My guest today is William DeSouza. Hello, William! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!
It’s great to meet you. :)
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can
we get it?
My latest novel is a military
science fiction adventure titled Death’s Door: Where Right and Glory Lead.
It’s really the first in a series, initially of three books, that follow the
men and women in one regiment of the Terrain Armed Forces. The protagonist is
Heather Brassard, a normal, everyday woman who just wants to do the right
thing. She has a family history of military service, and it only seemed natural
for her to follow her parents' path.
When a pirate fleet terrorizes the
merchant shipping lanes, Heather and her Platoon soon get sent into the mix,
only to find out there is more to the pirates than meets the eye. No pirate is
that well armoured and none should have fleet weapons of mass destruction. The
story follows Heather and her fellow troopers as they struggle with issues
around life, death, fear, love and greed as they fight for survival.
I’m very proud of this first novel
in that I have been working on the concept, writing and designing the Death’s
Door universe over a five year period. It is a novel that sets up the follow-on
books nicely and looks at how men and women in the military face the same
Is there anything that
prompted your latest book? Something that inspired you?
When I was 9 years old living in
Montreal, I walked down to the cinema to watch my first movie alone (it was a
different attitude back in the day). 2001: A Space Odyssey was the first time I
had seen a true science fiction movie. Since then, I was hooked on sci-fi, or
speculative fiction. Ninety percent of the books and stories I have ever read
since then was SF (and I am a prolific reader). I suppose that it was only
natural that what I wanted to write was in the SF genre.
Combine that with my ten years
served in the Canadian Armed Forces (five years artillery and five years in the
armored corps) and I was hooked on the concept of merging my two passions. I
hatched the idea for the Death’s Door series a few years back, when the news
about modern day pirates began to surface. I thought, why not? How would
a band of pirates in the future act?
But then I added a twist, because
not all is what it seems to be in the real world...why should a novel follow a
You're right about that.
So, when did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?
Even before I watched 2001: A Space
Odyssey, I think I have always read stories of some kind; but after that moment
my reading habits only grew. In school I was never one for sports (except for
cricket and baseball) and spent most of my time reading in the library. In
grade seven and eight in Toronto, I met the most inspiring history teacher, Mr.
Cox. He had a passion for all things history and I picked up on that. I
couldn’t get enough books to read.
From that beginning, I then started
to write short stories, coming up with plot lines and adventures that I wanted
to have myself. However, the idea of me writing a full length novel never really
occur to me at that time. It was my wife at the time that said I should start
writing and see if I could get published. I think she just wanted me to get out
of her hair, but I thought, hell, why not try.
She may be my ex now, but we are
still great friends and I will always appreciate her support for my writing
(even if she doesn’t like SF, it’s all good).
Do you have any favorite authors?
I have read so many books that I
have too many “favorite” authors. Frederik Pohl, James Doohan, David Brin,
Stephen Hawking, Author C. Clarke, David Webber, there are so many favorites that I
could not name just one.
I tend to read SF, military and
general history, science texts, and some of the sub-genres of these. I have a
healthy collection of books in my library over the years. I tend to keep the
books I have read and from time to time go back and read an old favorite. Its
like hanging out with an old friend.
I see reading, and writing, as a
means to escape the day to day reality. It’s a way to take part in an adventure
that in reality, could never exist.
So, do you write in a specific place? Time of day?
I write where I can and when I can.
I would say that eighty percent of the first Death’s Door draft was written on
the bus going to and from my day job on my old Sony Cliè PalmPDA.
These days, if I have my Blackberry 10, my laptop, tablet or even pen and
paper; if I have a thought or come up with a plot twist or just see something
that inspires another short story, I will write it down.
The formal writing process and
formatting I will do on my laptop, mostly in the evening after work. During the
summers in Ottawa, I walk over to Dows Lake; a beautiful, peaceful lake and
canal in the heart of the city and sit on a picnic table under one of the large
trees and be inspired. I allow the warm breeze, sunlight, people, and life
around me to wash over my thoughts. I find that I can get a lot of writing
accomplished during these moments.
At times I will go to the airport
and sit in the lounge watching people go about their lives; going to some far
off destination or returning from an excursion. Or I head over to one of the
large indoor shopping malls, set up at a coffee shop with a grand view of the
theatre of life unfolding in front of me. You would be surprised how much
inspiration there is to everyday life around you if you just stop and take a
moment to listen and watch.
I agree. I find myself watching as well. Writers, I think, are natural observers.
What are you working on now? Or is that a secret?
I have published some, let’s
say out of what I thought was my comfort zone. Jamaican Heat is my first
novella and my first romance story. It’s also available through Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PM3D44O and is
part one of a three part story that spans several years, 1952 to December 1963
in Jamaica. I am currently working on part two and three.
Part two of the Death’s Door saga,
titled Beyond Death’s Door: Fortune Favours the Brav is also in the works.
It is the continuing story of Heather Brassard and her fellow troopers. I am
about one-third of the way into that story and it’s turning into a physical
read. Meaning that there is so much happening that you need to be in shape to
read it. I am inspired by the characters on both sides of the plot line that
once I sit down to write, I find it difficult to stop at any one point.
I am finishing up the first draft of
a collection of short stories, appropriately titled Shorts, and hope to have
that published soon. Some of these short stories have been around my collection
for some time and I thought, why not put them into a bundle and see what
happens. These are short stories that I have written over the past twenty years
and I have selected my favorite for the collection.
I have several other outlines I am
working on and another SF novel called Home World that I am halfway through.
Sometimes I wonder if I have too
much on the go, but the ideas just keep coming.
No worries. I am the same, with so many works in progress I can barely keep track of them. LOL.
Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?
I have heard many people, myself
including, say that real life is boring. It’s not boring; it is what you make
of it. The problem many seem to face is that we think it’s the other person who
is exciting and it's our own life that needs to be spiced up. But as I sit and
watch people, I see that everyone has a story to tell.
I have had quite a few people
(friends, strangers, family) say that they would like to be able to write. I
tell them, “Why not write something. Don’t just say you’d like to write, go out
and write.” Write about the life you live, the life you would like to live, the
life you see others living. But go out and be inspired by life.
I may not get as famous as any of my
favorite authors, and I may not make a lot of money writing, but I will have
adventures in far off worlds in times past, and times yet to come. I will visit
many places that exist and places that can only be dreamed of in the
imagination. And I will have the best time of my life writing it all down.
I see writing as much art as it is
psychology and magic. You take simple words and mold them, shape them in your
mind. You allow that to flow through your body to your fingers to brush across
the keys and create beautiful sentences. You create art from thoughts. Your
words create worlds and places in time in the mind of the reader. Your words
can take a reader on adventures, stir emotions of joy, sadness, fear and wonder.
Your words can pull a rabbit out of a hat and just when the reader is pulled
into your story, shock them with a twist that no one could see coming.
My advice is fellow writers? Write
and let your mind and the world around you be your guide on the adventure of a
How inspiring! And I totally agree. There is so much potential in the world around us, so much that we can draw from to fuel our own writing. All we have to do is try.
you so much for stopping by to visit us today here at Writing in the
Modern Age. It was such a pleasure having you. :)
Readers, here is the blurb forDeath's Door: Where Right and Glory Lead.
Heather Brassard and her fellow troopers are
tasked to find and eliminate a few pirates causing havoc in the shipping
lanes of the Confederation. There will always be those who insist that
it is their right to greed and power after all. What Brassard finds,
however, will shock the government and military of the New Confederation
to its core. There is far more to the pirates than meets the eye, as no
pirate should be that well-armoured and none should have fleet weapons
of mass destruction. Only one group will stand in the path of those bent
on the complete destruction of Earth and its government – the men and
women of the Terrain Armed Forces. Trooper Brassard and her platoon
struggle with issues around life, death, fear, love and greed as they
fight for survival in a conflict that threatens to spiral out of
Here is an excerpt from the book.
“Where are they now?” asked Captain Lahaie. Her plot
not yet updated with the new data. Damn it, where did the bastards come
from? she asked herself. “Power up my engines and get me online,
people,” she ordered, a tinge of frustration beginning to show.
“Tactical now online, captain,” said Petty Officer
Altman. “I’m sending the feed to your plot now, sir. New targets—one
point eight million kilometers and closing.”
Three ships of unknown type had somehow snuck in the
back door and surprised the battle group. Lahaie sat staring at the red
icons on the screen. She was not a happy camper and she needed to know
how and why this happened. She did not want to be the one at the
receiving end of the battle group commander’s wrath for dropping the
ball. Someone was asleep at the switch, she thought.
“Sound general quarters,” she commanded. “Tie me into the command net.”
“General quarters, aye,” repeated Sub-Lieutenant Carl Vachon, the deck officer on watch.
“We’re being painted—missile launch! Impact in ten minutes!” came the startled and excited report from Altman.
The author of the romance novella
Jamaican Heat, and the sci-fi opera Death's Door: Where Right and Glory Lead; I
was born in Jamaica and grew up in Canada since the age of seven. In 1980, at
17 and right out of high school, I joined the Canadian Armed Forces and spent
the next ten years in the experience of a lifetime. After retiring from
the military, I studied social work and began a new phase that expanded my
world. Fast forward to 1996 when I moved to Ottawa: this is where I began to
write and this is where I realized how my life was about to take another turn,
opening up a new chapter and a new adventure. My writing is varied, from
science fiction, general fiction, romance, essay, and trying my hand at steam
punk and a couple of mysteries. I am currently writing an anthology of short
stories for another book and have several other writing projects on the go.