20 Questions with Alan Williams

1. So, what’s your book all about?

Killer Bytes is a novella of intrigue, a murder-mystery with a geek twist. The hero, Wil Jackson, is an internet journalist who gets embroiled in a murder investigation when he interviews one of the victims days before they are murdered. Wil gets drawn into helping the police when the murderer contacts him directly. As the body count rises, Wil gets dragged further into the investigation.

2. What inspired you to write this tale?
I’ve always written stories, but more importantly I love reading crime novels. I started writing Killer Bytes because I wanted to read a particular type of story, a genre that I couldn’t find anywhere. That’s how the characters in Killer Bytes were born.

3. Do you have a favorite quote about creativity/inspiration etc…? What is it?
“Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try” – Yoda

4. What things do you keep in your “writing space”? Do they inspire you? Confound you? Hold wires in place?
My writing space is pretty much anywhere I can sit with my laptop or iPad, and have time to write. My writing “desk” is actually pretty clutter free, it looks out onto our back garden, so often I’ll be staring out there for inspiration. The only thing on it that confounds me is the solar powered desk lamp I bought from Ikea a while back. It hasn’t worked since the day I bought it – makes a great paperweight.

5. What is your perfect “writing space”?
I’ve often thought about taking a writing holiday. Booking a cottage or cabin somewhere remote, off in the woods and just going there to write. I know a couple of places that would fit the bill, but then I read Stephen King’s “Misery”. Look what happened to him!

6. If your car horn could play any song, which would it be? Can’t say Dixie.
I don’t know about a song, can I have laser cannons from an X-Wing?

7. What would you name the first permanent settlement on mars?
Well it wouldn’t be “New…” anything; but probably “Stanley”, named after author Kim Stanley Robinson, who wrote the Mars Trilogy books.

8. How tall is the perfect sidekick? Please explain why it even matters.
I guess the temptation here is to go small, but I reckon 6’ 10”, what use is a sidekick if they can’t look after you? So tall and Terminator-like is my call.

9. If you were to mess with the time stream, what would you change? Let’s assume a hundred other people already took care of Hitler so you don’t have to say, “Kill Hitler.”
At the moment I’d go back and change the outcome of the last general election in the UK. Without this becoming a political rant, I can’t stand what the new coalition government has done to this country in the last two years. There are times now, when I don’t recognize my own country or feel very proud of it.

10. Let’s say your character has a pet brown bear. What’s the bear’s name?
Mylo. But I have absolutely no idea why!

11. If you had to give an antagonist an annoying trait, what would it be?
Always stopping to explain themselves before they kill the hero. Seriously don’t these guys ever go to the movies?

12. What kind of car would your ultimate protagonist drive?
My current protagonist would probably be driving some kind of hybrid or electric vehicle, but my ultimate protagonist it would be something faster, and meaner – probably a classic Mustang.

13. You’ve got a year to travel anywhere. Where?
Road Trip! I have a dream to do a whole RV experience thing at some point. Just heading out somewhere, with no particular destination in mind, and seeing what happens. Canada appeals, but then so does the US, Australia, New Zealand. Pretty much anywhere I can go where it gets properly dark at night, and there’s no light pollution.

14. You just bought a boat with your book fortune. What are you going to call it?
Well I haven’t sold that many books yet! Think I can just about afford a rubber duck for the bath, so how about “Rubber Ducky”?

15. What kind of music, if any, gets you typing the fastest?
As a rule, I don’t play music when I’m writing; I tend to get too distracted by the words of the song, rather than the words that I’m supposed to be writing. That said on the odd occasion that I do, it’s normally something with a tempo and plenty of guitar and drums.

16. What’s the punch line to your favorite joke?
“A Chicken in a minefield”. (As in “What goes, Peck…Peck…BANG?”)

17. What lyric do you sing poorly, yet loudly?
Seriously! Have you heard me sing, Ben? Everything sounds bad, so take your pick I can clear a karaoke faster than anyone!

18. You find a portal to another world in your sink’s drain. What is this other world called? And what is the best way to clean the portal so it doesn’t smell like old food?
If it’s in my sink drain, then it’s probably called “Limescalia”. In cleaning terms, a good drop of kitchen bleach probably wouldn’t go a miss, but I suspect the residents of Limescalia would need adequate home and contents cover!

19. Where can people learn more about you, your work or any pets you have?
Well pets is an easy one, that’s here: http://pupdate.posterous.com

For me, you’d best look: http://tontowilliams.posterous.com or http://www.facebook.com/tontowilliams or http://twitter.com/tontowilliams

For a copy of Killer Bytes you can get it from Amazon in the UK http://amzn.to/AEcu5r or US http://amzn.to/zQO5wt Or Smashwords http://bit.ly/zRvP4B

20. What’s next?
Killer Bytes is going on the road during April, details are here: http://www.partnersincrimetours.net/2012/02/killer-bytes-novella-of-intrigue-by.html

And I’m working on the sequel, “Dog Bytes”, which I hope will be available late in 2012 or early 2013.

Otherwise I’m open to suggestions!


  1. Thanks for inviting me to answer your questions, Ben :)

  2. Thank you, Alan, for humoring me.

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