An interview with Andrew R Williams

Interview by Nadia Brown

Where are you from?

I was born in Warrington, England but I have moved around quite a bit. I spent my pre-teen years in Droylsden near Manchester. During my teens I lived in Frodsham, Cheshire. I have lived in Rainhill, near St Helens (not far from Liverpool) for most of my life. Rainhill is famous because of the 1829 Rainhill rail trials when rival locomotives were tested out on the partially completed Liverpool and Manchester railway. It was the start of the steam railway era. The local library has a railway coach parked behind it with an exhibition of the Trials.

When and why did you begin writing?

As a surveyor I had read a number of technical books on surveying. As most of them only supplied an outline of home surveys, I decided to write my own: Domestic Building Surveys. Published by Spon.
My next project was A Practical Guide to Alterations and extensions also published by Spon.

What inspired you to write Arcadias Children: Samantha’s Revenge and the sequel Arcadia’s Children 2 : The Fyfield Plantation?

Once I had completed my two technical books I became infected by the writing bug. I particularly wanted to write Science Fiction.
Arcadia’s Children: Samantha’s Revenge is not the sort of book written over night. It evolved over time. The sequel took less time because I had developed the framework of places and characters.

Which authors have influenced you?

In my childhood, W E Johns;
in later life Dennis Wheatley, H G Wells and John Wyndham.
Vladimir Peniakoff’s war time account Popski’s Private Army certainly had an influence. One of my characters has a shortened version of his name; I hope Vladimir’s relatives won’t be offended. Vlad Pen is one of the good guys who becomes ensnared by the evil Samantha. Although cowboy novels aren’t my thing, I enjoyed reading True Grit by Charles Portis. I’m sure my reading must have influenced what I now write and must have helped me.

What are your current projects

I am now working on Arcadia’s Children 3: Pushley escapes. I am also working on a novel called JIM. At the same time, I am also trying to find a script writer / TV company who would be interested in adapting my novels. I have been told by a number of people that they would make good all-action movies/ TV series. If anyone out in there is interested, please get in touch. Email : info@arcadiaschildren.com

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

The simple answer is no because Science Fictions / Fantasy is in the mind but I use the internet a great deal to look for places on Earth that I can adapt to create local colour. In Arcadia’s Children 2 : The Fyfield Plantation, Awis Oasis was invented from an internet excursion I took into the Sahara Desert.

What was the hardest part of writing your sci-fi novels?

In “real life” I’m a surveyor and spend most of my time using technical English. Technical English is very precise and plodding by nature and it took some time for me shrug it off when in novel writing mode. I had to take “go faster pills” and make my novels all-action.

Do you see writing as a career?

The cover of one of my books says “In real life, Andrew R Williams is a Chartered Surveyor. When twilight falls, he starts writing.” I intend to write more novels if people want to read them but at the moment it is still a hobby.

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