Friday, December 22, 2006
FEATURED AUTHOR: Albert Williams
SORMAG: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Albert Williams: Firstly, LaShaunda, let me say it is always a pleasure to talk about creative writing, whether my own or anyone else’s. My name is Albert Llewellyn Benoit Williams I was born 44 years ago in Emsworth, United Kingdom to Victor and Linda Williams who had migrated to the UK in the early sixties.
In 1972, I returned to Dominica, with my father and siblings (one brother and two sisters) where I would find my calling to be a poet, freelance- journalist and author in that order.
Among the highlights of my career are:
* 1981-first published article, in The Chronicle. Since then, In addition, I have had scores of my articles, poems, letters to the editor, columns, as well as features on me, published in The Sun, Tropical star, The Voice, The Independent, DBS Radio, Kairi FM, Marpin TV, Sat TV and The Government Information Service
* 1982-First self-published, book of poems, Honourable Natty Dread.
* 1983-founding member of Frontline Co-operative bookstore
* 1983-Founding member of Dominica Writers Guild(DWG)
* 1985-Second self-published book of poetry, One Dominica Odes for I Beloved.
* 1995-Produced and presented one-hour, literary radio, talk show: Dominica Writers Guild Review
* 1996-third self-published, book of poetry, Through the Far Eye.(ISBN 976-8155-00-0)
* 2002- Earned diploma in Journalism/Short-Story Writing from Harcourt Direct, formerly International Correspondence Schools (ICS)
* 2002-Invited to join The Chronicle as fulltime reporter.
* 2005-first book of short stories, Haunted Heritage, and Other Stories (ISBN 1-4241-0680-X) published by Publishamerica.
SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?
WILLIAMS: In 2004, I returned to the UK. Among my few possessions that I left Dominica with were my writing course modules, over 250 press cuttings, photocopies of my past publications and other unpublished poems and short stories.
I wasn’t long before I began to search the Internet to look for publishers who might be interested in publishing my short stories. I discovered Publishamerica in July 2005. I was immediately drawn to this publishing house due to the fact that they offered me a contract that stated that they would underwrite the cost of publishing, and in addition, provide me with a website and all I had to do was to submit the material.
About five months later, Haunted Heritage and Other Stories was released, and is now available through a network of online retail and wholesale booksellers including, including Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Chapters, WH Smith, Amazon.com and publishamerica.com among others.
Publishamerica designed the book cover. It is a paperback, 5.5x8.5 inches, and 132 pages long. It comprises nine short stories, many of which were written as assignments during my writing course, and subsequently published in several Dominican newspapers, as well as the love poem, Goddess.
As you would expect, the stories are a reflection of Caribbean and Dominican themes, In my opinion, this volume of work is an excellent introduction to the lifestyle of the Caribbean. In writing these pieces, I drew on my own fascination and experiences growing in Dominica. I am very pleased with this work.
SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
WILLIAMS: What I would like readers to take away from my book is the realism depicted of the Dominican way of life. Stories like The Storm, Nature Guide, My Little Lamb and I’ve Seen it all before, are humorous and true- to-life. I would like them to appreciate my story-telling craft, and ultimately, to have a pleasurable reading experience.
SORMAG: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?
WILLAMS: There are two types of writers: One is born, and the other is made. The one who is a born writer will naturally have a distinct advantage over one who wants to develop talent from a scratch. The natural writer will easily be drawn to the beauty of language, and the myriad forms of expression. He or she, will find it easy to assimilate and utilise the rules of grammar, and to benefit from any formal or informal course of study in creative writing and English Literature.
My advice to both groups would be: to learn the craft from whatever source is available to you. Make reading of fiction, modern, and old school, part of your lifestyle, and practice, practice and practice. It is also useful to join writers groups, and writer’s forums, where you can share ideas with other writers, and benefit from their criticisms. And moreover, to make the studying of language your lifelong hobby.
SORMAG: How are you marketing your book, and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?
WILLIAMS: At the moment, I am concentrating my efforts around creating awareness of the availability of my book through mass circulation of press releases, to attract as many persons to my websites. I have also managed to arrange with libraries in West Sussex, here in the United Kingdom and in Dominica to have the book available for their members. I have also had the book reviewed, and the reviews circulated and published on my websites, the Internet and in other hard copy publications to create a “buzz”.
As we speak, My fiancée, Tempie King, who is based in the USA, and I are embarking on strategies to introduce my work to the USA market. We are also making plans to launch into the book market in the United Kingdom as a team.
SORMAG: Name your top five favourite writing books of all time.
WILLIAMS: In my time, I have read many books on creative writing. Many of which are now faint memories, but chief among would be:
* Three Genres-The Writing of Poetry, Fiction and Drama by Stephen Minot.
* The Art of Criticism (An anthology of various contributors.)
* Novel Writing by Writers Digest, *
* Writing Romance by Vanessa Grant.
* Journalism/Short Story Writing Course from Harcourt Direct.
SORMAG: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?
WILLIAMS: Feelings (ISBN 1-4241-0706-7 Publishamerica) by Tempie who is also a fellow publishamerica author.
SORMAG: What resources do you use on the net?
WILLIAMS: I contribute to writers forums, surf author resource websites, I also subscribe to a number of newsletters and look for writers software. Incidentally, the cover of Haunted Heritage and Other Stories was selected to be the cover design for a children’s reading software by a Dominican education specialist.
SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (Mail, email, website)
WILLIAMS: I may be contact by:
27 Dalewood Gardens,
(Home) 011-44 1293-402-517
Cell 011-44 78-598-461-68
- I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.
I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.
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