Our feature today is Liltera R. Williams. We’re glad to have her insight into her writing process.
1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page
Poet, Author, Editor, Publisher, born to write in Jacksonville, Florida, with a Bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University. I discovered my passion for writing at age 12 and realized that it was my purpose at 18. In August of 2011, I established my own writing, proofreading/editing and publishing company, iWrite4orU. I specialize in assisting first-time authors.
Twitter & Instagram: @iWrite4orU_LRW
2. How do you choose names for your characters?
I usually come up with the character description before an official name is assigned and I try to select names that complement each character’s overall demeanor.
3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?
All of my characters are relatable and derive from people I’ve encountered throughout my life. I’ve been asked numerous times if there’s any truth hidden within my first novel, Dearly Beloved S.I.S.T.A.S. I personally believe that all fiction stories are loosely based on true circumstances. I don’t talk about Sheila, Brenda, Sunni and Faith, the characters from my first novel, much anymore because I’ve moved on to a new plot, but they’re still alive. None of my characters will ever truly die.
4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?
Yes, I’m a fan of all types of music. I prefer to listen to songs with creative and motivating lyrical content when writing. Alicia Keys is my favorite artist, but I find myself in a more focused zone when Gospel music is playing. It can become a distraction sometimes, though, when getting lost in the melody.
5. How long have you been writing?
Personally, 16 years.
My permanent relationship with writing first began at age 12, after my paternal grandfather passed away. For the first few years, it was my therapeutic outlet, strictly a form of expressing myself and dissecting my emotions.
Professionally, 5 1/2 years.
After graduating from FSU, I started blogging and also completed two post-grad internships, which allowed me to build a freelance portfolio of over 50 published articles. My first article was published in 904 Magazine in March 2009. I then published my first book, Amateur Thoughts: A Personal Collection of iWrite Poetry and LRW Quotes, on 12-12-12 because my career was finally perfectly aligned and it was time to progress to a new level of writing.
6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.
I instantly realized it the first time I recorded my feelings in a diary. Nothing compares to that type of emotional release. However, the defining moment revealed itself when I declared Creative Writing as my major at FSU. Before then, I was always told that writing isn’t an actual career and I foolishly believed it. Yet, I understood that I had a special gift with words. The more I learned to develop the craft in college, the more I fell in love with it. My name, Liltera, resembling Literature, is also a clear sign. I think my parents subconsciously knew that writing was my calling before I did.
7. Do you have a muse?
God is my ultimate muse, but I often discover inspiration in all things, from relationships and daily conversations to my random, complicated thoughts. I have a strong desire to inspire and I’m motivated when I’m able to impact others who may be lost while seeking to find their purpose in life.
8. How do you improve as a writer?
Writing is an acquired skill. Although it’s a natural talent that I was born with, it requires constant nurturing and practice. I write every single day and I’m always reading and researching. I attend at least two writers’ conferences and/or book festivals each year and I’m constantly networking and gaining insight from other experienced authors. I encourage all aspiring writers to treat the skill like a priority instead of a hobby.
9. Writing quirks or superstitions?
I don’t share any content publicly without spell checking it three times or more. I’ll even reread it after it’s been published. I’m obsessed with editing and revising.
10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
I’m currently working on my next two releases, scheduled for 2015: Pen, Publish & Promote Your Book the Write Way (Detailed Guide for First-Time Authors), my fourth nonfiction book, and Date Knight: A Man Who Findeth A Wife, my second novel.
11. What book are you reading now?
I read quite a few kindle edition short stories this month: Holiday Hotel by Barbara Joe Williams, Double D Death/Double D Death II by Felicia SW. Thomas, A Husband for Christmas by Nakia R. Laushaul, Wife Insurance by A’ndrea J. Wilson.
12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?
I’m a versatile writer. So far, I’ve self-published two poetry books, a spiritual mystery novel with four main African-American female characters and a short self-help LIVE YOUR DREAM guide. I’m a fan of first-person point of view, but third person seems to be more favorable for most readers. I creatively weaved both POVs into my first novel, Dearly Beloved S.I.S.T.A.S.
13.Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?
As soon as an idea hits me, I log it ‘write away’. I have a weird method of outlining. I don’t create a traditional layout. Instead, I draft breakdowns of characters, scenes and dialogue. I tend to write out of order, in spurts, but somehow, it all comes together during the editing process.
14. Do you know how your stories will end?
Not always. While writing my first novel, I tried to control the plot way too much, and then the characters just took over. I’m allowing my second novel to write itself… I think. Ha!
15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?
LIVE YOUR DREAM is the ultimate message within all of my nonfiction books. My first novel is a suspenseful and entertaining story that delivers an overall message of faith.
16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?
I like to write while nibbling on all types of fruity candy and dry cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios). For some reason, I write better on an empty stomach, but I always have juice or water readily available to keep myself hydrated.
17. Tell us about your other passions.
I’m extremely passionate about sports. As a former athlete, I once dreamed of becoming the first woman to join an NBA team.
18. What’s something interesting about you?
Hmmm… I don’t sleep well unless I’m positioned on the write/right side of the bed. That’s if I sleep at all.
19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.
“Sheila wanted to change, but she was now the prototype for an all-in-one persona… A nemesis to her own resilience, trying to spearhead a solo movement. And Sunni made her feel like she could do anything…” Dearly Beloved S.I.S.T.A.S
20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?
Thank you! I hope you enjoy my work enough to become a long-time supporter of my #WriterGrind™!
LIVE YOUR DREAM, whatever it may be.
Great message about living your dream. Everyone should strive to do that. Thanks, Liltera.