In this feature, we ask our Crime Cymru authors to name six things that influenced their life and shaped them as a writer. This week it’s the turn of G. B. Williams.
Six of One
- One Film
Blade Runner. I loved this film from the very first viewing – even with the voice over that gets a bad rap. I have lost count of the number of times that I’ve watched the various cuts. Rick Deckard is a police officer with a very specific task, he might even be a replicant himself, argue that as you will. Though not the first future policeman I’d ever seen, it was the one that made me think they could be interesting. I have read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the book on which the film is based, and unusually I would struggle to say which was the best. They are different, but each a great example of their own artform. Equally good.
- One TV Series
Doctor Who. Sorry if you were expecting something intellectual, but I love the Doctor. I mostly remember the Tom Baker era, so he’s pretty much my doctor. That said I have kind of veered toward David Tennant in the Nu-Who eras.
What I love about this is that under all the makeup and bad effects, the bubble wrap monsters who popped with every movement (yes it was a thing – see The Ark In Space), and the sets that some times left something to be desired (like stability), underneath all that is some pretty good story telling.
The range you get with the Doctor is huge. The breadth of stories mean that you can find episodes of horror, comedy, sci-fi, steampunk, historical, futuristic, dystopian, utopian or just about any other theme. That inspired me to write different things. Yes, including Dr Who fanfiction.
- One Music Maker
It has to be the greatest music group ever – Queen. That’s my opinion anyway, I’m sure other opinions are available. Everything about the group always appealed, not least of which is the cooperative way that they worked. Each of the four members work their own songs, and the band worked together to produce an absolutely tremendous body of work which I greatly admire. I admire it so much in fact that I have worked their song titles into the two Elaine Blake books (Breaking Free and Play the Game, which releases later this year).
- One Comic
Comics are a vastly underrated artform. The perfect synthesis of words and pictures. Kids who wouldn’t read a book will read a comic. The comic I’d pick is The Witchblade, starring NYPD Detective Sara Pezzini. She’s a good cop who does what she must to stop the bad guys. In issue 1 she walks into a setup, gets fatally shot, the titular Witchblade attaches itself to her, saves her life and then helps her fight crime and evil. I was attracted to the comics for the good writing and fantastic artwork, Michael Turner is my favourite comic book artist. One of the things that comics really show well, is the importance of showing over telling, half the story is in the image after all, and that’s a great thing for any writer to learn.
- One Writer
Gail Carriger. You’ve not heard of her? I’m not surprised, she doesn’t write crime. The first of her books I found were The Parasol Protectorate, to quote her website:
“Five books (and one prequel short) chronicling the exploits of Alexia Tarabotti, a lady of considerable assets including a large Scottish werewolf, a battle-parasol, and treacle tart. Oh, and she has no soul.”
It’s a comedy of manners, werewolves, territory, life, death, and vampires, not to mention a friend with the most particular bad taste in hats.
More recently, I discovered Gail Carriger’s non-fiction book The Heroine’s Journey. This is an absolutely fascinating dissection of a classic story format that I hadn’t heard of before, but now know it’s largely what I write. Well worth reading if you’re a writer – by the way, the Heroine can be male.
- One Experience
This is an experience of utter stupidity on my part. I was in Paris, needing to buy train tickets and I asked the woman behind the desk if she spoke English – only I asked in German! This has always stuck with me as embarrassing, and so I’ve used it in my writing, read Breaking Free to see when Elaine makes the exact same mistake.
Read more about G.B.Williams at :-
Blog: GB Williams Crime Blog