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Interview with SPFBO Author Phil Williams

Write on: Fri, 30 Aug 2019 by  in Guests Reviews Read 6939

Welcome to! Can you tell us a few things about yourself?

I'm a full time author based in Sussex, UK, spending most of my time scrawling urban fantasy thrillers but also a little on English grammar guides and occasional dystopian fiction. I used to teach, freelance and travel a lot but now I just write more than is healthy.

What book did you enter SPFBO with, and is it your debut?

The City Screams; no it's my 10th or so publication, as far as I'm aware.

Tell us a few things about it. What should the Judge you'll be allocated to, expect from it?

This is the story of Tova, a young deaf lady from Ordshaw, travelling alone to Tokyo for experimental ear surgery. She's eager to change her life around, but things don't go according to plan, and what she hears is anything but normal.

You can expect a fast-moving thriller with a modern setting and weird goings on. There's a bit of humour and heart in there, and perhaps a few scares along the way. It's also a bit of an exploration of deaf culture, which in itself may transport some to another world...

You'll compete against 299 other books. Do you believe your book will stand out against the competition, and if yes, why?

I hope so. The City Screams has two big advantages: the perspective of the main character is pretty unique, as she experiences the world without sound; and it's also a quick, pacey read - so ideally people will read it too quickly to notice any faults.


If I only knew.

Editor's Note: Keep your head in the game, Phil! 

Why did you decide to enter SPFBO in the first place?

I first entered last year because it sounded like a gateway drug to fame and fortune, as I was led to believe after I read Senlin Ascends and asked 'Where did this fascinating book come from?'

It led me instead to discovering a delightful community of writers and readers. Which is wonderful. But I still crave that fame and fortune.

Editor's Note: A real, bona fide fortune-hunter! We are glad to have you.

Are you working on a book right now? What should we expect from you next?

Depending on when this gets read, I'm probably on Book 5 or 6 of the Ordshaw series. You can expect continuations of the two story arcs already in motion, and the starts of a couple of new threads, all tying into the same world. Book 5 moves towards a more global, action-packed story.

Alongside this contemporary fantasy madness I've also got a few dystopian books in the works, and for the really keen there's an English tenses exercise book.

Editor's Note: Gasp, tenses. My gateway drug to socio-linguistics! 

Anything else you would like to add? A message to the other contestants, the Judges, or Mark Lawrence himself?

Only my deepest, most heart-felt appreciation to all involved in the contest. It's a remarkable thing.

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?


Editor's Note: Thank you for doing this, Phil! I won't lie, "The City Screams" sounds fascinating to me personally, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Fantasy Book Critic's reviewers think of it! 

Filip Magnus

Filip picked up his first fantasy novel when he was seven and hasn’t stopped reading since. A critical reader who judges novels on their technical use of language and plot alike, he has a soft spot for literary fiction and tragic, heroic tales.

In his free time, Filip writes fiction, makes gaming reviews on YouTube, and maintains a personal blog. All that when he’s not too busy going through piles of books in as short a time as possible.