Russ Williams – The Modern Author Is Here!

Russ Williams is an author who continues his passion even after getting so many rejections from the editors. He believes that if you do not have the courage of writing by yourself then you will never know if what you are writing will be the best-selling book.

‘I promised myself I was going to get out more this year. The year is 2020.’ –from Where the Folk Photo by Ajlaurent Photography

‘Read this in one evening. Relatable, funny, well written, leaves you wanting more. Look forward to reading more from this author.’ –JessicaWin, Amazon customer on Free House

LONDON – 27 March 2023

Russ Williams is the author of two self-published books, Free House and The Earth’s Kidneys. He also has two active blogs, Brawd Autistico and Where the Folk. His short piece Brawd Autistico: Your Brother isn’t like Other Brothersappears in Helen Bucke’s Bearing Untold Stories. His first traditionally published book will be released in 2024. You can find out more on his official website,   

What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?

I kind of feel excluded from the cool club having not read any of the Harry Potters. Is it the cool club? Who knows. Same goes for Game of Thrones. I’m also ashamed to say that my grandparents got me the complete edition of The Lord of the Rings nearly two decades ago and I haven’t made it past the introductory notes yet, which to be fair are pretty full-on!

You’re organizing a party. Which two authors, dead or alive, do you invite?

A night with Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac would be a good laugh, though you can guarantee it’ll be an all-nighter! At first I thought Hunter S. Thompson, but I don’t think I could handle that kind of night.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both, but that’s only because I never do anything in proportion.  If I have a free night, I tend to type away for hours at a time, emerging from the other end a bewildered mess, but done within my mental limits, writing definitely energizes me. If I ever feel anxious or down, writing almost certainly puts me in a better mood and I often feel more optimistic about life in general afterwards.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think your ego needs to be somewhere in the Goldilocks Zone to be a good writer. It’s easy to be offended or put off by critics and rejections or when you see some C-list celebrity’s poorly-written book sitting comfortably in the top ten. But I think the opportunity to self-publish means that many aspiring authors are too eager to get their books out there and the quality suffers as a result. They don’t seek advice, or don’t listen to it, at least.

On the flipside, if you didn’t have any faith in yourself whatsoever and kept your writing to yourself, then you could be hiding away the next best-seller and may never know about it. You can’t count on your work being discovered after you die- you need to get it out there. If you believe in yourself, show off, just don’t get too ahead of yourself.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I think the golden rule is always to write for yourself. Your voice and your passion will truly shine through if you do this. Never try to emulate. That being said, I think it’s important to read other people’s work so as to develop as a writer.              

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Without a doubt, it was the £20 or so I spent on buying the latest Writers and Artists’ Yearbook. A new one comes out each year and it’s essentially an A-Z of all the publishers, literary agents and so on that are out there, including information on their preferred genres and styles. This will be your literary Bible!

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Ironically, my upcoming debut book it a non-fiction piece, so I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. What the process has taught me so far is not to rush so much. Get the first draft down, sure, and write that for yourself. When it comes to editing, take your time and read as though you’re reading it to an audience. The added pressure helps pick out loose ends. Also, as important as it is to have your own voice, do your best to stick to the rules. Otherwise, you run the risk of confusing individualism with poor writing.

As a writer, what would you choose as your spirit animal?

I know it’s not very exciting, but I found out when writing The Earth’s Kidneys that my Native American Animal Totem is a beaver. Beavers long for adventure but love the comfort of their own home- sounds about right for a writer!

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