Hello there, dear readers!
It’s such a pleasure to interview author Desiree Williams on my blog today. Desire is a wonderful young adult author of whimsical stories and recently released her latest novel, Illusionary.
Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.
Alice fell down a hole.
Wendy flew to Neverland.
Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.
Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.
Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.
No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.
Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.
Enjoy the interview below!
KS: So happy to have you, Desiree! Let’s get started. What’s a little-known fact about you?
DW: I secretly wish to live in the mountains as a hermit, having all my supplies delivered via Amazon drones. But my family wouldn’t be down for that.
KS: Well, as someone who lives in the mountains as practically a hermit–you do start to kind of miss civilization after a while 😉 Okay, on to the next question: If you could meet one movie character, who would it be?
DW: Toothless. Let’s be real. People are okay, but dragons are way better. 😉
KS: Oooh yes! Toothless would be awesome. Okay, next–Chocolate or Vanilla? (Is this a trick question? 😉 )
DW: Chocolate! 🙂
KS: Good choice. Now, for the bookish questions. What novels have impacted your writing?
DW: This one’s a bit challenging to answer. Mainly because I’m always trying to dig deeper into the writing craft, being that mental sponge and learning new things. Right now, I’m loving the information K.M. Weiland gives on craft and story development. Also, from the business side of things, the books by Joanna Penn have been super helpful.
KS: I follow K. M. Weiland! So informative. Alright, fun question–who was your favorite character to write in Illusionary and why?
DW: Oh, my. I have to pick one? *paces around desk* That’s like asking a parent which of their kids is prettier? *bites lip* Okay. Kam and Reese are so solid I can’t choose between them. I love them both equally. BUT everyone needs a best friend, and no book would be complete without a hilarious side character. Therefore I’ll pick our beloved archer, Torin. Getting to come up with those crazy comedy beats of his made writing his character so much fun.
KS: Awww love that! What is the biggest way that Illusionary has changed from the first draft?
DW: I’d have to say the emotional depth at the end of the story (the scene with Reese in chains), due to the self-denial I had been in. It wasn’t until the revision process that I realized how much of myself I’d put into the story, especially Reese’s character. With the editors and the Holy Spirit prodding me to dig deeper, I finally cracked open that cage around my heart to face my own demons right along with Reese.
KS: That’s amazing! I love how story truly can impact our own soul-journies. What theme that has been woven into your novel are you most passionate about?
DW: Two things really: first, that there’s always hope, even in the darkest of circumstances. Second, we never face our battles alone. There are friends and loved ones who are ready to head into war with us. We just have to allow them in.
KS: So beautiful, and definitely themes at resonate with me, and I’m certain many others. Now, I have to ask…how do you find time to write?
DW: Ah, time. What a lovely thing that flees from me. 😉 All jokes aside, time is available it’s just a matter of how we use it. I block out writing sessions in my calendar and fend off the evil trolls who’d dare mess with them. With school in session (I homeschool my daughter), my writing times are very early morning and a few afternoons squeezed in. It all boils down to discipline and training your mind and body to obey your every command.
KS: Discipline and finding time. Definitely things that I’m learning to master a bit more every day. Next question–what does your writing process look like?
DW: A beautiful explosion of words and feelings. 🙂 It’s really a mess, but it’s my beautiful mess. Every book tends to be different for me. I’m a pantser by nature, but I understand the key importance of plotting. I brainstorm and draft a plot, allowing myself to dive deep into who my characters are. Then I have at it. That first draft is all about getting the daydream out of my head and onto the page. I even use dictation for that first draft, so I can stare off into space and let the words flow with the images. Then during self-edits, I let the logical half of my brain take over and hack away at things before sending it off to an editor.
KS: I’m very similar in my process! What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
DW: Understand your “why”, the reason you’re doing what you’re doing, and cling to it with every fiber of your being. Especially if you wish to publish. The publishing industry is hard and lots of battles come at you, from without and within. When you know your “why”, you can weather those difficult storms, seeing the hope on the horizon. And don’t ever dare give up. Because if you do, that’s when the dream truly dies.
KS: Wonderful, wonderful advice <3 What writing project are you working on now?
DW: I’m in the drafting process for a sci-fi/ romance trilogy. Each book in the trilogy will focus on a different couple and location. All gearing up to save the planet of Irredecca, who is facing annihilation through biological warfare. I’m loving it because I get to dive into all sorts of species and new cultures. It’s a wanders playground. 🙂
That sounds fascinating! Thank you so much for joining me, Desiree!
Thank you so much for having me on! I loved getting to chat with you. <3
Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.