Advice from IR Approved Author Trevor Williams: “Don’t stop [writing] until you’ve finished.”

Eternal Shadow received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Trevor Williams.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Eternal Shadow. Published November 9th, 2019

What’s the book’s first line? 

A soft but piercing tone cut through the white noise of the humming computers.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

What would you do if the world was going to end in ten years? For Jennifer Epstein, a by-the-books senior researcher at SETI, there is only one answer: prevent the apocalypse from happening. Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus were destroyed by an alien threat. The deck was stacked against humanity before the cards came out of the box.

But Jennifer isn’t alone. She has Samantha Monroe, her excitable but brilliant colleague. From South Africa, CEO Muzikayise Khulu of Khulu Global supplies his vast resources to the ultimate race for survival. The three find themselves in an unlikely alliance while political brinkmanship, doomsday cults, and untested technologies form ever-growing obstacles.

Will humanity unite to face the greatest challenge of their time, or will it destroy itself before the alien ship arrives?

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

Whenever I’m asked this question, I try hard to pinpoint the exact series of events which led to the concept of Eternal Shadow bursting into my mind. To be perfectly honest… I just don’t recall. What I do remember was the feeling that rushed through my body when the fire behind this story came to be in January 2017. It was a wave of inspiration that showed me a vision of an alternate Earth that was very much like ours, but with one clear, fascinating, horrifying difference. In what felt like hours but was probably minutes, the core of Eternal Shadow coelesed in my mind. It was at that moment which I knew this would be the story that would make me a published author.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

Eternal Shadow is a story about perseverance in the face of the unknown, passion toward the sciences, and learning about what drives humanity – both the individual and as a species. This story focuses less on the threat to Earth, but how humanity copes with first contact and the existential crisis that is forced upon them. On the writing front, one of my goals was to write a story which I felt many people could relate to on some level despite the extraordinary events that transpire. I also didn’t want to write a sci-fi novel which read less like a story and more like a textbook. Writing hard science fiction is… well, hard. Striking a balance between sharing important technical and scientific information which is relevant to the plot while moving the plot of your story forward – all without writing a book that’s 500+ pages long – all while creating something that was engaging to the reader is tough. Have I accomplished this delicate balancing act? From the feedback I’ve received via official reviews from both hard sci-fi and casual readers alike, I’d say the answer is yes.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

For this question I’ll focus on Jennifer, the Senior Researcher at SETI. I’d say the most distinctive aspect about her is that despite decades of tempering her expectations, she still holds onto the belief that someone else is out there for us to meet. Many people tend to harden as life marches ever-forward as lofty dreams and visions give way to the realities of the world and the universe. The bright and vibrant junior who is eager to meet ET becomes the senior who doesn’t even flinch at an alert appearing on their phone telling them a signal of unknown origin was detected. However, even the most veteran still holds a candle to see their lifelong dream come to fruition. When it does, it’s like they’re young again. It’s the most amazing thing to watch unfold.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I’ve been writing stories ever since I was an eight-year-old boy in lower school. However, just about everything I’ve written up till college were kept tucked away from curious eyes – lots of incomplete stories, from what I recall. College was when I started writing for the school paper as well as publishing a few of my poems. Despite these acts of writing, I never really had the idea of wanting to become an author until about a few years ago when I wrote my first fan fiction novella which clocked in at just under sixty thousand words. Other than posting it on a few alternate history forums, I hadn’t considered taking it to the next level – getting it published. However, the idea of remaking that novella into an original concept with original characters had crossed my mind. This idea propelled me to sift through my older stories (so many poor stories…), which soon ignited the goal which I’ll meet on November 9th. The goal of wanting my name on the front cover of a novel was born.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

If you count all the stories I started many years ago but never finished, then no. However, the best answer would be yes, as I don’t have another novel or anything of the sort in bookstores anywhere right now.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

When I’m not typing away at the sequel to Eternal Shadow I’m a Senior Salesforce Administrator for a tech company in downtown San Francisco.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

Nearly every day has some hours dedicated to the craft, whether that’s adding a couple hundred (occasionally a thousand or two) words to my next story or conducting research for my writing projects. Weekdays I tend to log two to three hours worth of writing, in the evening. On weekends I’ll take whatever extra hours I can get.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Don’t stop until you’ve finished.

I feel like this is the biggest challenge new writers have: keeping the flame that fuels their passion alive. That first book is arguably the most challenging to write because we’ll put up so many artificial barriers to prevent it from seeing the light of day. Never, ever give up.

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