Tom and Emma drift through life, both burdened with a heavy sense of grief. Both have suffered devastating loss and have closed themselves off to the possibility of happiness. Then, at a funeral, their eyes meet and they feel something neither expected.
Supported by their quirky friends and a ‘right to the point’ pensioner, will they overcome their fears and find the solution to the pain within each other, or will they give up and go their separate ways?
In turns funny and sad, A Reason to Grieve is a romantic tale about two people fighting their feelings, about love and loss. And about funerals.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
That’s a good question! I have two needy cats who delight in waking me whenever they feel like it. I used to wake at 5.30 each morning and write until I had to get ready for work but now I feel as if I write whenever I have a spare moment. I spend too long waking in the morning! We’ve also moved from Kentucky to England and have lived at four different addresses in three years since we landed, so that’s thrown any routine out of the window. At the moment, I have an office in our smallest bedroom, and I write whenever I can. I REALLY must get back into a routine!
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Haha…as with my answer above, I USED to have a ritual. Wake at 5.30, grab a coffee, boot up the laptop and read everything I wrote the day before. Then, I’ll carry on from there. Normally, there’ll be a cat around demanding attention, but then it’s ‘head down and work’!
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
If I’m writing at night, I might have a bourbon and coke for company. Living for almost a decade in Kentucky gives a poor man no chance but to partake in the local drink. Bourbon comes from Kentucky. My favourite has always been Maker’s Mark. I don’t recall ever eating while I write – I’d be bound to drop food into the keyboard and ruin my laptop!
– What is your favourite book?
Wow, that’s a hard question. Can I cheat and have a few?
I’ve grown up reading Stephen King (although, weirdly, I’ve never written horror), and I still remember The Talisman to this day; a brilliant book. Then, that’s book-ended by one of his more recent efforts, 11/22/63, which isn’t even a horror story, but more of a historical love story set in the era of the JFK assassination. I won’t divulge any spoilers but it’s well worth checking out!
Most characters have an arc in a book – they develop and change as they go through the story…except for Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. He starts and ends the same man, simply because he already knows what he needs to know and can do what he needs to do. I’ve read the first Reacher book, The Killing Floor, a few times and it never fails to entertain.
I also love music and was blown away by the way Nick Hornby uses it in his book High Fidelity (which became a good film, too). That’s an excellent story of a record store owner who revisits his worst five break-ups. Funny, but insightful at the same time.
Finally, I’ve recently discovered Blake Crouch. He has a unique way of writing that can be challenging but rewarding. Both of his latest books, Dark Matter and Recursion, are so well written, with action-packed storylines. Proper page turners!
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Absolutely. I’ve been fortunate to write in a few already. A Reason to Grieve, my first self-published book, was a romantic comedy with a bit of a twist, but then my first published novel, A Guy Walks into a Bar, reads like a Bond film! I’ve been incredibly fortunate to win an international award for another book, Exodus, which is more of an adventure thriller, and I have a ‘kind of’ sci-fi book coming out soon called Hope’s Game. That’s like a Black Mirror story. Whatever it Takes is a thriller, and Callie’s Eyes is like an adventure/road trip kind of story. It was pointed out to me that, regardless of genre, all my books have at least a dash of romance and humour. They also have strong female characters…I don’t write wimpy women!
I’m currently working on the sequels to both Reason to Grieve AND Exodus so, depending on my mood, I can be writing action and adventure or comedy romance…it’s good to keep your options open 😊
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Often! Exodus has a group of military veterans named The Old Farts Club – each of them is based on either someone I know or is cast as the actor I’d have to play them if it ever became a film (wishful thinking!) The lead character in Whatever it Takes is based on an old customer I used to take care of In Kentucky who was an avid hunter. He gave me the idea for the book, and it suited his personality to a tee. I’m still not sure if he’s read it! Hope’s Game is based on a screenplay by a very good friend of mine. He plays the lead role in the film, so Charlie in that story is based on him. Now I think about it, the only lead character in any of my books that isn’t based on someone is Callie Logan from Callie’s Eyes…and I’ll tell you all about her in the next question.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I have a few notebook apps on my phone that are filled with random thoughts and ideas. You never know where the next one will come from, so I’m always prepared! I do keep notepads in the office and by the side of the bed. The idea for Callie’s Eyes came to me in a dream…the basis of the story, the setting, even her full name. The whole lot woke me at about three in the morning and I had to scribble it all down before it slipped away. I visualised Callie and her dad vividly and, to be honest, made it the easiest book I’ve written so far.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I can say with total honesty that there isn’t a genre I’ve not read and enjoyed. I have a lot of indie author friends in America, like Tony Acree and Mysti Parker, that write across the spectrum and I love reading their work. Then, moving back to England has put me in touch with gritty crime writers like Mel Sherratt, John Pye and Tess Makovesky. I hadn’t read much crime fiction up to this point, but it’s a really nice change of pace. I’ve never read Nora Roberts, who’s sold millions of books, but my wife has handed me one of hers (Year One) that looks fascinating.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
That’s another good question. I’ve mentioned my love for Lee Child’s Reacher books…it would be cool to co-write a Reacher story. It goes without saying that it would be an honour and an education to just sit in a room with Stephen King; he rarely outlines his stories and lets them tell themselves, whereas I try to plan at least a little before I get started. That would be interesting!
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Locations inspire me. Exodus was written based on a holiday we took in Jamaica, and I have folders full of pictures from Italy that are crying out for a story. Having lived in America gives my books an American tilt (most are set in the US) but, if I had to choose somewhere I’d never been, I’d probably say Egypt. I don’t think I’d ever travel there (I don’t think I’d be able to relax!), but it has so much history, architecture and cool locations that an Egyptian story would probably write itself!
Thank you, Mick Williams and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Mick Williams moved from Stoke-On-Trent, England to Kentucky, USA. Then, after almost a decade, he moved back.
In between reading, writing and listening to good music he still watches proper football and, for his sins, follows his local team Port Vale. He does also still cheer for the Indianapolis Colts.
He was adopted by two cats, Crash and Thud, and resides with his patient wife in Staffordshire.
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