You may not instantly know who William Collins is but this indie author’s demon-hunting adventure series was one of my favourite surprises. His fun characters, sarcastic quips and regular travel between worlds, topped off with enjoyable twists and surprises made the Realmer series one of the best indie series I have read.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t remember the exact age I was. Ever since I can remember I’ve been writing stories, although the ones I jotted down when I was seven years old were particularly embarrassing.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It used to take me quite a long time, as I’m sure most can imagine. I’d say all in all it took me over three years to finish the first novel I published.
What’s more surprising is how much less time it takes me to write these days. The last manuscript I finished came to over a 100K and only took three months to finish. Of course, it’s still in its first draft so it’ll take a lot of polish before it’s presentable.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
The plot is usually fully fleshed out before I begin a novel, whereas the characters take shape and become full-dimensional in the writing itself. I often find their dialogue comes out before I’ve even thought of it myself.
What personality and characteristics did you want to incorporate into your main characters, Evan, Brooke, Arantay, Lok and Jed?
As Evan and Brooke are the two principle POV (point of view) characters, and both of them are new to magic and demons, I wanted them to be as different to one another as possible. Which is why Brooke is confident and sure of herself, whilst Evan is more reserved. Jed’s character came about as a compliment to both of them, almost like the comedic side character archetype, before he became a fully formed character in his own right.
How much world building do you do before writing?
Way too much! I had to cut out so much world-building from the books as I tend to get carried away. World building might be my favourite thing about writing actually.
What drew you to creating your world-hopping demon hunters?
I think because it included nearly endless possibilities for the missions they could go on and the challenges they might face. I also love the idea that our own world is just one of many.
What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
I think doubting your own abilities as an author and not letting yourself get distracted from finishing the novel are both up there. I think you just need to remember that everyone goes through self-doubt, you just need to push through it.
Is writing a full-time career for you?
Not yet unfortunately.
What do you think makes a good story?
So many things. I think the author should always write the book they’d want to read themselves. It depends what mood I’m in as to what I’m looking for out of a book. Sometimes I just want a light read that doesn’t have too much meaning behind it, whereas other times I feel like diving into to an epic series that has lots of layers to it.
What genre of writing have you always been drawn to?
It’s always been, sci-fi, horror, historical and adventure, but above all, fantasy and all its sub-genres.
Was your first book more difficult to write than the sequel?
Yes, and it also had its’ chapters rewritten a whole lot more.
How do you handle literary criticism?
I think it’s always good to take it on board. I don’t think a reader is ever wrong for sharing their negative thoughts on a novel as it’s their opinion to have. Even a negative review can be better than no review sometimes.