Interview with Ian Williams, author of Transitory


Author Ian Williams interviewed by Jessica Wren

Jessica Wren Fiction


Author Ian Williams

Ian Williams' Transitory was book of the month for January. This was the first month of this club, and the response and enthusiasm was tremendous.

Ian Williams is a science fiction writer from the United Kingdom. Transitory, which is about a businessman who travels to a distant planet and finds out that he is the target of a hitman, is Williams' first novel. He recently released a second novel called The Sentient Collector, which is first in a dystopian trilogy.

Here are what some reviewers have said about Transitory:

1. "The author, Ian Williams, took me to a fantastically different location without the normal dreary travel time evident in some science fiction books. His characterisations were brilliant. They made me care about Nate, the main character, and also the others who were helping him get to the truth."

2. "This book is unlike anything I have read before. I found it refreshing and new. I read it pretty quickly because I had a really hard time putting it down. There were no slow dragging spots and it kept a nice steady pace."

3. "...this book made it quite easy for me to picture the new world in my mind. There wasn't an overabundance either which usually makes my eyes glaze over."

4. "...I do believe that it will be a great read for those who like descriptive sci-fi."

5. "I fell in love with Nate’s sassy mouth and cunning humor. His reactions to unusual and bizarre situations were often what mine would be, along with his coping mechanism of snarky remarks. It was nearly as much of a treat to be inside his head as inside this alien sci-fi environment."

Amazon UK Link: Transitory

I was wondering what the story behind Transitory and what made Williams decide to write it. Here is an interview:

1: Was the writing based on something personal such as a war or love experience or was it all fiction?
Answer
Transitory was all fiction unfortunately. I’d love to say that parts of it were based on personal experiences, but they weren’t. Of course how characters interact and how people talk will have been influenced by people I see everyday.

2: Is there going to be a follow up book to explore the budding romance, the punishments and how Nate deals with all of it?
Answer
I haven’t ruled out a sequel. In time I may decide to return and take the story further. But for that to happen it would have to move beyond Nate and the others. To me it seems that L’Armin is the character who has the most interesting past and the potential to go much further than Transitory could. I would love to explore this story, with Nate and the others involved too of course.

3. How long did it take to write Transitory?
Answer
It took me around a year to write. This being my first book meant I spent longer than I would today. My aim these days is to have the first draft of a new book finished in roughly four months, followed by another two months of rewrites and editing.

4. What drew you to the science fiction genre?
Answer
I’ve always loved science fiction, mainly for the way it can tell multiple stories in one. I grew up watching TV shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation (I also loved Quantum Leap and Stargate) and they always managed to do this in an enjoyable way.

Transitory was written as if it were a single episode of a TV show. This meant it was always supposed to be quite compact and yet explore large subjects at the same time. Science fiction is a genre that I natural lean towards because of this. I don’t feel that I could write the stories I want to in any other genre.

5. In Transitory, you explore the theme of corporate dominance and exploitation. What are your thoughts on this?
Answer
I don’t believe all corporations are inherently evil, but I do believe that they can sometimes act in such a way, particularly when it comes to natural resources. The corporate mentality is to put a price on anything and everything, even human life. They will find profit in any way they can and that sometimes means bending rules – or breaking them entirely. What is right is often less defined when there is money to be made.

This was the reason behind the theme of exploitation in Transitory. Nate’s company travel the galaxy in search of raw materials locked up inside asteroids. To them it is a routine job. But they have no idea what an alien species would make of such an act, more importantly I suspect they simply wouldn’t care. Like Fracking beneath people’s homes, it is done with only one concern: profit.

Nate, on the other hand, just hasn’t really thought about it before. L’Armin’s views on space mining would have been the first time anyone had ever really questioned him on the morality of such an industry. I’d like to think he would have changed his ways because of this.

6. Do you believe that in the future, space travel will be routine?
Answer
I do think this will happen, and sometime within the next thirty years. Only recently a private firm was given the go ahead to transport equipment and supplies to the International Space Station. When this is being done on a regular basis it will open up space to others too. I think this will then slowly filter down to the rest of the population.

As for travelling the galaxy, like in Transitory, I think that will take much longer. For that to happen we will need many advancements in space technology first. But with ambitious plans to land humans on Mars and even an asteroid only decades away, things are still certainly looking good for space travel.

7. Do you believe there is life on other planets? If so, do you think they are friendly, peaceful beings?
Answer
I do believe there is life on other planets. The general scientific consensus is that the chances of life existing elsewhere in the universe is overwhelmingly possible, if not likely. Take the findings from the Kepler Space Telescope for example. It has detected and confirmed the presence of over a thousand Exoplanets and is investigating many more; all this since 2009. Scientists are finding more and more each year.

If you then take into consideration that estimates put the number of stars in The Milky Way alone as somewhere in the region of 300 billion, then it becomes clear that there is indeed a high probability of some of those being orbited by planets containing life. Whether that life is intelligent is a different matter.

I hope that somewhere there are other intelligent beings searching for signs of another form of life, and that they are friendly – although if we were ever to meet them I wouldn’t be so sure that they would consider us friendly and peaceful as a race.

8. What is your personal favorite part of Transitory?
Answer
My favourite part of Transitory is Nate’s memory of the mining convention he attended (Chapter 9).This was fun to write as I was doing everything I could to show that Nate isn’t particularly good at his job. He fluffs his lines when reading out his speech, he fails to answer questions and generally deals with it in a very unprofessional way. It was one of the points in the story that showed how Nate copes under pressure – or doesn’t in this case.

Nate’s character was intended to be arrogant, some have even said unlikeable, at the beginning. He comes across as selfish and often quite rude too. I did this to show how Nate’s character changes over time throughout the story. By the end of the book I wanted the reader to have warmed to him and even to start to like him. When he is forced into a corner and left with a moral choice, he will always do the right thing, despite what his corporate brain tells him to do.

Chapter 9 is also where an important plot twist is revealed to the reader. I enjoyed writing this part a lot.

9. You currently have a dystopian trilogy in the works (the first of the series has recently been released. do you care to tell us a little about that?
Answer
With The Sentient Collector I wanted to try and tell the story that comes after the world’s first Artificial Intelligence is created. In book 1 the AI has already existed for 7 years and things have started to unravel.

The story follows 3 characters as they each become embroiled in an ever deepening plot. Graham Denehey works for the company which created the AI, Phoenix is an outsider working for the wrong man, whereas Kristof is the man brought in to prevent a crisis. What brings the story together is one man known only as The Sentient Collector. Finding this unknown figure is the key to preventing a terrible event.

Transitory was always intended to be a short story or novella. The Sentient Collector, on the other hand, was planned as a full book followed by another 2 books. The Trilogy is already written in my head, I just need to put finger to keyboard and finish it.

10. Are there any other thoughts you wish to share?
Answer
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jessica Wren for making Transitory Book of the Month for January. To have my first ever book featured in a book club is a true honour and one I will always be grateful for.

I would also like to take this moment to thank everyone who bought, read and reviewed Transitory. Hearing what you all thought of it has been a real joy.

Author Ian Williams

If you are a fan of Ian Williams, of science fiction, or just want to show you support to a promising new author, I strongly encourage you to join the Ian Williams Fan Club. There are three ways to join:

1. Ian Williams Fan Club Goodreads.

2. Ian Williams Facebook.

3. Ian Williams Google Plus.

Jessica and Jen's Book of the Month Club

If you would like to join Jessica and Jen's Book of the Month Club, it is loads of fun and a great way to meet new friends and help promote rising indie authors:

1. Jessica and Jen's Book of the Month Club Goodreads.

2. Book of the Month Club Facebook.

3. Book of the Month Club Google Plus.

Jessica Wren at Readers Gazette

To see more of Jessica Wren's work, click the link to her website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view her member details
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Ian Williams\' Transitory was book of the month for January at Jessica and Jen\'s Book of the Month Club. This was the first month of this club, and the response and enthusiasm was tremendous. Ian Williams is a science...

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