Although she studied engineering in college, C.M. Williams began writing at twelve-years-old. Both her parents were avid readers, so naturally reading became a big part of her life as well. Her writing seemed to flow naturally from there, with romance as her favorite genre. Her first novel, The Tech Billionaire’s Assistant, became an Inkitt fan favorite and earned her a contract with GALATEA. We caught up with C.M. Williams today on the Writer’s Blog.
Thanks for chatting! Can you talk about how reading influenced your early writing?
I read a lot of books growing up. My favorites were the books with magic, where characters went on adventures or were transported to magical lands. I especially loved books featuring girls with spunk. When I couldn’t find the kind of characters or plots I liked, I started writing my own versions of those stories.
My first story started with me re-writing J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan. I added two other characters to the story. Ten-year-olds Roxanne and Michelle were magically transported into a Peter Pan story, where they became the new leaders of the pirates and armed with laser guns. The pirates, led by the girls, took over Neverland, banished Peter Pan, and threw a party. I wrote the whole story down on one notepad in about a week.
That’s fantastic! I imagine you never looked back after that!
Once I realized how easy it was to write a story, I started writing every day. I wrote about anything and everything. I wrote a story about a family of ninjas who would fight crime together, I wrote one about kids in a secret spy organization, and one about a fairy coronation ball!
I’ve always felt strongly about creating characters that I resonate with, or that I find amusing and interesting. Sometimes writing is just about putting down ideas and seeing if I like them.
It’s one thing to write our stories down, and quite another to put those stories out into the world. How did you find the Inkitt platform, and what about Inkitt made you want to share your stories here?
I was looking for a platform to upload my writing to. I googled ‘websites to post stories’ and Inkitt was among one of the first results. Browsing through the site, I found myself captivated by a few stories. I felt that the work on Inkitt was in line with the kind of stories I wanted to write. I liked how simple it was to upload a chapter to the platform, and slowly build an entire novel. The Inkitt platform had everything I needed—I could upload and edit my story, read reviews and comments, check the statistics of my story, and create a cover in the same place.
I started writing on Inkitt for fun. After graduating college, I was suffering from burnout and depression. I really wanted to get back into writing for fun, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. I had taken some writing courses in college and got used to viewing my writing as something that would be graded. That made it hard for me to start anything. I wanted to explore deep, meaningful subjects, but I also just wanted to laugh at myself and the world. Sometimes I would start writing something and I knew it was good—but I wasn’t enjoying writing it.
Inkitt was the perfect platform. I love romance stories, especially the cheesy, cliché kind of stories. With Inkitt, I let myself write whatever I wanted. I didn’t burden myself with any standards to live up to, I just set out to have fun. I thoroughly enjoyed writing every chapter.
One of the unique things about Inkitt is the opportunity to receive reader feedback. What did you think of that experience?
I was very excited when I started getting feedback from readers about my story. I loved that so many people found it amusing, exciting, and fun. People enjoyed reading it as much as I had writing it. I especially liked that readers could comment at the end of each chapter.
I never dreamed it would go any farther than that. When I was offered a chance to have it published on Galatea, I was pleasantly surprised. I’m excited to introduce my book to more readers and hopefully publish more work in the future.
As an avid reader myself, I’m very interested in what’s on your to-be-read bookshelf, and which authors or books have influenced you.
These are on my to-be-read list…
Howls Moving Castle by Dianne Wynn Jones. I am in love with the Studio Ghibli film and can’t wait to read the book.
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. She’s one of my favorite authors and the plot seems hilarious.
Women Who Run with The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This will be a new interpretation of looking at myths and legends for me.
Here are some authors who inspire me…
Maya Angelou – Her poetry and nonfiction are favorites of mine.
Sophie Kinsella – The Rebecca Bloomwood character of the Shopaholic series is perfection in every way. I hope to write characters who will make other people laugh as much as Becky Bloomwood did for me.
Georgette Heyer – Most of my favorite romance novels are Georgette Heyer novels. I always love her characters. Her female characters specifically are always incredible.
Okay, now tell us three interesting, non-writing related things about yourself!
I haven’t read the books but love the Twilight movies. Team Jacob—always! I put barbecue sauce on everything. And, it bothers me that Lara Jean in the Netflix movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before may have never got her favorite scrunchie back.
Many readers on the Inkitt platform are also aspiring writers. Can you share the best and worst writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice is that if you don’t like what you’re writing, your readers won’t either. The worst is to only write what you know.
What are you working on now, or planning for your next project?
I would like to write something in the fantasy/supernatural genre. I really want to do something with werewolves. I’m very intrigued with the idea of a human/supernatural relationship and all the conflict that come along with it.
I know your readers and fans will look forward to that!
Here’s a teaser from The Tech Billionaire’s Assistant…
A nerdy software design engineer with an incredible afro and her cold but handsome billionaire boss end up in a friends-with-benefits relationship.
Octavia found her way to the elevators without any problem. She returned her badge to the front desk and started towards the exit. She felt her phone buzzing in her pocket, so she pulled it out of the kangaroo pouch of her hoodie. As Octavia typed in a response to the text she received, she walked through the automatic sliding doors of the entrance and started down the steps. Her fingers flying across her phone’s touch screen, she didn’t notice the figure also just starting up the stairs of the building.
His head was bent over the sheet of paper in his hand. Octavia was focused on the text message she was just about to send off. She mindlessly took what was supposed to be the last step off the granite stairs to the sidewalk. Then there was the collision.
“Oof!” Octavia exclaimed, her phone tumbling out of her hand. She was almost thrown back—but given the careless speed at which she was descending the steps, she ended up ramming into the man. Octavia crashing into him merely budged him sideways. Octavia, on the other hand, was not so lucky. Her body swung past him and she toppled onto the sidewalk in an un-ladylike pile.
Like anyone who is suddenly transported from an upright walking position to lying on the ground, it took a few minutes for Octavia to realize what had just happened.
“Can’t be bothered to watch where you’re going, can you?”
The deep voice broke through Octavia’s stupor, causing her to look up at the face that towered over her splayed form.
To any casual observer, the man standing before Octavia was enough to turn a casual gaze into a riveted one. His broad form stood well over six feet from the ground Octavia lay sprawled on. Though a long, charcoal coat covered his body, the bulges of muscle filling out the space within it were clearly evident. His clothes were immaculate; a dark metallic grey suit lay under the coat. The starched, white shirt buttoned up to his neck and black, patterned tie fastened at his throat, folded neatly into the suit jacket. Had Octavia bent over his shoes, she would have seen her reflection in the polished leather. His were the kind of clothes that didn’t need labels; everything about them advertised their costliness. And they shouted to the world just what kind of caliber whoever wore them possessed.
Check out C.M.Williams’ Inkitt profile, and follow her for updates and new material.
Download the GALATEA APP to access her story and more!