Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Interview: Stephanie Anne Williams

Her Dark Veins of Faith by Stephanie Williams is now available from Amazon and Kindle!

A little about the book...
In a world that imposes strict moral standards, Raama feels as though she has been led astray. Caught between her fancies of spirituality and the world’s supposedly ‘religious’ mindset, she cannot seem to find an escape from the cold, stark reality of a society that is driven by vampirism, structure, moral decay, and nihilism. Attempting to flee from the ways of this world, she often finds herself unconsciously bound to its predatory nature. After Raama meets Silah, however, she finds herself addicted and ensnared by the alluringly lifeless essence of the vampire race as a whole. But just what is vampirism…. And, as Raama continually asserts, do “our scars really serve as emblems”? Will Raama’s wavering faith help her or hinder her, in the end? Will she become repressed by what she despises, or emboldened by what she desires most deeply in her heart?

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1. What inspired you to write this book? 
This book was actually based on a dream that I had: repressed, subconscious fears and desires.  I mainly receive inspiration from my own personal experiences, as well as dreams.
I can recall the dream especially well; it actually serves as an entire scene in the book.  I rarely, if ever, have dreams that are fantastical in nature, so it truly inspired me and drove me to write about the topic of vampirism.
Vampirism, to me, can be defined as a psychological desire to rape another.  I’ve always been fascinated with the psychological implications behind any kind of abuse; I just so happen to focus on sexual abuse in this book, though not in a way that is particularly graphic.  I mainly choose to focus on the torn emotions of the victim, rather than the acts of violence themselves, as it is difficult for me to stomach anything that is too graphic or explicit in nature.

2. Would you classify your writing more as plot driven or character driven? 
I would definitely classify my writing as more character driven.  I don’t focus on plot much at all; it’s secondary, in comparison to the complexity of character development.  I’ve actually been told, in the past, that my writing is too reflective and emotional, and not focused on plot enough.  I just tend to get bored with action/adventure type stories, so I aim to appeal to an audience that is less mainstream in that regard.  It’s important to me to add a great deal of depth and emotion to my characters.  I could write pages and pages solely based on complex thought processes of my characters.  And I always write in first person, as there is the most opportunity for introspection when written from this perspective.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main?
My main character is rather na├»ve, but also very sharp and quick-witted.  She seems to constantly shock herself when observing the actions or behaviors of others.  In a sense, she is observant, but in another sense, she isn’t, because she chooses to ignore her gut feelings and intuitions about those who end up abandoning and betraying her the most.  She can’t even seem to understand herself, so how is she expected to understand others?  It’s impossible—for the more we understand ourselves, the greater likelihood we will be able to understand and relate to others.  I would also classify her as very strong-willed, yet tempted to conform to cultural/societal norms.  Her beliefs and values shape her, yet she finds them constantly slipping throughout the novel.

4. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
The main conflict is definitely an internal sort: Raama (the main character) vs. The world around her.  She hopes and expects to follow her dream of remaining obedient to Christ, yet she cannot seem to consciously choose to be one of His disciples.  Spirituality is a way of life for Raama, but she subconsciously alters her way of living in order to appease cultural/societal norms.  Society has turned very legalistic, and concerned with morals, but in such a way that leads to its ultimate demise and deterioration.

5. What do you hope readers take away from your book? 
I hope that readers learn of the importance of faith/spirituality.  I truly believe that we cannot fully know ourselves unless we fully know Jesus.  I also hope that they learn that we cannot push our beliefs onto anyone, that we cannot strip anyone of their free will, regardless of how much we attempt to do so.  And the more we attempt to impose strict rules and regulations upon others, the more likely they are to rebel against that.  The truest freedom does not lie in obedience of the law; it lies in believing that Jesus is our Savior, and that His grace saves us from the law of sin and death.

6. Now for a few fun questions! What song best describes your writing style?
“Chasing the Dragon” by Epica.  It’s a song that speaks of the value of karma: “What goes around will come around.”  It also emphasizes the truth that, no matter how much beauty we have lost, in the end, there will always be beauty left upon this earth.  The earth may eventually deteriorate, and all may be lost, in the end, but our spirits still remain, in the end.  It’s a very spiritual and emotional song.  I love the build in intensity during the bridge, how it operatically, dramatically climaxes toward the end.  It reminds me very much of the road to healing, the journey to forgiveness, finding the light in the midst of darkness.  The piece is so artful, so alluring, enchantingly poetic, and symphonic.  It’s easy to get lost in it, in its captivating brilliance.  My favorite line has to be: “I want the night just to color the day/ The morning to chase all my nightmares away/ Don’t you deny that we’re all human beings/We all have our flaws that can make us obscene.”  It reminds me that we are all capable of both love and hatred, of living in both darkness and light, and we all, whether consciously or unconsciously, choose one path over the other.  Though the paths cannot become murky and the lines can become blurred, all of us are either living for darkness or light; we cannot live for both.

7. Night Owl or Early Bird?  
Night Owl.  Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night, at 4 am, just so I can write down some of my thoughts about dreams and such that I’ve had.  I could sleep in forever, all the time.

8. Skittle or M&Ms?
M&Ms.  I’ve always preferred chocolate to anything fruity.

9. Who are your favorite authors?
I don’t really have any favorite authors, but I do have a few favorite book series:
House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast; Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead; Brida by Paulo Coelho; The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston; Born of Illusion by Teri Brown; The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; The Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore; and Susannah Morrow by Megan Chance.
I tend to prefer books that intrigue me, in one way or another.  Books that get me excited about life, and are able to change my perspective on it.  I dislike books that are dreary or dull, books that are dry or lacking in emotional/spiritual substance.  Creating is about living with a conflict of ideas, and learning how to implement those ideas into one beautiful masterpiece.  Many make the mistake of believing that reading books should strictly be about intellect, of learning about what fits neatly inside their own box of academic learning.  But it’s actually about obtaining knowledge about a wide variety of topics, such as spirituality, politics, sexuality, psychology, etc.  I read so that I can expand and explore the limits of my mind, so that I can attain knowledge about the unknowable aspects of reality.

10. Can you tell us about your future projects? 
The next project that I’m currently planning is my upcoming novel, The Rose Spell Longing.  I typically come up with ideas as I write, but I did have a dream that inspired this novel as well.  It’s about abuse within the church, as well as being kidnapped, and being mistreated for having an identity that is labeled a ‘witch.’  I try to make my main character really have a strong connection with nature, and with the spirits of light magick that surround her at all times.


Available now from Kindle and Amazon
Photo credit(All images): Andrey Ivanov

More about the Author

Stephanie is an avid reader, writer, musician, and actress.  She obtained a Bachelor's degree in English from a local university and is hoping to use it in order to further her career in writing.  Her true passion lies in her spirituality and utilizing it in order to help humanity.  In the next upcoming weeks, she will be taking classes in order to become a certified Drug and Alcohol counselor.  She hopes to use the gifts that God has given to her in order to enlighten and inspire the world, in the most imaginary way.



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