Philadelphia cartoonist a fan of science fiction.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your books and being a cartoonist.

You must be a reader to become a good writer.

Cory Williams is A cartoonist from Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts cartoonist .

Enrolling in the school’s first year when it was a fledgling cartoonist program.  I majored in cartoonist Creative Writing and minored in Videodrama.  In addition, I was a founder, writer, and cartoonist for CAPA’s newspaper THE PAINTED WORD, for which I eventually became editor-in-chief during my senior year.  Listed in WHO’S WHO AMONG AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTSand commended by the National Honors Society, I graduated with CAPA’s second graduating class in 1981.

Attending Stanford University, I majored in Drama and minored in Dance, performing in an average of five to six major productions per year.  During my time there, I taught cartoonist art to autistic, learning-disabled, and educable mentally challenged children at the Peninsula Children’s Center in Menlo Park, California; I was active in the Stanford University Rape Awareness Program, and occasionally wrote and was an cartoonist for the university newspaper The Stanford Daily.  I also toured for two years with the BALLET FOLKLORICO DE STANFORD MEXICAN FOLKDANCE COMPANY.  I received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Drama in 1986.As a performing artist, I performed in numerous dance productions, touring shows, theatrical productions and industrial films and videos on the East Coast.  Eventually, I moved to Los Angeles, California in 1999.

From that point, I performed in even more theatrical productions, television commercials and shows, industrials and independent films, as well as doing a variety of radio and voiceover projects and freelance as a cartoonist.

I have authored three science fiction novels that are currently available in hard copy and downloadable e-book formats through the online content marketplace.

TOTENTANZ tells the story of Hren-Tikaar, a notorious former assassin- thought to be dead- who carries within him enough information to topple a major galactic underworld syndicate, and Galan Rojai, a special Ranger agent with powerful psionic abilities who must transport him to an inquest on the Alliance capitol of Themis.  Attacks from without and within, and a chance encounter with a freak wormhole leave these two men stranded on a planet in the middle of nowhere.  In a hostile environment and with enemies on the prowl, these two men from opposite sides of the law are going to find that if they are to survive, trust is their only way out.

The taking of Cyndriel’s Hope a cartoonist take.

In THE TAKING OF CYNDRIEL’S HOPE, which is set ten years prior to the events in TOTENTANZ, the commercial passenger starliner Cyndriel’s Hope is hijacked by members of the paramilitary terrorist group The Warriors of the Black Flame. Their leader- Haakem Tigonn- demands the release of other members of the group currently imprisoned in exchange for the Cyndriel’s Hope and all aboard her. The clock begins ticking as the terrorist will kill one hostage every hour until their demands are met. One of the passengers- Galan Rojai, a young man with extraordinary gifts- decides to fight back, and with the help of the ship’s engineer, does what he can to keep the hijackers at bay and off balance until help can arrive.

HUNTER’S MOON and being a cartoonist help my book designs.

Harrikh was a military leader and a hero on the world of Lonari, until he was condemned for crimes against that world and his people, the Ynan.  In his exile, he transformed from pariah to monster, and undertook a life’s mission written in blood and fire.

Jan Baker, a young man raised on Earth, is one among many Ynan refugees who were scattered amongst the stars when Harrikh returned to Lonari to fulfill a terrible promise in a single act of unparalleled barbarity.

Valerie Phillips, a young Philadelphia art student, comes to love Jan and provide for him an anchor of reality, while he, in turn, makes her life more surreal than she could have ever imagined.

With their numbers gradually dwindling as Harrikh continues his mission of genocide, the last of the Ynan must fight for the right to exist, and Jan must face his destiny.

2. How did your book writing come about?  What made you start writing this genre of books we see being a cartoonist helped.

I have a very active imagination.  In fact, while meditation is relaxing for the body and mind, I cannot completely empty my mind because there is too much going on in there.  I find silence to be very distracting.

All of my stories begin as cartoonist dreams.  I discovered a longtime ago that I have the ability to dream episodically.  That is to say, if I have a particularly vivid dream that appears to be a story unfolding, I can hold onto it and repeat it for clarity (rerunning a dream…go figure) and also continue where that dream left off.  This can go on over the course of several nights until a reasonably coherent story line has developed.   I also keep a computer or at least a pad and pen by my bed so that I can commit the cartoonist dream to a relatively non-volatile physical form that I can read back later.  From there, I can restructure and flesh things out until I have a full-blown story.

As for my genre of choice, I cut my eye-teeth on Star Trek and I have been a fan of science fiction ever since.  I’ve always viewed science fiction as the true mythology of the modern age, and the best writers are those who can truly execute the art of verisimilitude- that is to say, making the fantastic sound so real and potentially plausible that the reader is totally willing to suspend any sense of disbelief and completely buy into the story.

I’m an avid reader, and one cannot be a writer without being a reader.  I grew up surrounded by books in an environment that fostered learning and nurtured creativity,cartoonist and for that, I consider myself to have been very blessed.

3. Share with us the title of your books- very interesting.  Did you create them? Do you have help with the design or being a cartoonist help?

The titles of my books are indeed my own.  TOTENTANZ is German for Dance of Death.  I happened to see the word back in the late 1980’s on a poster advertising a punk rock band by that name.  I thought the word itself was cool and I told myself that I’m going to find a way to use that word someday.  Then, years later, I came up with a story that fit.  I later found out that Totentanzwas also the title of a piece of music by composer Franz Liszt.

The other titles, THE TAKING OF CYNDRIEL’S HOPE and HUNTER’S MOON, came to me pretty much the same way the stories did, in dreams.

I am also a freelance cartoonist artist, so I designed the covers myself.

4. You have a very creative mind!  Where do you get the ideas?

As previously stated, my stories emerge primarily from my cartoonist dreams.  However, what ignites and fuels those dreams comes from a variety of sources.  I have books on a wide variety of genres and subjects, including science fiction, humor, trivia, art, astronomy and space science, technology, theoretical physics, biology, ancient civilizations, cultural anthropology, mythology, architecture and film.  In addition to growing up surrounded by books, I grew up on a steady diet of educational television and odd-sensibility movies.  When some new and interesting scientific factoid comes my way, I explore further- you never know when it might come in handy, and I watch documentaries on a relatively wide array of topics.

5. Share with us the top 3 ways you are marketing your books.

Radio shows like this one; I’ve done several originating in different parts of the country.

Email marketing and direct marketing with materials that I’ve created myself, and online social and business networking.

I am in the process of setting up readings.

6. What have you learned about business side of book writing?  Give us some tips on what not to do.

If you think writing a book is difficult, marketing that book is much more difficult.  It can be a lot like herding cats.    Have a plan and follow through with that plan.  You have to be persistent and focused, and even though your book is like your baby, if you receive criticism that is in any way constructive, take it to heart and use it.  It can only serve to make you grow as a writer.  If you can get a publicist, or at least get information from a publicist, by all means do so.

Don’t let rejection stop you, but don’t let your ego get in your own way.

Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in your own hype that you can’t take criticism.  Remember what Friedrich Nietzche said: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Don’t stop writing.  Remember the line from the movie Throw Momma From the Train: “A writer writes…always.”

7. What was your first book signing like?

Still working on that.

8. Was your idea to publish your books in Ebook form? Has this helped you?

The e-book format was always an automatic option with because you upload and assemble your book to the publisher website in pdf form. With so many readers and tablets out on the market like the Kindle and Kindle Fire, the IPad, the Nook and so on, downloadable books are definitely the wave of the future.  Mind you, I do not believe that the book is going to go the way of the dodo anytime soon, and there is absolutely nothing like having a good, solid book in your hands.  However, whatever the medium, be it the printed page or the printed screen, as long as people are reading, it is all good.

I recently found out that my books are also available in downloadable form in the e-books section of Apple ITunes, which is a bit of a boon.

9. With the success of the comic book movies (Batman, Ironman, etc) could you see your books made into movies? Why?

Absolutely.  Producers are recognizing the bankability of the built-in fan base, and film technology has finally caught up with what the human mind can conceive.

In fact, I have several scripts that I am shopping now, including a big screen adaptation of THE TAKING OF CYNDRIEL’S HOPE and a television miniseries adaptation of HUNTER’S MOON.

10. Final comment:* For what do you want to be remembered professionally?

I would most like to be remembered professionally for producing works that touch the cartoonist heart and fire the imagination, and for being accessible- and maybe even inspirational- to my fellow artists,cartoonist present and future.

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