Interview 108 – Shades of Aether author, Gail B. Williams, Conclusion

Welcome back to the conclusion of our chat with Gail B. Williams, author of Shades of Aether.

Read part one here.

Read part two here.

Read part three here.

Read part four here.


Airship Ambassador: Many authors both write and work full time, trying to reach their dreams and still pay all of the bills. How has that been for you?

Gail B. Williams: Oh yeah, I work all day too.  The reality is that there is simply not a lot of money in being a writer.  Well below minimum wage, if not into negatives for most.  So yeah, still working a day job.  Actually I quite enjoy it (don’t tell anyone I said that though).  Also it can help with the inspiration.  Remember that I am basically a crime writer and trust me after some days in work I really want to kill someone, so it works.  Also good writing, whatever the genre or situation, is really about people.  To know people you need to interact with them and I’m a terrible stop-at-home, most weekends I wouldn’t leave the house if I didn’t have to, so having a day job does help force me to interact and learn how other people behave.  The big problem is that it really robs me of writing time and that bites a big one.


AA: Some weekends, I’m quite happy to never leave the house either. There’s more than enough to keep me busy. When your aren’t writing or working, what other interests fill your time?

GBW: Baking.  I love a good cake, and the smell of cakes baking in the house.  Really enjoy decorating them too.  Have to say, not the best cake decorator in the world, but I enjoy doing it anyway. My husband brought me an icing kit for Christmas, so hopefully I’ll get a bit better at the icing malarkey. My Millionaires Shortbread is good too, though it is something of a nightmare because of the time it takes. I recently tried gingerbread for the first time and quite liked the results.  Not up to GBBO standards of course.

AA: HA! How many of us home bakers really are up to those standards?  Do you participate in any other fandoms?

GBW: Ahh well, you see I have been rightly called a Duchess of Geek before now. So quite a few. You see I love lots of different geeky things. I am both a Whovian, and a Trekker and have to admit to being rather partial to a Star Wars movie or two (Rogue One is brilliant!).  I like Blake’s 7, Firefly, Warehouse 13, A Town Called Eureka…  I could go on, but you get it, I’m into science fiction.  I also read comics – and have been known to review quite a few «she looks at the ever growing pile and wonders when there will be time to read them all». I’m also a fan of games, used to play T&T [Tunnels & Trolls] as a teenager, and more recently D&D, my son happens to have turned into a very good Dungeon Master.  And as a family we enjoy various board and card games too, and have a weird array. Don’t ever play Cards Again Humanity with my daughter – she’s frighteningly good at it. One of my favourites card games is “Great Scott!”.  It’s all about making up odd inventions and explaining what they are supposed to do and how they will work, it really chimes with the Steampunk ethos for me.   I’m even enough of a Whovian that I took it into another part of my life – Geocaching, I have a series of geocaches that are based on filming locations of the Nu-Who series. So lots of interest in lots of things.


AA: What a fun list of interests, and I’m right there with you for most of them. I will admit to still having the Doctor #4 scarf that I knitted myself a few, <cough> years ago. Extremely warm! We’ve both talked about our to-be-read piles and their dangerous sizes – what’s on the top of very bottom of yours?

GBW: Well, more than I reasonably say in an answer to this.  I’ve got the collected works of H G Wells and H P Lovecraft, “Herland”, “Pavane”, “A Conspiracy of Alchemists” waiting for attention and I’m really looking forward to reading Jodi Taylor’s “A Second Chance” and I want to re-read “Good Omens” this year.  At the moment I have a ton of comics waiting to be looked at, particularly want to catch up with “Black Magick” and “I Hate Fairyland”, not very steampunky, but I do so love them.  There’s a ton of crime books I need to get through too.  I got a loads of DVDs that I need to watch too, mostly crime, but also “Victor Frankenstein” and “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”.

AA: Plenty of good choice to keep you occupied by the winter fires and in the summer afternoons. Who has been an inspiration to you and how does that affect your writing?

GBW: Definitely. In the steampunk world, there are a number. As a writer, top of the list is Gail Carriger.  Love the various Alexia Tarabotti (or Maccon as she quickly becomes) books. Reading her works have helped lay the foundations of the way I write (or at least try to write) steampunk. There’s a bunch of good authors around me, known in various genres, and I find them both supportive and motivational.  But the real inspiration is my husband.  I couldn’t do what I do without him being prepared to do what he does and I don’t know how he manages to do all that he does do.  I really rather admire him for that as well as loving him.


AA: Awwww! What is the best advice you’ve been given?

GBW: “Don’t give up the day job.”  Came from Sebastian Faulks when I was at a writers’ conference.  “Stop being [an idiot] and keep writing.”  This has come in a variety forms (I cleaned it up here), from my editor, my husband and various friends.


AA: Good advice for everyone! Any final thoughts to share with our readers?

GBW: Yeah – don’t give up.  Whatever your dream is, go for it.  If you make your dream come true, find the next dream.  It costs nothing to dream, but giving up your dream will cost you everything.  Dream big and keep going.


Thank you so much, Gail, for joining us for this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts.  We look forward to hearing about your next projects, especially the next chapter in the Aether world!

Keep up to date with Gail’s latest news on her website,

You can support Gail and our community by getting your copy of Shades of Aether here.

Published in: on March 23, 2018 at 6:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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