Today I am so pleased to welcome Michael G. Williams to Joyfully Jay. Michael  has come to talk to us about his release, A Fall in Autumn (which we reviewed here). He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Michael a big welcome!

 

Today Michael is sharing an interview he has done with his characters.

Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer?

Valerius: It’s not so bad, really. He only hurts me, robs me blind, sets my landlady on me, beats me up, makes me sick, and surrounds me with people who find me titillatingly offensive. He’s swell.

Alejandro: I think you’re being a bit melodramatic.

Valerius: Oh, and we’re floating thousands of feet in the air.

Alejandro: But you love this city. You choseit.

Valerius: And I’m broke.

Alejandro: He gave you the beauty of Down Preserves, though. And you drink from the fountain. And you have an adventure!

Valerius: He tried to kill you at least a couple of times. What makes you think he’s so nice?

Alejandro: It could be worse.

Valerius: It could?

Alejandro: Oh, it could always be worth. The city could crash, like Splendor did. It could just fall out of the air and nobody could do anything about it.

Valerius, leaning close, finger in Alejandro’s face: Don’t. Give. Him. Ideas.

Fiono: [picks own fingernail with a knife]

Valerius: [pointing at Fiono] There’s your answer: let’s stab the author with knives!

Alejandro: [soft sighing]

 

What’s your core motivation in this book?

Valerius: Honestly? I want to get paid enough to cover rent for one more month. And if I could avoid getting punched, kicked, or thrown off the bus for not genuflecting when a priest walks by, that would be a bonus.

Alejandro: That’s not a terribly respectful answer.

Valerius: I don’t have terribly respectable motivations. [waggles eyebrows]

Alejandro: [stares in android]

Valerius: Okay, you want a real answer? I want to go out with a bang, and I want to punish all the people who hurt me when I do it.

Fiono: [silent nodding]

Alejandro: The people who hurt you?

Valerius: [waves a hand] The religious types. The doctors. The people who set up the genetic preserve in the first place. Anybody who thinks they own a piece of me, or that I owe them anything. I want to leave a mess my landlady has to clean up. I could die happy if the books were just slightly out of balance in my favor: that I get out owing people instead of being owed.

Alejandro: It sounds to me like you don’t want to go at all.

Valerius: Oh yeah? So what do you want?

Alejandro: [stares out window] I want to be a part of this world. I want to see a million sunrises, and another million after that. I want to look into the heart of humanity and see forever in both directions: what made you what you are, and what you’re all on your way to becoming. I want to understand.

Valerius: And how’s that working out for you? You had to hire a detective, didn’t you?

Alejandro: It isn’t that I need you to solve all the mysteries, Valerius. It’s that I need you to solve one so I can stick around to tackle all the rest. I need help with today in order to have a tomorrow.

Valerius: I admire you for believing tomorrow will be easier. But you might want to check the forecast just in case.

 

What’s your longest relationship? Tell me a little about it.

Valerius, Alejandro, Fiono: [long silence]

Valerius: How long has this interview been going? [chuckles]

Alejandro: My answer would be… complicated. It takes some context.

Valerius: Okay, I’ll give a serious answer: thirteen years, though it was off and on. A guy named Yuri. We met on the streets, when we were practically still kids. We both had just arrived in the City. Neither of us knew anyone. We were scared, we were alone, and we had, uh, limited work opportunities. So we got by together, watched each other’s back. But… well, I don’t think either of us are relationship material. There was something there, but we weren’t necessarily the right people to make it grow. And then one day I gave him an honest opinion and he didn’t like what he heard. So that was that. [draws a long breath] Yeah. Thirteen years. Off and on. Probably more off than on. But… [trails off]

Fiono: [does not answer, does not look up]

 

If you could say one thing to the reader, what would it be?

Valerius: [grins at camera] So… you buying?

Alejandro: Really? That’s how you want them to remember you: a hand out to take whatever they’re offering and a sly smile on your face?

Valerius: Trust me, there are worse options. Your turn.

Alejandro: What I want to say is that… [pauses] No, what I want to say is that there’s more to Valerius than he’s letting on. But he doesn’t know you well, see, and he feels it necessary to put up barriers sometimes because he hates feeling vulnerable – and he has rather a lot to feel vulnerable about. I think if you –

Valerius: That is notwhat they were asking.

Alejandro: But it’s what I want to say.

Valerius: Normally it’s myjob – literallymy job – to mind other people’s business.

Alejandro: Consider this a holiday. Relax. I’ll say it for you.

Valerius: [pauses] That’s sweet, but no. [looks at camera] I want you to know that… I hope it all works out for you. Whoever you are, wherever you are, whenever you are, I hope you get what will make you happy. I hope you get to breathe easy for once in your life. I hope you go to sleep tonight feeling warm and safe, with just enough questions left to get you up tomorrow but not to keep you awake tonight. And I hope you never feel alone, unless you want to, because there’s already too much of that to go around.

Alejandro: That was very sweet of you.

Valerius: Yeah, that’s me, a bottle of warm syrup.

 

For Michael, what are you working on now, and when can we expect it?

I’ve just signed a deal for 4 more books in the world of A Fall in Autumn and will be writing the sequel over the summer. I can’t wait! I expect the second book, to be titled New Life in Autumn, will be out a year from now.

Later this year I have several other works, already finished and coming out from Falstaff Books:

Nobody Gets Out Alivewill be coming out sometime soon, probably over the summer. It’s the fifth and final(-ish) book of The Withrow Chronicles, my suburban vampire series about a guy who became a vampire in the 1940’s and has declared himself the boss of all of North Carolina’s blood-drinkers. The series is a ridiculously fun sequence of genre mashups – vampires and zombies, vampires and superheroes, vampires and spy thrillers, vampires and war, vampires and their witch frienemies – telling a story that gets increasingly complex as Withrow slowly but surely learns the world of the supernatural is much bigger than he thought.

I also have the four-novella San Francisco urban fantasy series, SERVANT/SOVEREIGN. It starts with Through the Doors of Oblivion, and it’s about some of the most evocative moments in San Francisco’s history – such as the 1906 earthquake and fire – and witches and demons and time travel and real estate scams. I’m just exceptionally proud of it, and I get to really focus on the features of San Francisco I most adore, which are not necessarily the parts of the city they try to highlight for tourists. I don’t know exactly when that one is due out, either, but it’s made it through the content edits and the copyeditor and it’s now with the proofreader, so it’s getting close!

And, last but not least, I’ve reached the rights-reversion point on a bunch of short stories I sold years ago so I’m possibly going to reclaim those rights and produce an anthology of short stories and nonfiction essays I’ve written for various venues. That’s a maybe, though. We’ll see.

Thank you so much for having me – I really appreciate your and your readers’ time and attention. I hope you enjoy A Fall in Autumnand I would love to hear from you about it!

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Folks who sign up for my monthly newsletter get a free short story and can read the ongoing first draft of a story set in the world of A Fall in Autumn but in our time rather than 12,000 years from now. Give it a shot! I keep marketing to a minimum and try to focus on rewarding your interest with new content.

And thanks again!



Blurb

WELCOME TO THE LAST OF THE GREAT FLYING CITIES

It’s 9172, YE (Year of the Empire), and the future has forgotten its past.

Soaring miles over the Earth, Autumn, the sole surviving flying city, is filled to the brim with the manifold forms of humankind: from Human Plus “floor models” to the oppressed and disfranchised underclasses doing their dirty work and every imaginable variation between.

Valerius Bakhoum is a washed-up private eye and street hustler scraping by in Autumn. Late on his rent, fetishized and reviled for his imperfect genetics, stuck in the quicksand of his own heritage, Valerius is trying desperately to wrap up his too-short life when a mythical relic of humanity’s fog-shrouded past walks in and hires him to do one last job. What starts out as Valerius just taking a stranger’s money quickly turns into the biggest and most dangerous mystery he’s ever tried to crack – and Valerius is running out of time to solve it.

Now Autumn’s abandoned history – and the monsters and heroes that adorn it – are emerging from the shadows to threaten the few remaining things Valerius holds dear. Can the burned-out detective navigate the labyrinth of lies and maze of blind faith around him to save the City of Autumn from its greatest myth and deadliest threat?

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Bio

Michael G. Williams writes wry horror, urban fantasy, and science fiction: stories of monsters, macabre humor, and subverted expectations. He is the author of three series for Falstaff Books: The Withrow Chronicles, including Perishables (2012 Laine Cunningham Award), Tooth & Nail, Deal with the Devil, Attempted Immortality, and Nobody Gets Out Alive; a new series in The Shadow Council Archives featuring one of San Francisco’s most beloved figures, SERVANT/SOVEREIGN; and the science fiction noir A Fall in Autumn. Michael also writes short stories and contributes to tabletop RPG development. Michael strives to present the humor and humanity at the heart of horror and mystery with stories of outcasts and loners finding their people.

Michael is also an avid podcaster, activist, reader, runner, and gaymer, and is a brother in St. Anthony Hall and Mu Beta Psi. He lives in Durham, NC, with his husband, two cats, two dogs, and more and better friends than he probably deserves.


Giveaway

Michael is giving away an eBook copy of “Perishables,” book one of The Withrow Chronicles: Everybody hates their Homeowner’s Association, and nobody likes a zombie apocalypse. Put the two together, and Withrow Surrett is having a truly craptastic night. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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