John Williams Interview
Tell us a little about yourself and your work.
I am a fifty-three-year-old, father, musician, and aviation professional. I lead teams that perform aircraft maintenance on corporate jets. I have been in the aviation career field for over 25 years. I have been writing science fiction since the fourth grade but made a serious effort to publish this year.
Where do you like to write?
Believe it or not, I like to write while sitting in bed. It’s very relaxing and if I want to write for some time, it’s very easy to do so.
Is there anything you must have in order to write? For example, silence, whiskey, and a close shave.
Quiet is nice, but I have kids. So I have my computer close by and I start when all is quiet. I do the same sometimes in the morning before everyone gets up.
What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
As a person I have to say The Bible, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Millionaire Next Door, First Break All The Rules, How To Win Friends And Influence People, Think And Grow Rich and the Magic Of Believing.
As a writer, I have to say most of Tom Clancy’s books, Scorpion Strike, This Present Darkness and most any book about NASA, science and aviation.
What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
Definitely my experience in aviation, and things I was taught in the Air Force like attention to detail, and the importance of a great report. I am also well travelled and that helps when I discuss certain locations.
What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
I want to have the satisfaction of knowing that my fans truly enjoy the stories that I write. Second, would be becoming a “Best Selling” author. Third would be to have my book licensed in multiple countries for film.
Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
Yes. I try to improve by asking myself after a paragraph or two: “Is this what you really want to say? Can you say this better? Is this your real voice and your real thoughts? I usually do a re-write or two after this exercise.
What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
I do not try to influence my editor at all. I simply want his/her best. I state clear goals that I’m trying to reach and we both want nothing less than excellence. I like a robust communication flow as to the progress of the book and whether or not more clarification is needed. By-the way, my books are no less than four stars consistently because I work with the best, meaning, I work with those who have already done work for major publishers.
If you had a direct line to someone who loves/hates your writing, what would you say?
I would likely ask what they liked/didn’t like about my writing and why.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
I would say something like begin with the end in mind and research your audience. Write about what you know. Do not be lazy about your research for your book, especially if it is in the Sci-fi genre. Sci-fi readers are a very particular bunch. If they perceive something like the science or facts are not right, they will call you on it in your reviews. Finally, effort to write a great story. Forget about movie rights and the alike. Good and bad stories can always be made into a film. Make sure yours is the good story.
What does your writing future hold for you?
Right now I’m focused on getting more, and the right kind of national and international exposure.
How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
I have a very talented graphic designer that I have been working with for some time. I actually found her on “Fiverr.” Do not discount the talented vendors on Fiverr. I have used professionals from there and I have been satisfied 98% of the time. Just remember, you’re the boss so make sure your initial expectations are well communicated from the beginning. Professionally direct them to your expected end. If it takes 4-5 revisions, so be it.
How often do you read? What genre?
I read all of the time. I am usually read 3-4 books at a time. The genre is usually self-help, marketing, communication, etc.