Authors reveal the images that inspired 100,000 words
About the author...
I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...
I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.
‘So, where do you get your ideas from?’ We’ve all been asked it and the answer isn’t always easy. I’ve written ten books so far and by the end of 2017 that number will have gone up to 12. With some of them, it’s not so hard. My first book, Dirty Minds, for example was sparked off by a newspaper article predicting that “historical erotica” was going to do well. As I had been writing very un-erotic historical drama for years without attracting any publishing success, I thought to myself, ‘If they don’t want my serious stuff, I’ll give them a bit of smut.’
24 hours later I had worked out that I neither had the experience, the ability, nor, to be honest, the desire to write smut, so I turned the subject on its head and wrote a book about somebody trying to write a dirty book and failing. And, after all those years, that’s the one that attracted the attention of a publisher.
So I know where the inspiration for that one came from, but take my latest book, Chasing Shadows, for example. For some reason I decided to make the main protagonist blind. As an author, a blind character definitely makes things more difficult. No glances across crowded rooms, no disapproving looks, no nods, no winks, no shakes of the head. I certainly didn’t make things easy for myself when I made that choice, but the thing I can’t work out is why? Why did I choose a blind character? I have no personal experience of blindness. I haven’t read anything about blind people and, apart from the magnificent See no Evil, Hear no Evil with the late, great Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, I haven’t seen any movies about that subject. So why did I do that? Answer: search me, I have no idea.
However, although I can’t pick out the reason why I made that particular choice, I know exactly why I chose to set the story on the pilgrims’ way to Compostela. That’s easy. I did the Camino (as it’s known) a few years earlier and knew that I wanted to write a book about it. Now this is where it gets spooky. I wrote the book, sent it to a digital publisher, Canelo, they read it, liked it and sent me a contract. So far so good. But the spooky thing is the cover. When they sent me my first glimpse of the cover, I suddenly discovered that, of all the places on the 780 kilometre route, they had chosen a place not only that I knew, but one where I had actually stayed. Check out the photos below. Sometimes you find inspiration. Other times it finds you.
My thanks to the lovely Barbara Copperthwaite for hosting this post on her blog. I hope you’ve found it of interest.