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Sean Williams

answers the Usual Questions

Photograph, author Sean Williams

Sean Williams

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Not really. I've known for a while that trying to please everyone is futile. Reading reviews of the Star Wars novels I co-wrote on Amazon confirmed it beyond doubt: opinions range from five to zero stars, with equal passion at either end. So I try to make up my own mind and hope that at least one person out there agrees with me.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Several people wrote in the hope that they could be a character in the next New Jedi Order novel. That was kinda neat. Obviously it didn't happen, but I admire the gutsiness of the attempt.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

I change my mind pretty regularly, and reserve the right to indefinitely. My previous reply to this question named Greg Bear as someone I found exciting. That's still true, but he's been eclipsed since by authors like Philip Reeve, Al Reynolds, Tim Powers, Scott Westerfeld, and China Miéville. In another six years, I'm sure the list will be different. Ursula Le Guin has been inspiring me for over twenty years. I can't imagine I'll ever stop re-reading her books.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

John Howard (Australian prime minister), so I could force him to listen to me for a change.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Again, John Howard, because I doubt that anything I said would make a difference.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Something to write with, or something to listen to. Ultimately, though, I think I'd be too busy looking at the view and doing cartwheels to spend much time on either.
(-- this answer hasn't changed over the years-- editor)

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

To write a story everyone will love and which will make me rich for telling it. This answer is unchanged since 1999, but I would add that I think the first part is the most important. To know that something you've written has touched people, told them something about the world and the people in it, maybe even changed their lives--what could be better than that?)

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Being a writer is more than a job to me. It is a vocation; it's what I am. The satisfaction I get from it includes doing it well, seeing reward come from persistence, getting to know numerous like-minded people that I wouldn't have met otherwise, and, at the end of it all, learning more about myself. There's simply nothing else I'd rather be doing.

Sean Williams

submitted by Sean Williams

Sean kindly e-mailed us his responses
September, 1999, and revisited them in July 2005.

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