Friday, January 6, 2017

D.J. Williams discusses his new book, “Waking Lazarus”

With the DNA of a world traveler, D.J. Williams was born and raised in Hong Kong, has ventured into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the slums of the Far East. His global travels have engrossed him in a myriad of cultures, and provided him with a unique perspective that has fueled his creativity over the course of a twenty year career in both the entertainment industry and nonprofit sector.

In this latest novel, Williams has written an epic global adventure filled with riveting characters and page turning twists and turns. Think Jason Bourne meets Homeland. It is a brilliant follow up to his previous novel, The Disillusioned, that garnered the praise of Hollywood’s elite, including Judith McCreary, Co-EP, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and CSI, who said, “The Disillusioned is a fast-paced mystery…you won’t put it down until you’ve unlocked the secrets and lies to find the truth.”

With the release of Waking Lazarus, Williams is once again capturing the attention of industry veterans including Peter Anderson (Oscar Winner, Cinematographer), who has already endorsed this latest adventure, “Waking Lazarus is a captivating visual story with a colorful narrative. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down.”  
Currently based out of Los Angeles, Williams continues to add to his producing and directing credits of more than 300 episodes of broadcast TV syndicated worldwide by developing new projects for television, film and print.

D.O: Thanks for joining us today on Authors' Curtilage Book Dialogue, and welcome.

D.J. Williams: My pleasure to be here with you. Thanks for the opportunity.

D.O: You are welcome. The audience would like to know which part of the world you’re joining us from.

D.J. Williams: Sunny California!

D.O: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

D.J. Williams: I remember at eight years old reading Treasure Island cover to cover and being captured by how the story came to life on the page. Writing was always a dream, but it wasn't a reality until I found myself standing on the shores of the Zambezi River. I was entering into a career change and that spark of being a storyteller moved me to write my first novel, The Disillusioned.

D.O: What are the various craft you've studied before the career change that you brought into the entertainment industry or do you just possess some natural tendencies to write stories?

D.J. Williams: I worked in the music business for over a decade before I found myself diving into a new career as an Executive Producer and Director in the television industry.

D.O: Wow! So you’ve been around the industry for a long while.  

D.J. Williams: Yes you can say that, and the one constant that has been part of my DNA has been to be a storyteller, whether it was through music or on the screen. I've also learned a lot from reading my favorite author's, as well as a Master Class taught by James Patterson. With that said, the best way to become more skilled in your craft is to be disciplined at working every single day to be better.

D.O: Hmm. That’s so true. Practice makes a person perfect at whatever their hands find to do. I have to say I’m privileged to have you promote Waking Lazarus on Authors’ Curtilage.

D.J. Williams: Thank you.

D.O: What are the steps you took to develop your book from a rough draft into a published novel?

D.J. Williams: Every book starts with a spark of an idea. It might be a character, or it might be a mystery that needs to be solved. Once that spark hits, then I'll work on writing a treatment of the basic story. I don't worry too much about all of the details, but just try to give myself a rough roadmap. That treatment is only a few pages long. While there are authors who outline each chapter, I've found that approach hinders my creativity. I use the treatment as a reference and let the story unfold naturally. It will take me about 4-6 months to get the first draft done. Then I take a month away from the book and let it sit before going back and working on a second draft. Along the way there's plenty of rewriting. Another 2 months and I'll have a final draft of the book finished. Eight months into it and I send the book off to my agent, who then goes through the process of sending the novel out to publishers. From there, you wait and see what happens.

D.O: You are thorough, and I think this type of writing process produce good finished product for those writers, that know their craft very well. What did you do differently in your book to make readers feel fear, concern, sadness, love and laughter?

D.J. Williams: My storytelling style is to write short chapters, like scenes in a movie. So there are plenty of cliffhangers from one page to the next that raises the tension and keeps readers guessing. My hope is that they will go on the roller coaster ride and when they flip that last page they feel satisfied, challenged, and ready to dive into the next one.

D.O: What sensitive materials does your book deal with?

D.J. Williams: In the first two books of the Guardian series, The Disillusioned and Waking Lazarus, the underlying story deals with the reality of the fight against human trafficking and the lengths one will go to end it.

D.O: What's the subject matter of your book?

D.J. Williams: In Waking Lazarus, the premise is about solving the murder of a retired District Attorney by solving a mystery of an evangelist from the 1920's. On this search for answers Jake Harris, a man who can't remember his past, rediscovers who he was called to be that brings him closer to his extraordinary destiny.

D.O: What town or city does your book story portray and what is the feeling we have in this dwelling places?

D.J. Williams: In both books, The Disillusioned and Waking Lazarus, readers are taken from the streets of Los Angeles to the shores of the Zambezi River to the back alleys of Hong Kong. Readers will be drawn into not only different locations, but different cultures and views on the world around them.

D.O: Having a unique point of view in telling a story provides a story with intention. From how many characters' viewpoint is your entire book seen from?

D.J. Williams: Following the main character, Jake Harris, I used the first person POV, but then as the story unfolds I occasionally switched to third person POV to give the readers a different perspective on what was happening that the main character might not know about.

D.O: What does the lead character of your book want most in the world?

D.J. Williams: Along the journey, Jake Harris is fighting to restore all that he's lost as he searches to uncover a past he can't remember. When he walks up the steps for one last chance he has no clue of the danger he is about to unleash on those he loves.

D.O: What does he do to achieve this goal?

D.J. Williams: He sacrifices everything, and trusts a woman he doesn't know, to help him find the truth.

D.O: In the end of your book did the story goal satisfy your lead character's ambition or did he device another method to achieve his goal or failed at achieving it?

D.J. Williams: I don't want to give anything away about the ending, but I will say that it's not what readers will expect.

D.O: [SIMLES] I expect you’d say this. It seems every author that comes here; don’t want to tell me anything concrete when it comes to this particular question. It’s okay. How do you think your book will influence reader’s growth positively?

D.J. Williams: My hope is that readers will be entertained by the story, and challenged to find ways that they can make a difference in the world.

D.O: I can bet they would be entertained, because by the interview alone, already I am entertained. So, I can imagine reading the book. Any hint about your next book?

D.J. Williams: I'm working on my next book, The Auctioneer, which will be a brief departure from the Guardian series. I've found the greatest challenge in this novel is to develop characters and a storyline that are different from anything I've written so far.

D.O: What better effort do you suggest writers, put into their writing to have great sales in the ever-changing economics of the entertainment industry?

D.J. Williams: I think the focus should always be on the craft of writing, developing characters, and building an audience. As far as sales, I think if a story resonates with readers word of mouth will be the best marketing to get sales. I will say that the challenge with the ever-changing distribution channels is that we must always be sure to work hard on delivering the very best project we can instead of rushing the process because we can get it on Amazon overnight.

D.O: Hmm. That’s a good advice. Thank you once again for joining us on Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. We wish you the publishing best and hope that all good things come your way with your book.

D.J. Williams: Thank you for having me, and I hope your readers will be inspired to dive into one of my books, and to pursue their dreams!

Contact D.J. Williams Now! Twitter Facebook Website

Buy his New book Waking Lazarus! Amazon

D.J. Williams joined the Authors’ Curtilage Book Dialogue via email from Sunny California

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