UPDATE: Book giveaway alert! Author Brett Williams has decided to give away a free e-copy of his latest novella HIGH OCTANE DAMNATION. Like or comment this post, and you’ll be entered to win!
Hi, Brett. Thanks for joining us here at Author Interview Corner!
Thank you for having me, Lindsey.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for almost six years. I dabbled here and there years before but writing didn’t stick until 2008.
Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
Yes. It was fourth grade and we had to write a book for English class. Our class actually bound the books when we finished. Zarc Benchar and the Energy Monster is available to read on Facebook.
Your novella FROM MURKY DEPTHS really pulled me in. I’ve always had a fear of creatures swimming, unseen, beneath the surface of the water. With this novella, you brought so much more to the table than the average swamp creature story. How did you come up with the idea?
Well, I grew up in Southeast Missouri where From Murky Depths takes place. I recall torrential rain turning farmland into lakes when I was a kid. I was always cautious around water because there are a lot of water snakes in the area. It kind of creeped me out that an area such as a farm could suddenly become dangerous (at least in my mind) with only a few inches of water. I also remember watching crawdads tunneling up out of the ground in dried-up ditches. Just think, there are critters burrowed down beneath our feet!
A lot of other things helped to build the story. Just as city folk might think country people look or act strange, there is also a hierarchy in small-town America. People, although from a small town themselves, sometimes have the same feeling about people from a smaller neighboring town.
What has been the hardest part of becoming a published author?
Within the horror genre, I’d say the toughest part is getting the attention of publishers and getting them to read your submissions. Many are people who have day jobs. They may be an invite-only press, or something similar. In my case, it helped to gain attention by first self-publishing, and then receiving positive reader comments and backing.
In the case of From Murky Depths, I had self-published Family Business (direct sales, not through Amazon). A rabid fan of the book, who was a collector and bookseller, actually promoted me to Tom Moran of Gallows Press, who ultimately wanted to reprint Family Business. Gallows Press of course also published From Murky Depths.
The most rewarding part?
Entertaining readers with my stories!
HIGH OCTANE DAMNATION was recently released by Comet Press, and I must say…. Oh, wow. Here is a twisted, erotic tale with plenty of shock value along the way. Needless to say, HIGH OCTANE DAMNATION contains a lot of adult content. Can you tell my blog readers a little bit about it?
Ha! Yes, High Octane Damnation certainly puts the reader behind the wheel of a tour-de-force, high-speed vehicle of sex and violence. There is also a touch of irony as James McGuire, following the recent loss of family to a drunk driver, decides to end his years of sobriety. Enter stage left: a mysterious cowboy and a renegade chapter of M.A.D.D. determined to get street justice for the loss of their own loved ones. The reader then races through 120ish pages of roadkill, lust, and manipulation, on the highway to hell. What has James gotten himself into? And how the hell can he get himself out? Or can he? Fun!
Have you written any other erotic/ extreme horror?
Definitely. Gallows Press describes Family Business as eXXXtreme horror, and rightly so. Readers follow trophy wife Erika from Kansas City to the backwoods of Missouri in search of a Yorkie puppy. There she is kidnapped and locked in a barn, along with some other women. The great thing about Family Business is that it puts into human terms what animals experience in puppy mills. So, of course, that’s pretty freakin’ extreme.
How do you find balance while writing something the audience might find offensive? Do you set limits to how far you will go for a shock, or do you throw caution to the wind while writing?
Mostly I just write without thinking about it. Occasionally I tell myself to chill on the adult content.
What genres have you written in besides horror?
Wow. It seems like I’ve written in a lot of genres. The Dancer at Brokkton Inn is fantasy. Back Pay is crime. Actually, High Octane Damnation is considered dark crime, a genre I plan to write more in the future. Shackjob will appear in the anthology Long Distance Drunks: A Tribute to Charles Bukowski in March. I suppose that would be considered literary fiction. I actually wrote a romantic comedy. That novel, entitled A Good Time, will be self-published in 2014, primarily because I doubt I’ll go that route again.
If you could invite any five authors from any time period to dinner, who would they be?
Richard Laymon, Edward Bunker, Daniel Woodrell, Michael Crichton, and Lindsey Beth Goddard. I enjoyed talking with you at Crypticon KC last year, so it would be nice to talk with you more.
Aw, thank you! What can we expect to see from Brett Williams in 2014?
Long Distance Drunks: A Tribute to Charles Bukowski – March
A Good Time – late spring/early summer
I can’t really comment yet, but I suspect the following novellas will be available in 2014:
Third Eye High
What are you working on at the moment?
Actually, you caught me between stories. I just finished a short story about a week ago and haven’t started anything else, due to working overtime at my day job. My next project will be novel length.