What was the hardest scene to write in your new book?
All of them. Every book is like entering a whole new world, and I have to feel my way blind, mapping things out and learning the new rules.
What comes first for you, the plot or the characters?
Usually it’s the main character who comes to me first. I wait until the situation around them becomes clearer before I start to write about them. I’ve learned that a character’s nature is a direct result of their circumstances. They are totally intertwined with each other.
What part of a book is your favorite to write?
What are 5 words that best describe your writing process?
Lonely, confusing, engrossing, overwhelming, but ultimately enriching.
Which author, living or dead, would you want to have coffee with?
Mark Twain. I’m sure he would have me in stitches the whole time.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled for book research?
Almost certainly something that could get me arrested, or at the very least on an intelligence watch list.
What’s the most unusual job you’ve had (besides writing)?
For a day, I had a job selling framed photographs door to door in downtown Pittsburgh.
How do you select character names?
Names need to conjure up a feeling, so I look for a name that makes me feel the way my character might feel. I also try to pick a name that makes sense for the person, given their background.
What do you do to combat writers block?
William Kowalski is the author of the international bestseller Eddie’s Bastard, winner of South Africa’s 2001 Ama-Boeke Award, and, more recently, The Hundred Hearts, winner of the 2014 Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. His work has been translated into fifteen languages. Four of the titles William wrote for the Rapids Reads series have been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Golden Oak Award. He lives with his family in Nova Scotia. For more information, visit www.williamkowalski.com.