’m just seeking to be inspired.

The book I finished writing just this week is a young adult novel, the third in the Twinmaker series and sequel to Crashland. My reading reflects that, although it’s not always obvious how. Exo by Steven Gould is a no-brainer: it’s about teleporting, after all, which is the central trope of Twinmaker. I’m also a big fan of the Jumper series, of which this is the latest entry. I enjoyed it a lot. Books that remind me why it would be awesome to go into space are always welcome in this house.

Two others I finished recently are Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James and Clariel by Garth Nix. Garth and I have been friends for a long time, and Rebecca and I met earlier this year. There’s something special about reading a book by a friend, particularly when you know going in that it’s a book that everyone loves. On those moments when I wasn’t swept up in the stories (brief and rare moment, I should say) I basked pleasantly in the glow of their excellence. There are few things better than watching a friend succeed. And these two encourage me to write better characters.

But of course that new book is done now, so it’s time for a palate cleanser. What could be better than Dana Simpson’s Phoebe and her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle? None other than Peter S Beagle reckons it’s the best comic strip since Calvin and Hobbes, and although I’m not sure I agree I did enjoy it very much.

It’s time to move on to something new. Garth and I are working on a new middle-grade series, one that will require me to brush up on my medieval knowledge. I can see a run of Rosemary Sutcliffe and Tamora Pierce in the very near future...
Visit Sean Williams' website.

The Page 69 Test: Crashland.

--Marshal Zeringue