INTERVIEW: Author William LJ Galaini

Interview By
K.G Bethlehem

Sci-fi and MMO Player GURU!! William LJ Galaini

William LJ Galaini ~ Sci-Fi, Dystopian Author

William Galaini grew up in Pennsylvania and Florida. His mother gave him an early love of reading, especially when it came to the great classics of science fiction. He is also a history buff and fascinated by mythology and folklore. His various vocational pursuits include being a singer in a professional high school choir, manager of the call center at a luxury resort, U.S. Army medic, prison guard, and middle school English teacher. As such, he is perfectly suited to breech a solid metal door, humanely restrain the enemy within, and politely correct their grammar all while humming Handel’s Messiah and drinking a lovely cuppa tea.

He currently hangs his hat, rucksack, and tweed smoking jacket in Northern Virginia.

K.G/S.U.M: What made you become a writer? What were the principles that were important to you to make such a decision?

William: I honestly don’t know how to answer the questions, but not because of a failing in the inquiry, but because of a failing in me: I just do not feel like a writer. Odd as it sounds, I only suffer through the act of writing to get to a story in which I convey ideas. Perhaps there’s a distinction between ‘writer’ and ‘storyteller’ that is worthy of debate, but I’ll leave that to better minds.

In short, the reason why I engage and practice the art of ‘writing’ is because it is the best method to sculpt the stories I wish to tell. If I had tens of millions of dollars and visual acumen, I would use film. If I had acting chops, I’d be a one man show. If I was a mute and illiterate, I’d use interpretive dance. Nothing is stopping these stories from getting out of me.

K.G/S.U.M: What genre(s) do you write and why so? Continuing on this what genre would you like to write about that you have not done so already?

William: Science Fiction and what some call ‘Speculative Fiction’ are where I lean. I have freedom to create specific worlds in which I can spout all kinds of fun narratives and thematic arcs. I grew up reading Asimov and Clark, so my mind still approaches settings that are fantastical but concrete.

As for what genre I’d like to write in, I’ve done several comedy short stories. I’ve got a fantastic idea for a funny novel that takes place during the American Civil War about two families feuding over a T-Rex skeleton. So historical comedy? Is that a thing? It will be!

By William Galaini

By William Galaini

K.G./S.U.M: Which writing project was the most difficult to compete or at least the most challenging to write? What techniques have you used if any to help you accomplish your goal?
William: Oh man. I’ve yet to hit a wall regarding a specific work, but there are always frustrations. I suspect my second novel, “Withered Zion,” provided the most serious challenge for me. One of my main characters is subject to a brutal gang rape in prison. The event was the inevitable destination of the novel’s thematic arc, and I loved this character so when I wrote him experiencing this nightmare, I found myself challenged. I wanted to be accurate in the horror of it while being respectful to not only the character,  but the audience as well in regards to potential triggering. Rape is real and evil. I had to be sensitive without compromising. I feel I found the balance, but I assure I was wringing my hands over that scene endlessly.
As for what techniques I employed, I used two.  The first was focusing on what matter.  The scene was not to be long, so I decided what details mattered and what details didn’t. Pain and motion where the primary elements and my narrative language focused on such, never leaving the perspective of my victimized character.  The second technique was sympathy. I care about my character, and I wanted to express his trial earnestly and respectfully. His rape was not to be a gimmick or a grab for the audience’s attention.
K.G/S.U.M: Sometimes writers will use elements of their real life situations and/or people into stories they created so with that in mind have you done so? If you did, what determine you to use a part of your life into a story?
William: Army. The army and my time in it is a BIG influence. Another major influence is my sense of failure. I have failed spectacularly as a human being in many respects, and I explore those failures in each of my characters. What better place to start a character than failure?
K.G/S.U.M: Who are your favorite authors and why? Did they or he/she influence your writing style, topics, and overall development as a writer?
William: I tend to be a fan of books and not really authors, but some writers have astounding craft. When I want to see sentences built in astounding ways, I read Joseph Conrad and Margaret Atwood. If I want to see brilliant ideas extending toward the horizon of their potential, I read Charles Stross. If I want astounding character perspective, I read Tayari Jones. If I want charm, I read M. M Kaye. If I want sweeping historical epics, I read either James Clavell or Ken Follett. I could do this all day.
As for writing style, I tend to focus on poets and nonfiction. Non fiction provides astounding clarity and poetry employees creative word economy. I find something to learn from nearly all nonfiction, but I will say in regards to poetry, I lean towards Atwood, Milton, and Poe.
by William Galaini

by William Galaini

K.G/S.U.M: What are your favorite books and why?

William: Holy crap. Okay. Many of the previously mentioned authors provided my favorites; Shogun, Glasshouse, Leaving Atlanta, The Far Pavilions, The Pillars of the Earth, Lord Jim, Handmaid’s Tale, etc etc… but as cheesy as this sounds, my favorite books are mine. I love them. I love my books. I’ve never written a novel I didn’t love (I’m working on number four) but I suspect if I did write a novel I didn’t love, I’d never bother publishing it out of embarrassment.

K.G/S.U.M: If you were a character in any story, no matter if it was written by you or another writer who would it be and why so?

William: I’d be a Marvel superhero. Even if I died, I’d come back. And there might be a movie of me.

K.G/S.U.M: If your book, lets say, “The Line,” was made into a movie who would do it’s musical score or what existing album/soundtrack would be feature with it? Let’s also say if “The Line” could have one song listed as it overall theme of the book which song would it be and why?

William: Oh man. I wrote that book while listening to a plethora of different tunes, but ‘Wheel of Fortune’ by Kay Starr was the main them in some ways. I kept going back tot that song. The novel was about time traveling historians turning on each other when they figure out one of their future selves was altering history. There was a lot of violent moments in the novel such as the Tulsa Race Riots and Leo Frank’s Lynching and for some reason that particular song stuck in my head.

As for a composer, James Newton Howard would be my first choice. Have you heard his soundtrack to Signs? CHILLS. The Village is marvelous, as well.

K.G/S.U.M: What current projects are you working on? That includes, but isn’t limited to writing?

William: Oh, nice question.  A lot of authors have projects and workshops. First off, I’m working on novel number four and it’s a sequel to “Trampling in the Land of Woe.”  The series is basically a Steampunk Dante’s Inferno, and this novel is about Boudica facing off against a Roman Legion led by Maximinum Thrax, while he sieges the City of New Dis in the afterlife. Euclid, Jules Verne, and a few other historical figures are sprinkled throughout but the focus is Boudica facing her failures on Earth as the queen of the Iceni. It’s about redemption and (shocker!) confronting failure.

The project I’m involved in is called The Cerulean Project. It’s a writer’s thinktank led by Ally Bishop and it includes several independent and traditionally published authors. We meet online via Blab weekly to discuss craft, publishing, and methodology. Catch us on Blab!

By William Galaini

By William Galaini

K.G/S.U.M: If you could go back in time and become a historical figure for one month, who would it be and why?

William: Pope Innocent III. I’d do my best to redeem his evil while I possessed him. As best I could, I’d undo the Inquisition and I’d secure an ethical and capable predecessor (Popes did that back then, trust me). Right before the month was up, I’d arrange my death so it wouldn’t appear as a suicide.

K.G/S.U.M: Final questions… What moves you to write and why? What are the roadblocks to becoming a successful writer and what is your definition of success.  What advice would you give new and up and coming writers?

William: Yikes. Alright, I am move to write because I want my stories being permanent. Be it in print or digitally, I want my stories to be preserved shared well beyond my scope of existence. As for roadblocks, just being read. As an author, you are demanding 8-11 hours of the reader’s focused life, and that is a TALL order that you expect them to PAY for. So the biggest roadblock is not only obtaining that level of quality and worth, but THEN you have to convince the readership that your work is valuable enough for them to forsake the work of others.

And for new writers? Here’s my advice: Just write. Just practice and challenge yourself and listen to criticism. Read like a FIEND and get something from every single page you read. Explore the depths of your story. Stop writing what others write. Don’t join a writing group, but find writing buddies who have excellent craft.

And don’t expect to make any money. Ever. Remove that pressure from your mind entirely.

K.G/S.U.M: Once again we at S.U.M would like to thank William Galaini for offering the time to speak with us and enlighten our viewers to his world of brilliance and imagination. An accomplish author and great family please follow these additional links below to explore more of this fantastic writer and his writing projects. His personal blog is William LJ Galaini and two of his current projects are The Line and Withered Zion. 


One response to “INTERVIEW: Author William LJ Galaini

  1. Reblogged this on kgbethlehem and commented:

    Solid vibrations and all of that good stuff everyone!

    Here’s an interview for a gifted author “WILLIAM LJ GALAINI” who is so big that his name must be spelled in all caps. Please enjoy this read and also, check out his books–you won’t be disappointed. Oh, yea–this interview was conducted by me as a writer for Some Unique Magazine! Yep, that up and coming online mag that is freaking bad!! Bad in an amazing way :-)! Check out more interviews and articles on our site. Follow the creative trail of words to our home if you please.


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