C.L. Williams Interview: “I read more non-fiction than anything”

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This week I speak to Luke, A.K.A C.L. Williams, a poet who is due to release his first novel shortly.

Tell me about how you came to define your writing style.

As far as writing poetry goes, my writing tends to be one of two styles; lyrics or free verse. I started writing poems similar to song lyrics because of my love of music. I listen to almost every genre. Given how much poetry and song have in common it not only became easy to write a poem like a song, I can tell a story in a poem that feels like a song. I also write free verse because when I was writing my last poetry book META- (Complete) my only focus was delivering my feelings, not writing a good poem. As it turns out me writing my feelings was what made those who like my books take much enjoyment in reading META- (Complete) As far as writing fiction goes, I don’t think I’ve discovered a specific writing style for myself just yet. I’m still learning what I’m good at writing and what I need to work on, I’m also still discovering what genres I enjoy writing and which ones I need to improve upon.

What is your career background and how did you get into writing professionally?

I got into writing while I was in middle school. Not many like how I got into writing but as a kid, I did not enjoy reading. My lack of reading affected my grades in English class. However, when we had to do writing assignments in English class, my essays, short stories, and poems would get A’s and in many cases I was not trying. One poem I wrote in either seventh grade or eighth grade not only ended up in the school newsletter, it also ended up in my local newspaper. After that, I slowly started writing stuff on my own and would send it to various contests and websites. I only won one of the contests but if the option to be published on a website or in a book was there I ended up on those websites or in those books almost every time. As I got older, I was given the suggestion to try and publish my poems in a book. Here we are years later and I just released my eighth poetry book The Paradox Complex and I’m about to release my first novel The Escape of Ernest Frost.

Please tell me about the your books. What defines your writing style?

With my poetry books the biggest thing that defines what I write is about personal experiences or specific feelings and making sure that what I’m writing about can also connect with the reader. My earlier poetry books were focused on telling the reader “you’re not alone in what you go through”; more recently, it has been talking about struggles and coming to love and accept someone for who they are.

With fiction, I’ve noticed my love of comic books is seeping into my writing style because with a comic book, many tend to end with a cliff-hanger to get you to buy the issue coming out the following month. With my fiction work, I tend to make many of my chapters end with a cliff-hanger because I want my reader to continue reading the book.

Are there any particular mediums or narrative troupes you like to use in your writing and why?

I feel the biggest one that is present in both my poetry and my fiction work is the human condition. I’m always writing about how one feels, what their struggle is, and how they can overcome it. There are other ones that have been repeated but the human condition is easily the biggest one I’m always writing about.

What do you enjoy reading and how does this influence your writing?

As I mentioned earlier, being a reader of comic books has easily become part of my writing with cliff-hanger endings for chapters in my fiction work.

I also read a lot of non-fiction, I read more non-fiction than anything. Given how much more personal my poems have become over the years, I can easily credit my love of non-fiction to me wanting to be more personal with my own work.

My favourite author is Neil Gaiman, while I can’t say his work has been influential. I can say the fact he has so many different types of books out has been influential on me. In the past few years, he’s released novels, non-fiction, comic books, and a short story collection. I recently released a fantasy novella, I just released a poetry book, and I’m about to release my first novel.

If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, on a writing project, who would it be and why?

I’d have to pick William Shakespeare. I know I’m not the only one who would say he is the best writer ever. Not only would I be able to say I’ve worked with the best. I know I would learn a lot from him and it would make me a better writer in the process.

Have you got any exciting new plans or projects coming up that you’d like to share with me?

My newest book The Paradox Complex is actually the first of FIVE BOOKS I plan to release this year. My next book is my first novel, a suspense thriller, The Escape of Ernest Frost which I’m hoping to have out in late March or early April. It’s about a guy who gets kidnapped by a group of clowns and is forced into a cat and mouse game. He not only has to survive the night, he also has to find out why he was taken by this group of clowns.

I’m releasing a horror novella titled Dream Awake in the summer, it’s about a character who keeps having nightmares about being killed by someone, only for that person to show up in the real world and tell the main character they plan to kill the protagonist in the real world as well.

Late summer, I plan to re-release my book of love poems I did a few years ago titled Aspects of Love it’s being retitled Aspects of Love 1.5 and it’s the original book, a few poems that did not make the original cut, and a few brand new poems. My reason for doing this is because the first book was released under my real name, Luke Wood, and the eventual second volume is being released under my pen name, C.L. Williams. I thought both volumes needed to be released under the same name to avoid confusion.
By the end of the year, I plan to release my second novel, it currently does not have a title but it’s about a family overcoming the odds when struck with bad luck.

I also recently backed a Kickstarter for a comic book/tabletop game called The Empowered and I created a character for the comic book. The guys writing it mentioned summer being their goal on releasing the comic book.

Are there any new books or writers that you are looking forward to moving forward?

One of my friends, someone I actually knew before writing, is Criss Jami. He recently re-released his last few books. I’m waiting for my copies to come in the mail. I know he’s more than likely writing something, but he usually doesn’t reveal his plans on book releases until the book is released. As a fan of his work and as a friend I already know I’ll be buying whatever he does next.

When my books started gaining more readers one author that showed support and I have also given my support in return is K.N. Lee. I bought one of her most recent books, she releases more stuff than I do and sometimes it’s hard to keep up but when she mentions a new book, I buy it. Of her books, I’m currently reading Half-Blood Dragon.

Anything you’d like to add?

My newest poetry book The Paradox Complex is available in print and on digital on Amazon. And thank you Hannah for the opportunity to be on your website! It is greatly appreciated!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it has been a pleasure. You can find out more about his work HERE.

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