APKY/AMP: Hello Steve. Good to have you with me at AuthorMeProfessionals interview. To set right off, please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer. What inspired you to write your first book?
First of all, aloha to your readers, and thanks for the interview. Regarding my first book, I’ve always been interested in the big questions in life, so since I was a teen, I’ve done lots of reading on metaphysical and spiritual things. Although I was not raised a Christian, the evidence for Christianity that I came across became so overwhelming that I became one in 1992. While I was attending U.H. Manoa a couple years later, I saw a leading atheist named Gordon Stein debate a man named William Lane Craig, and on even scientific points, Craig won hands down. That showed me that Christianity was conversant with the highest levels of philosophy and science, and super-charged my digging. I've since started a chapter of Dr. Craig's group Reasonable Faith in Honolulu. My first book The Skeptics’ Guide to Eternal Bliss was a regurgitation of the key points proving Christianity that I had ingested over the years.
APKY/AMP: That’s sounds like a very moving journey you took, Steve. What other genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
My “bread-and-butter” writing is on U.S. church and state issues for Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/church-and-state-in-honolulu/steve-williams), so I like political writing as well, but not better than metaphysics. I’ve written fiction before, and hope to work some more into my future at some point.
APKY/AMP: Well, I’m sure you’ll do great there too. Steve, is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes; “faith” is not wishing – there is rock-solid evidence for Christianity from science, history, archaeology, philosophy, etc.
APKY/AMP: Correct, faith is indeed a firm belief. What have you had published to-date?
The Skeptics’ Guide to Eternal Bliss (http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/steve-j-williams/sgeb-2nd-edition/paperback/product-5295443.html) and What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should) (http://www.amazon.com/Atheist-Professor-Doesnt-Should-ebook/dp/B0084Y3Q14).
APKY/AMP: Great. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write something you’ll be proud of whether or not you sell any copies. You might hit it big, or you might not – there’s satisfaction in making a good effort though, regardless!
APKY/AMP: An excellent advice. Steve, why should we buy your book?
1) Because whether or not you agree to my central claim, you’ll be wiser after reading it, and 2) it’s only 99 cents!
APKY/AMP: Both very good arguments! How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
I do the majority for both.
APKY/AMP: Perhaps you should also get out a book on self-marketing books, Steve. You certainly have enough experience. Now, have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions and do you think they help with a writer’s success?
I haven’t entered any yet, but that’s something I should look into!
APKY/AMP: You should indeed! Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Yes, the house I was living in when I wrote the majority of it has a spectacular view of the ocean between Diamond Head and Koko Head. For me, I’m extra-inspired when I’m writing with such a stunning example of God’s creation in front of me.
APKY/AMP: Lucky you. Sounds like paradise! Do you write under a pseudonym? If so why and do you think it makes a difference?
No – I haven’t seen a need for that yet.
APKY/AMP: Well, you have nice memorable names, Steve. Wait till you have a name like mine! So, do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
No, and not necessarily. I was a realtor for 14 years, so I think I have enough clues to give self-promotion a go. I can always change my mind later, if necessary.
APKY/AMP: See? I just said it: write a marketing book! So what are you working on at the moment / next?
I’m taking a break right now. I may take a crack at fiction next; I have a very atypical WWIII idea kicking around in my head.
APKY/AMP: Wow. Well, way to go, Steve. Do you manage to write every day?
Almost every day.
APKY/AMP: Great. And what is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
I think that in many of our waking hours, we’re taking care of business; paying bills, taking out the trash, feeding the dog – stuff that is not really conducive to our creativity. Our minds are habitual, so we need to proactively detach ourselves from this contextual influence, and “psyche ourselves” into a creative mindset when we sit down to it. What tends to work for me is reading something with a strong and rich narrative voice, like Goldman, Salinger or Fitzgerald. Ideas beget ideas -- it’s almost like starting a siphon from your own mind.
APKY/AMP: Wow, nobody in my hundreds of interviews ever described so poignantly, Steve. Tell me, do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and off you are with it?
That doesn’t really apply to me, but I did have an outline for my non-fiction approach.
APKY/AMP: Okay. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Reverting back to my previous fiction-writing, I think believability is crucial, so I make plausible hybrids of real-life characters I have known. I try to make the names sound good rolling off the tongue.
APKY/AMP: Right. I wonder what name you’d invent for me as your character J. Anyway, who is your first reader – who do you first show your work to?
My pastor friend.
APKY/AMP: How original! Your best person, considering your topics. Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
I’ve gotten better in recent years, but I still need some editing. I have not yet escaped that haunting phrase I heard from one of my professors: “Writing is RE-writing”.
APKY/AMP: Right. And do you write on paper or do you prefer a computer?
Always a computer these days.
APKY/AMP: Thank heavens! What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
“Third-person omniscient” is the one I tend to go with. I can’t remember if I ever tried second-person, but it seems like it would be a pain (for me).
APKY/AMP: Steve, you’re not alone! And what do you like to read?
I think the world has been so interesting lately that I enjoy reading the news as much as anything.
APKY/AMP: You’re right. So, what do you do when you’re not writing? Or reading, for that matter? Any hobbies or party tricks?
I play guitar, play with my kids, and surf.
APKY/AMP: The best of things. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Here’s my Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Joseph-Williams/e/B008C3U70A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
APKY/AMP: Wonderful. Steve, is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I guarantee that my book will feel like it’s worth more than 99 cents!
APKY/AMP: Now there’s an argument! Thank you so much for this interview, Steve. I now invite you to include an extract of your writing:
Isn't it incredible that the Big Bang theory thus fits in with what the Christian theist has always believed: that in the beginning God created the universe? Now think honestly about this; which do you think makes more sense: that the Christian theist is right or that the universe just popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing? I personally don’t think this is a hard one.
Ever since indications began to surface early in the 20th century that the universe had a beginning, attempt after attempt has been made to hypothesize an eternal model to avoid the metaphysical implications of that. Some of these attempts are; the Oscillating Model, the Steady-State Model, and the Vacuum Fluctuation Model, and they have all failed. The “Big Bang” models, which all have a beginning in space and time, have grudgingly become accepted by well over 90% of scientists despite their inherent metaphysical implications, due to overwhelming evidential support.
In a series of papers culminating in 2003, Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe which is, on average, in a state of cosmic expansion cannot be eternal in the past but must have an absolute beginning. This includes all universe models that honestly assess the available data. Regarding this, Vilenkin states:
“It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” (6)
(6) Many Worlds in One (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), p.176.
APKY/AMP: Wow, this is fascinating. Steve, thank you once again. I and my team at AuthorMeProfessionals with you every success and health in your future..
You're welcome, and thank you.