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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Parallax by Paul Williams Blog Tour!

Title: Parallax
Author: Paul Williams
Release Date: September 2014
Publisher: Illusio & Baqer

Danny Anderson lives in Sulphide, a copper mining town in the outback of Australia. Taking refuge from a gang of bullies who tortures animals, he and his two friends Jennifer and Gustave discover a parallel universe through a cave. In this universe, bullies are eaten by the animals they torture, Animal Police arrest people for the crime of cannibalism (eating meat), and pain inflicted on others is felt by the perpetrators.

But far from being the Eden they first envision, it is a frightening world where justice is harsh. They escape into a series of worlds, but each parallel universe is worse than the previous one, until they discover a perfect utopia, where—it seems—everything they wanted the world to be is true: animal suffering is abolished, humans live in harmony with nature, and justice is done—but not all is as perfect as it appears.

About the Author
Paul Williams has his PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, and is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He has published fiction, young adult novels, a memoir, educational readers, short stories and articles, and his books have been set in schools across Africa. Paul currently resides in Australia and you can learn more about him on his Website (

Interview Questions

What inspired you to write your first book? I love reading young adult literature, but I was living in a place where no YA novels were set, so I decided to write one about the place I lived.

Do you have a specific writing style? 
I tend to just pour out my soul, emotions and over write and then edit by trying to be minimalist, cutting every unnecessary word.
How did you come up with the title? 
I had many ideas for titles, but I wanted to find a scientific word that somehow explained the idea of parallel worlds.Parallax means ‘alteration’ in Greek and is about how objects look in a different place. In my novel, the whole world is altered and seen from a different angle.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
Yes: I think the message is obvious, but for those who don’t get it, it’s about being kind to all animals… and treating them with respect.
How much of the book is realistic? 
A lot! When I was eleven years old, I felt this burning sense of the world being wrong, and wanted to change it. I also lived in a pokey little mining town in the middle of nowhere, like my characters, who are seeking some adventure to make their lives exciting.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Based on me. I wanted so badly for there to be an entrance to another parallel world somewhere and used to fantasize about the caves I explored, wishing behind that crevice there would be a portal to another world.  

What books have influenced your life most? 
My dad read Huckleberry Finn to me when I was young and that stuck in my mind somehow, about a young boy trying to fight against the whole of his society, and be himself, to be free.
What book are you reading now? 
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. It’s about a young girl who (***Spoiler Alert!!!***) is brought up with a chimpanzee as her ‘sister’. Amazing story. Amazing title too!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared  by Jonas JonassonI was captivated by the title and as soon as I began to read it, the story swallowed me up! (I seem to be influenced by interesting titles!)
What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? I am working on the sequels to Parallax with the same characters Danny, Jennifer and Gustave who return to their home town to find it all bought by some mine corporation which is destroying the places they grew up in. They have to do something -- maybe get help from another world!

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. My English teacher believed in me at school and supported me experimenting with my writing and going ‘outside the box’.

Do you see writing as a career? 
Yes. I write all the time and hope one day to make enough money to quit my day job!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
No, I think I like it as it is. I did rewrite it a lot and changed so many things, but finally I am happy with the characters and the story.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 
From reading! I loved entering imaginary worlds and didn’t want to come out into the ‘real’ world.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 
Trying to get the writing to be like the picture I have in my head.
Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Don’t give up. It takes time to get it right, and you have to be OK with failure and feeling that it doesn’t work. Because one day it will work if you persist.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
The book is for middle grade readers because the characters are age 11. But I didn’t write it just for younger readers: the book deals with big issues that all readers would appreciate, and issues that adults also need to deal with.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
I set this novel in an imaginary mining town in the middle of the Outback in Australia, so I had to do a lot of research about what such a town would be like. I used the mining town I grew up in but had to make it more ‘Australian’. I also had to research the slang kids use around here as well.
What genre do you consider your book(s)? 
MG/Young Adult speculative fiction. It’s one of those stories that begins with the idea-- ‘what if?” What if the world could be exactly how you want it? What if there are parallel worlds that are almost like this one but slightly different?  
Do you ever experience writer's block? 
Yes! I often get stuck with ideas and what to do next with my story and characters. I usually need a lot of dreaming time to think about what happens next. But sometimes the story just comes to me and I have to write it down as fast as I can before it disappears. When I get writer’s block, I sometimes just go over the stuff I’ve already written and edit it, and the ideas start coming back to me.
Do you write an outline before every book you write? 
Yes and no. When I write an outline and I never stick to it because the characters always take the story somewhere else. I prefer to start with an idea or a feeling or an image and go from there, trust my intuition!
Have you ever hated something you wrote? Often. When I hate something I have written, it’s often because I haven’t got it right yet. When I get it right, I stop hating it.
While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
I identify mostly with the main character Danny Anderson, because he is exactly how I used to be at that age, a little insecure, with big ideas to change the world, in love, always ready for an adventure. But I also identify with the other characters. If I had been born a girl, I would want to be exactly like Jennifer: strong headed, stubborn and a tom boy.
What are your expectations for the book?I want people to love reading it! I want it to be a book readers will talk about to their friends and say ’have you read this?

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