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Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Getting to Know Niama Williams
Topic: Author Interview

Niama Williams the person:

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Saintly, reverence-filled, compassionate.

2. How do you think others would describe you?

Option A:  arrogant, intimidating, demanding, judgmental

Option B:  discerning, insightful, intelligent, perceptive

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Love.  At 45, I have waited a long time for my soul mate.  I can feel him in the ether, but we have yet to fully engage.  I wait on God and spiritual direction before taking the next step.  I have learned that faith and restraint have their rewards.

4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

No, but I ADORE other people's pets and they usually snuggle up to me.

5. What is your most precious memory?

Meeting my soul mate for the first time.  I'd never met a man who literally robbed me of speech.  An interesting journey begun, and two novels later ......

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?

My encounter with the 74th Street School bully and a very sour pickle I accidentally knocked out of her hand.  Which she purposely stepped on and then forced me to eat in front of the entire schoolyard.  No teacher in site .....

7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Teaching, which I am blessed to enjoy as much as I do writing.  I am currently moving from teaching English at the college level to teaching at the high school level.  High school was pretty much a horror for me except for the teachers, and I am now old enough and mellow enough to deal with the bureaucracy .......

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Sorry, don't focus on death.  Communicate with spirits?  Yes.  Anticipate my death?  I'd rather contemplate sunflowers or a T. S. Eliot poem.

Niama Williams the writer:

9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

Yes, when I realized that I understood my writing process-that I write a piece, fuss with it for 2-3 hours, then set it aside and ignore it for 4-6 weeks so I can truly edit with fresh eyes.  Understanding that process let me know I was finally a pro!!!!!

10. What is going on with your writing these days?

It's sporadic.  Desperate for the money to market and promote what has already been written!  Desperate for full-time employment!!!!

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

Publish more, promote and market and sell!!!!!

12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Bed between 4 and 6 a.m., on a good day.  Up at noon, shower or not, at the computer, sun goes down, meal or two while watching tv, phone call to a friend while washing the dishes as there is no music in the kitchen, back at the computer; Criminal Intent, CSI: NY, Numbers, Criminal Minds or SVU, one more glance at the computer, fall asleep at the computer reading email, finally get in bed.

13. Why do you write?

"Because there is intense sanity in it."  It helps me understand myself, my world, the events happening in my life.

14. What writer most inspires you? Why?

T. S. Eliot, Rev. Joseph William Massey, Toni Cade Bambara.  All three took their deepest pain as well as every day occurrences and life events and made of them High Art.

15. How do you define your writing?

Define?  Life-saving.  Sanity-saving.  Instructive.  Revelatory.  Complex, dense, difficult.  Multi-layered.  Erudite but passionate, often erotic.  Devoted to saving others from repeating my mistakes.

16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

That they loved it; that it was necessary as air.

Niama Williams the details:

17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?

AuthorsDen, MySpace, PIVTR,, OWN, and Nothing Binding.

19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

The Journey, Detective Fiction, Sojourn in Calidia, Steven, Famous Faces, Soul Work, Black Poetic Feminism:  The Imagination of Toi Derricotte.

20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Density.  Complexity.  Passion.  Eroticism (in places).  Visual writing.  Hints of character to prod you into reading more.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

That, ultimately, it is not about me; it is about sharing who I am to save YOU.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 11:57 PM EST
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