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Author, Avid Tweeter & Blogger, Lover of books, Teacher of Maths & Swimming, Mother, Speaks Spanish, Friend to many...

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

SUMMER'S DARK WATERS by Simon Williams @SWilliamsAuthor

Thank you, Simon, for agreeing to be ‘interviewed’ via my blog. First things first, time for us to find out about you, via one of your books. I read “Summer’s Dark Waters”. My 5 Star Review is featured on my Reader Blog. This is what I thought!

“I have to admit that I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. Having read a lot of YA, childrens' books (especially with my children), I thought this was great! I recently read “Gone” and even though it reminded me of "Lord of the Flies" the gruesome elements of the story made it harder for me to enjoy. I wonder why some authors make their stories so dark.

In contrast, even though this book does have some "darker" moments, Summer's Dark Waters is very entertaining and the story-line had me hooked.

The main character, Joe, is someone you want to like. A bit quiet, shy, different. In contrast to his friend, Amber, who wants to look out for him and is inquisitive and no push-over. Together, they discover that something is not right and Joe is special. The creation of a secret society to save the world from chaos is not a new concept, but worked very well here. I am intrigued about this group, which seems twisted in its ideals.

To save themselves, Joe manages to bridge the gap between our world and a new world, which the author creates. It is slightly reminiscent of Narnia... no animals, but strange folk all the same. A collection of the "Lost", a strange melee of individuals. Some from different worlds.
As an added bonus, the author included illustrations within the book, which added an extra dimension.

This book leads nicely on to a follow up, which is fab for children. You want to get them hooked on reading and this works brilliantly for me. Highly recommend.”

What do you think of my review?

I like all good reviews! Seriously though, I think you’ve summarised it very well without giving any particular spoilers.

What or who inspired you to write this story?

I hadn’t actually planned on writing any books for kids or teens, but my niece (who was 9 at the time) convinced me that I should give it a go. We came up with a few ideas, although much of the original plot was shelved. The names of the two children, and the mysterious lake in the woods, are pretty much what survived of those notes, but the important thing was that it led me to the plot ideas for what became Summer’s Dark Waters. It would be a bit facetious to say “the rest is history” but that’s pretty much how it all came about. Cause and effect work in very odd ways.

As you can see from my review, I am a huge fan of the illustrations. Who did them? Tell us more…

They were created by Ankolie (www.ankolie.com) an artist friend of mine. Somehow she managed to visualise the characters in exactly the same way as I did without any real help, which was astonishing really. I’m hoping to commission her for the sequel (which should be out later this year) and a new project of mine for younger children, which I can’t say anything about at the moment. Well I say “can’t”… I’m probably just trying to be mysterious.
I think it’s important that books for younger readers are illustrated in order to fire their imagination, just as I believe that books for an adult audience (such as my Aona series) work better without imagery, with the author creating enough of an idea to sow the seeds of scenes or pictures in the mind of the reader.

How did you decide on your main characters?

I really just let the plot create them or at least give them added personality. As I reworked the drafts of the book they really came alive and when Ankolie’s drawings were complete that was it really- it was almost as if they’d created themselves. I knew from the start that there had to be the two kids in the book- there was just too much for one to realistically deal with, and the story is partly about how sometimes your friends can pull you through when you need them most. So it made sense to do it that way.

What about the Lost? I imagine you had fun making them up…

I did. I thought about their motivations and what had made them how they were, and tied all that in with some observations on humanity in general (not that they’re necessarily human…)

Who is your favourite author? Did any particular books inspire this story?

I wouldn’t say there were any that particularly inspired Summer’s Dark Waters (the whole thing came out of the blue really), but when I was around that sort of age my favourite author was Alan Garner- he actually made me decide to become an author in fact. Nowadays I wouldn’t say I have a single favourite- I still like his work, and also Clive Barker, George R R Martin, Joe Abercrombie, C J Cherryh, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Ian Irvine, Tad Williams and many others.

Can you tell us any more about your story and whether you are planning any sequels?

I’m about halfway through writing the sequel, the working title of which is “The Light From Far Below”. It will be a bit longer, maybe a bit more involved- and is set a year and a half after the events in the first book, so writing it has been a slightly different challenge. It covers some quite “big” and serious subject matter although in a hopefully age-appropriate way.

Where we can find out more about you and buy your books?

My website is always a good place to start- www.simonwilliamsauthor.com

Summer’s Dark Waters:
All Amazon Sites

Oblivion’s Forge (Book I in the Aona series):
All Amazon Sites

Thank you for joining us on my blog!

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