Interview with author Talen Williams
Today our guest is Talen Williams from Fort Worth, Texas. He is a graphic designer by trade, but he is also a recently self-published author. Back in November, his first novel, Suburban High was published and placed on sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. It is about an African-American teen whose family moves from a rough neighborhood to a nice upper-middle class suburban town; and how he will have to confront his past in order to embrace his present. We have conducted an interview with Talen.
What inspires you to write about this teen in your first novel?
Suburban High is a story that I've wanted to write for a long time. I've always been inspired by coming-of-age stories, TV Shows, and movies. In fact, upon reading the book the first time, people can pick up a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vibe from it.
Why is how he will have to confront his past in order to embrace his present important as part of your storytelling?
Will's confrontation with his past is the major plot focus of the book. He hated pretty much every aspect of his former life, except for the one friend he made. When she was tragically taken from him, he is filled with guilt from the belief that her death is his fault. Moving to the suburbs of Ingram Park should have been his opportunity to start over, but the nightmares and visions of his past not only keep him awake at night, but keep him from making new friends
Which is more challenging in your opinion, to do graphic design or writing a novel?
I'd have to say writing a novel is more challenging. I went to college for graphic design and had a few jobs that centered around it, so I have more experience in that field than writing. However, I have a lot of fun doing both. I've always enjoyed outlets that let me express my creativity, and I've been told on several occasions that I'm good at both graphic design and writing.
How important do you rank the quality of a living environment?
It’s hard to put a ranking on the quality of a living environment. Most people live where they do because they don’t have much of a choice in the matter. That said, I believe the quality of their environment is mostly based on how much they put into it. Not necessarily financially, but, how people build a community around it, the values they instill into that environment, and how they raise the future generations around it.
What do you want to convey via your self-published novel? Who do you want to reach?
I want to reach both people my age, who went to high school around the same time I did, in the late 90's-early 2000's, and teens today. Although Suburban High takes place in an age before smartphones and social media, I feel that even today's youth can relate to the main message of the book: Every young person must face trials and tribulations in their lives, but with good friends at your side, you can overcome almost anything.
Also, It wouldn’t hurt if I could reach a few movie studios along the way.
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