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Because it’s all about me

Dec 01,2014
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Hi there. I’m Sean Williams and it’s December, and I’m excited to be here INSIDE A DOG looking out at all of you. Ordinarily I’d be in Adelaide: I was born in SA, where I’ve lived most of my life apart from brief adventures in the NT and Victoria, and an even briefer one in Japan. I love the dry flatness of the place, and the fact that everyone seems to know everyone else. (It really is a big small town rather than a small city.) But for this month, with my forty-second novel Twinmaker: Crash on the bookshelves, as well as posting from my office I’ll be checking in from a variety of locations as I bounce about the country, getting in everyone’s way.

Now. Where to start? If I could draw, this would be a great place for an illustration, but sadly the only things I’ve ever been able to put down on paper are words (and musical notes: more about that later). I’ve been writing most of my life, almost as long as I’ve been reading. There’s probably a connection there. Humans are story-telling machines: the more we put in, the more come out.

Stories don’t happen in isolation, though, so perhaps it’s helpful to tell you some more about where I come from. I started writing novels in high school, and although I did try the sensible-career thing for a while, I dropped out in my early 20s to pursue a writing career. Not good advice if you plan to have kids or, well, eat, but I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and dead inside, and somehow I managed to avoid starving.

My first novel was published in 1995, and I’ve been busy since then, writing all different kinds of books, although most of them contain something weird like robots or magic of some kind (like my latest, Twinmaker: Crash). Along the way I learned that life should be balanced. I have a family that keeps me grounded in the real world and I’m learning to have other interests. For instance, I live just up the road from Australia’s best chocolate factory (Haighs) and I occasionally DJ for parties and book launches as well. When I’m not stuffing my face or listening to music, I write my own books, books with other people (such as Garth Nix), and books set in shared universes (such as Star Wars). I’m living the dream.

You can live the dream too. I’m proof of that, because I’m no genius. I just love what I do, work hard, and have never given up. That’s my recipe for success in every endeavour. I expect I’ll talk more about that in the coming weeks. As well as, you know, writerly stuff.

If you have any questions, put them in the comments and I’ll either answer there or in a later post. Promise!

File 26717For now, here’s a picture of my study in which you you’ll see many of my favourite things, including if you look closely the head of a Cyberman. Yes, I am a massive Doctor Who fan, and no doubt we’ll talk about that later too . . .

(Because I’ll be travelling I will undoubtedly be slow getting to comments but I will get there, I do solemnly promise.)

Bonus quote: "All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." (George Orwell)

Picture credits: me and

Dec 04,2014

Hi Rachael - Great to see you here. Thanks for the welcome! Yes, I believe we are going to be lurking about Perth together next year. It seems a long way off, in both time and distance (I'm currently in Hobart) but I know it will come quickly.

How do I write so much? I guess by doing it ever day and to the exclusion of almost everything else. And by making lots of typos. :-)

Dec 04,2014

Hi Jason - I entered WOTF ten times over about three years. On the sixth time or so I received a HM. My tenth entry was my last before being excluded because of sales, and it only just crept over the line. There's a tradition that 3rd-prize winners like me are the ones who go onto greatness but maybe we're just consoling ourselves for not having a shot at Gold. :-)

You're quite right about the Cyberhead. Still, I did like the cybermen in the latest finale. They are much scarier when they don't talk.

Have you tried the Haighs cacao beans? They are amazing!

Dec 02,2014
anonymous's picture

That's not a Doctor Who cyberman head, that's one of those dodgey NuWho cyberman knock-offs.  Classic Who forever!

On a writerly note, I've always meant to ask how many times you entered WotF before winning?  Did you get any Honourable mentions, or go straight to the winners podium?

I've managed to get 1 HM so far, so my writing career is only about 20 years behind yours, which is unfortunate as I'm about the same age as you.

Jason, fellow Adelaidian and Haighs dark chocolate covered coffee bean fanatic.


Dec 02,2014
anonymous's picture

Love the bonus quote!

Dec 02,2014

Helloooo, Sean! Great first post for your residency. 42nd novel?! <passes out> I have *ahem* one. Question: do you eat or sleep or take showers? Or have you found the technology that plugs your brain into your computer and it just downloads the stories? If so: please advise. I LOVE hearing a little snippet of how it all came to pass. I so admire your passion and commitment. I believe we might be doing something at the Perth Writers Fest together? You will be able to coach me through the rigors of first festival fears. I'm sure you have great tips! Enjoy your time with Inky! I loved being resident in October. :-)

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