Interview with Quan Williams, author of Godmode
Download Godmode at http://godmode.quanwilliams.com
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m a bit of a creative drifter. I get bombarded by new ideas in a wide variety of media, and instead of sitting on them and letting them drive me nuts, I try to find a way to bring my ideas to life, whether it be writing a novel, creating a comic book, designing a boardgame, recording some music, or anything else I can think of. I have four published novels, three webcomics, four music albums and two customizable deckbuilding games under my belt, and I’m always trying to add more.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m working, whether it be at the dayjob or doing freelance graphic and web design. When I’m not working, I’m either playing Magic: The Gathering, reading fiction (mostly comic books), playing old school videogames on my emulator, or surfing for cool news over the ‘net. and I’m a big “geek movie” buff. And I’m always trying to add to my collection of Hip-Hop and Jazz music. and I still find time to spend with the wife and family. Yeah, I’m all over the place.
What’s your favourite food?
Chicken Broccoli Bake! I was turned onto it in college. The perfect blend of Chicken, Broccoli, cheese and rice is one of my all time favorites. Hon. mention is Chicken wings. Preferably heavily seasoned and batter-fried, but I’m really not that picky.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
I would want my soundtrack to be truly epic, so I would eschew the usual music artists and go with a jam of the greatest movie composers I’ve ever heard: John Williams, John Barry, Hans Zimmer, Yoko Kanno and Nobuo Uematsu.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Horror best describes the genre. Not all Dark Fiction or Weird Fiction is Horror. A lot of Modern fantasy could be considered Weird or Dark. If a story is intended to scare you, creep you out, or fill you with an overwhelming sense of dread, then it is Horror.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Terry Pratchett is number one on my list for his worldbuilding and humor. I’m a huge fan of Grant Morrison and his wild ideas, and I’ve always liked Isaac Asimov and Octavia Butler. I grew up on Judy Blume, and Anne Mallory is a close friend of mine.
What is your all-time favourite horror novel, and film?
John Carpenter’s The Thing was the horror movie that left the biggest impression on me. The sense of paranoia and not knowing who to trust, with anything potentially becoming a monster, was something that really resonated with me. In print, the classic stories of Poe and Lovecraft were the ones that I liked the most, especially Lovecraft. In fact, I even included a few Lovecraft references in my novel, GODMODE.
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
With a handful of notable exceptions, the black guy is always the first one to die in horror films. Since I’m a black guy, I take exception to that.
Which fictional character would be you perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
I think Dexter would be a great next door neighbor. He seems to mind his own business, so I wouldn’t have to worry about him sticking his nose in mine.
Who wouldn’t I want to live next door to?
Hari Seldon. I mean, come on; he’s a know-it-all mathemetician who can predict the future and has a hot robot girlfriend that’ll kick your ass if you get too close to him. The keeping-up-with-the-Jonses factor would be off the charts.
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
I think horror is as healthy as it has ever been. there are some very unique takes on horror tropes that are really captivating people, from graphic novels (Hack/Slash, afterlife with Archie) to television (Walking Dead) and film (The Sacrament). I’m glad the torture stuff has phased out a bit (never was a fan of it), and I do think Zombies are a bit overdone right now, and I think Horror needs to take Vampires and Werewolves back from dark YA fantasy. Especially werewolves. We need to make them scary again. I’ve got an awesome horror idea for giving werewolves the zombie treatment, but I need to find time to write it…
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
The last novel I read that I really enjoyed was Terry Pratchett’s Snuff, very funny stuff, with some great action and some really heart-touching moments sprinkled in. I just finished Hack/Slash volume two, and it was a fun read. The most disappointing read would probably be L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield: Earth. I enjoyed his Mission: Earth series and I was expecting more of the same, but I didn’t get it and I wasn’t pleased.
How would you describe your writing style?
I have a very visual style. I’m a comic book creator,so I like to make sure my readers can truly experience what is happening in my scenes, by engaging all five senses.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
The first not-so-positive Amazon review I got was very humbling. It’s tough when you pour your heart and soul into a project, and put it out to only have somebody say “meh.” but you learn to grow a thick skin, and I have gotten plenty of positive reviews to balance out the negative ones.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
It always bothers me when I have to leave scenes on the cutting room floor. I get a cool idea for a scene, only to find out during revisions that it doesn’t fit the story, and it hurts to have to cut it out. usually a scene like that is pretty cool or clever, but as the saying goes “no scene is worth an entire chapter, and no chapter is worth an entire book.”
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I don’t think I’ll ever write a western, or any historical fiction, for that matter. I’m not too keen on all of the research it would take to make the story authentic. The closest i came was a manuscript I wrote in 2001 that took place in the 1990’s. and I could pull that off only because I lived in that period of time.
If you could kill off any character from any other book who would you chose and how would they die?
The parents in “The Virgin Suicides” were morons. They didn’t even try to communicate with their daughters and find out what they were thinking and feeling. Not to sound too cruel, but after their last daughter overdosed on pills, they should have followed suit.