Belfast writer Abby Williams released her first book, Tripping, in February this year and is already working on a second.
Recently she spoke to Christian Walker about the cult-fiction novel and her plans for the future…
I’d experienced several years of chaos, drug-experimentation and basically pushing my mind and body to extremes. One summer something clicked, and I knew things had started to change. I felt like I was emerging from that mind state gradually. Belfast’s drug culture has grown massively over the past decade and it was becoming more present in the media, too. I naturally started toying with a story about a group of reckless, hedonistic youths and it developed from there.
Are any parts of the story taken from your personal experiences?
I think all writers draw from experience in one way or another. Many parts of the story are taken from personal experiences, added to, detracted from or shaped into other forms. It is a fictional story, though.
Are all the characters fictional or have people you have met over your life contributed to them?
Many people I’ve met have contributed to the story. Within one character profile I can have about five different influences from people I’ve known. Plus I can alter it to suit the character. That’s the beauty of writing fiction, you get to create your own world. Lots of real life personalities have fed in to those in the book, because that’s how you are able to really immerse yourself in the story and make it authentic.
Hmm. Is it cheating to say a little bit of every one? Obviously Scarlet was quite relatable. She is passionate and hungry for experience, but she is also naive in many ways. I would say she is somewhat similar to a younger version of me.
What three words would you use to describe the journey that you hope the readers will experience while reading your book?
Thrilling, Emotive, Hopeful
Who would you have play Scarlet and Jamie in the movie adaptation of Tripping?
I think Jennifer Laurence is a great actress, she would make a good Scarlet. Oh, and a young Leonardo DiCaprio could play Jamie. He’s incredibly talented and he had that youthful, boyish face when he was younger. I think he could combine the charm with a sense of immaturity really well. In reality, if we were to do an independent film project for Tripping, I would use local actors/actresses. ‘Normal’ people, as it were!
Can we expect a sequel to tripping?
It’s definitely a possibility.
Which writers inspired you to write?
I love the classic writers like Emily Bronte, Oscar Wilde and Tennessee Williams. But I am open to reading anything and try to vary it as much as possible. I really enjoy Eckhart Tolle’s books.
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
And finally, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Just write. Anything. Train your mind to ignore the stupid voice in your head that tells you it’s crap and just write anyway. You have to lose that part of your ego that judges everything you think. ‘Writing Down The Bones’ by Natalie Goldberg is a brilliant book for new and experienced writers.
Abby’s book is available to buy on Amazon here.
For more information visit Abby’s page facebook.com/AbbyWilliamsAuthor