It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Poppy Williams, author of Awakening.
About Poppy Williams:
Poppy grew up in Cleveland Ohio, where books played an enormous role in her upbringing. She started writing when she realized she had a few stories of her own to tell. When she’s not typing away at her keyboard, you’ll find her playing video games, or listening to K-Pop!
★Every Hero Has a Beginning★
Raised by parents who work deep within the U.S. intelligence agency, Zoe Dixon has picked up a few skills along the way.
When her family moves to a new town, Zoe thinks it’s business as usual. But that all changes when a student turns up dead at her new school. Now, after years of keeping a low profile, Zoe has to decide whether she’ll step out of the shadows and use her skills for good.
As she digs deeper, she’ll uncover shocking truths that will change the course of her life forever.
Awakening is book one in the Zoe Dixon Saga. Fans of Marvel’s Black Widow, J.J. Abrams Alias, and Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass, will love this young adult action-packed suspense thriller.
Author Interview with Poppy Williams:
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- What are common traps for aspiring writers?
There are so many along the way! When I first sat down to try and write a book, one of the biggest traps I faced was this idea that I couldn’t start writing until I knew all the details. Because I couldn’t figure out the ending of my book, I figured I couldn’t start writing. I let that stop me for years. Then I did my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November of 2012. I really credit that month with teaching me so much about writing a first draft. And the cool thing is that my ending came as I was writing.
- Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I love a good series! Because of that, I tend to come up with ideas that fall into that category. I’m really inspired by the Marvel Universe, and how they’ve managed to connect so many of their films into one giant storyline. I’m already toying with the idea of how to connect several of my series into one universe. I will also mention that I do have a few standalone ideas that I’m really excited about.
- How many hours a day do you write?
I usually have a word count goal for the day, and just write until that’s done. I’m single, and don’t have kids, which means I can really dig in and write as much as I want. I dictate my books, which for me means I can write between 3 to 4 thousand words per hour. On a writing day, I’m usually aiming for at least 5 thousand words.
- Is there lots to do before you dive in and start writing the story?
I used to consider myself a pantser. For those of you who don’t know what that is, a pantser is someone who dives into their first draft with little to no outline. But I quickly realized I could write faster and cleaner drafts if I had a plan. I read Jessica Brody’s “Save the Cat Writes a Novel” which is a great book about story structure. It breaks down all the different beats a story needs to make sense. I use that method to help structure my stories. It usually takes me a few days to come up with a solid outline. I break up my scenes and take notes on what needs to happen in each one.
- Where can readers purchase your books?
My books are available on all the major platforms. Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and a few other places! https://books2read.com/awakeningpoppywilliams
- Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what are the challenges in producing an audiobook?
I’m actually in the process now of having Awakening turned into an audiobook. I think the biggest challenge for me was finding the right voice for my book. I listened to a lot of narrator auditions before I finally found the right person.
- How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
There are so many! I have a whole file full of ideas. Some are just one sentence long, while others are a bit more fleshed out. I’d say I have at least 6 ideas that I’m certain I’ll write at some point. Four of those ideas I’ve already brainstormed. A few of them even have the beginnings of an outline. One of the ideas I have is based on this thought I had about what would happen if people in the world stopped dying. I’ve been toying with it for a few years, and then one day the story just came to me. It’s one of the ideas that I already have outlined. I’ve decided it’s the first book I’ll write once I’m done with my Zoe Dixon series.
- Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, are there any you’d recommend?
One of the reasons I was so excited to see my books get made into audiobooks is because I love them! I have a few that I highly recommend. The audiobook for Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One” is read by Will Wheaton, and is just fantastic! I’d also recommend “World War Z” by Max Brooks. It’s so different from the movie and is read by a cast of characters. Definitely check it out. And lastly, I’ll mention the Harry Potter series. I’ve listened to them so many times and it never gets old!
- Favorite artist and favorite song?
I’m actually a huge fan of K-pop. My favorite group is EXO and I don’t know if I can choose a favorite song! Boo! They have a song called “Sweet Lies” that I love. But also check out “Groove” from their latest album. I’m going to stop there because I want to recommend like 50 other songs!
Want to learn more about Poppy? Here’s where you can connect with her:
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