~ SANDY WILLIAMS ~
Hi Sandy and welcome to Under the Covers! You’ve recently released THE SHARPEST BLADE, the third book in the Shadow Reader series. Congratulations!
One of the most important things in a urban fantasy book is a great heroine. For those who haven’t met Mckenzie Lewis yet, how would you describe her?
Most urban fantasy heroines are supernatural and have butt-kicking powers. McKenzie is different because she doesn’t. It was important to me to write McKenzie as normal a human as possible. I wanted her to be relatable, and I wanted her reactions to the situation she’s thrown into to feel real. That said, what she doesn’t have in supernatural strength, she has in determination, willpower, and loyalty. In her way, she’s strong. She fights. She’ll never turn her back on her friends.
Can you tell us a bit about The Sharpest Blade, the third book in the Shadow Reader series?
Sure. The Sharpest Blade wraps up McKenzie’s storyline. It begins a few weeks after the hiccup at the end of The Shattered Dark. The fae are finally leaving McKenzie alone and she’s able to get a real job and an apartment that she pays for on her own. It’s not much, but it’s what she’s always wanted: a normal life. Or, as normal as she can get when she can feel the emotions of the fae she’s bonded to. Those emotions pull her back into the Realm, where she jumps into a conflict with a sinister new false-blood.
If you had to describe your series in a tweet, what would it be?
The Shadow Reader series is about a human who has the ability to see and track the fae, and who becomes caught up in their civil war.
How did you start writing?
Oh, gosh. I don’t know. I’ve always written. My first story was written back in first or second grade. It was called… wait for it… The Adventures of Yoyo and Dodo in Walt Disney World!!! It was about two calico cats who got lost at Disney World and had to find their way back home to Farmer Joe. It was the greatest. I even illustrated my own cover. 😉
Mckenzie is quite the character. Do you have a celebrity in mind who you think fits her general appearance or personality?
If the cover model who posed for the artwork wanted to be an actress, I’d say her for appearance. It’s like Gene Mollica, the cover artist, pulled her straight out of my mind. She looks exactly like McKenzie. Exactly. It’s kind of eerie. But when my editor asked for pictures to give the artist a feel for the look of my character, I sent pictures of Nina Dobrev. She’s very close in appearance.
Do you take anything from real life to put in your books? Events, people, personalities?
I don’t think I take much from real life, but there was a scene in The Shattered Dark that was based on experience. Sort of. McKenzie is in a club. Things get out of hand and everyone is pushing and shoving trying to get out, and she’s almost trampled to death. That didn’t exactly happen in real life, but I was too close to a mosh pit once, and my imagination started running away with me. That’s how I get a lot of ideas. I’ll be in a situation, and all the sudden, my mind will think, “What would happen if aliens landed right now?”
What does your writing space look like? Any visual would be great!
I used to write at the Target/Starbucks cafe, but ever since I started sending my twins to daycare, I’ve started writing in my office. It’s a rather boring office.
What was the biggest draw of urban fantasy as your genre of choice?
I love being able to twist reality. I like taking the real world and making something impossible happen. Fae, vampires, werewolves, aliens… Anything can happen with them. I create the rules, and I break them. It’s fun.
What do you normally read and what was your favorite read of 2013?
I read a lot of historical romance, science fiction romance, and urban fantasy. This year, my favorite read was a science fiction romance by a new author, Rachel Bach. I absolutely adored everything about her book, Fortune’s Pawn. It had a strong, kickass heroine who I think urban fantasy fans can relate to, and it had a great cast of secondary characters. Plus, it made me fall in love with a guy named Rupert.
What’s next for Sandy Williams?
I’m working on an urban fantasy set in space, or science fiction romance if you prefer. It has a strong, kickass heroine and a hero I’m completely in love with.
Thank you so much for stopping by Under the Covers and sharing with our readers!
Thank you for having me!
Torn between two worlds.
Torn between two lives.
McKenzie Lewis’s ability to read the shadows has put her—and …those she loves—in harm’s way again and again. The violence must end, but will the cost of peace be more devastating than anyone ever imagined?
After ten years of turmoil, the life McKenzie has always longed for may finally be within her grasp. No one is swinging a sword at her head or asking her to track the fae, and she finally has a regular—albeit boring—job. But when a ruthless enemy strikes against her friends, McKenzie abandons her attempt at normalcy and rushes back to the Realm.
With the fae she loves and the fae she’s tied to pulling her in different directions, McKenzie must uncover the truth behind the war and accept the painful sacrifices that must be made to end it. Armed with dangerous secrets and with powerful allies at her side, her actions will either rip the Realm apart—or save it.