Friday, March 2, 2012

Interview with William Kenney

In support of fellow author and artist William Kenney, I am posting a recent interview I conducted with him in regards to his most recent work. As many of you know, I recently finished his first novel, A Dream of Storms, in his series and also reviewed it here on my blog, on Amazon and on Barnes & Noble, so look for it! His latest novel, Shards of S'Darin, can be found on Amazon for the Kindle and will be released shortly in paperback as well. William is a very talented guy who not only illustrates like a pro, but also paints pictures with his words. So, without further ado, I give you the interview!

When did you start writing?
I began writing in my teens, probably around the age of thirteen or so. My mother had an old typewriter and I would set it up on the kitchen table and bang away. Many of those partial novels still exist and I enjoy reading through them now and then. Some are still very good ideas for fantasy stories, but they would have to be overhauled quite a bit.

Why do you write?
I have always loved to tell stories. I love the challenge of crafting a great tale. Seeing a reader's reaction to something that I have written is very fulfilling, whether the reaction is joy, fear, happiness, sorrow. To cause an emotional response with a story that you have created is an author's dream. 

What do you enjoy more: writing or illustrating? 
That's a tough decision. I see them both as a part of the same thing. Both are acts of creation, bringing something to life that did not exist before. With art, it is an immediate response from the viewer, so I think it is easier for me. With writing, it's all about pacing and building your world/characters. I really don't think I could go too long without doing some sort of art or writing. They both just come out of me whether I want them to or not. 

Who is your favorite author?
Another tough question. First and foremost would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien. When I read his books as a boy, it changed me. I searched for every fantasy book that I could find. From there, I got into Terry Brooks, Michael Moorcock and Stephen R. Donaldson. I'm also a fan of Stephen King, William Gibson and Piers Anthony. Right now, I am very interested in reading stories by independent authors. There are still many readers out there that will not give an independent author a chance, thinking that they must be inferior because they are not traditionally published. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of these writers are on the same level with the traditional writers, and in many cases, the stories are more interesting. They take more chances because they are in control.

What are you reading now?
I'm reading this incredible fantasy story called, The Covenant of the Faceless Knights: Beginnings. Beyond that, I am so busy with the things that I am writing, I've put reading on hold for the time being.

Who is your favorite character to write?
Well, your characters are like your children. It's difficult to pick a favorite. Gorin, the Stone Troll, is a great character to write. He is such an honorable and fatherly figure. Someone we should all aspire to be. I find that writing the evil characters is rather enjoyable. I think to myself, 'How bad can I make this guy?' I try to give all of my characters something that they struggle with, a personality trait or past event that makes them unique. Some of my favorite parts tend to be the thoughts of a character, describing their inner turmoil.

Do you have a writing process?
Usually a small germ of an idea hits me and I quickly jot it down, either by hand or open a file on the computer. If the idea won't leave me alone, I begin to outline the story in my head, thinking of ways to make it unique. Eventually, I will write a loose outline, just hitting the main points of the story. Then, I will start fleshing out the characters, their history, personalities, physical description. A lot of these things will never be written, but it makes them so much more real to me. I think that brings the story to life.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
More than anything, write because you love it. If you plan to get rich from writing, good luck. Don't expect it. If that happens, great. If it doesn't, then you've still created something worthwhile. Also, be disciplined about your writing. Schedule a time during each day that you devote strictly to writing your story. Stay off of the internet, turn off your phone and television. If this is important to you, treat it as such. It is not an easy road, that is for certain. Everyone is waiting for the world to discover them and that is not likely. You have to force the world to notice and the first step is to write a great story. 

So, there it is! I hope you have enjoyed reading the interview and please discover some  of William's art and writing for yourself! William can be contacted here!

See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

Please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience, see direct links to purchase my full length novel, Covenant of the Faceless Knights, the short stories: Wothlondia Rising, and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!

Cover on Shards of S'Darin illustrated by William Kenney

All images, characters and artwork in the body of the interview are copyright William Kenney

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2012 unless otherwise noted.


  1. Great interview and good advice about setting aside time to write and sticking to it. I'm reading Dream of Storms at the moment, and also Covenant of the Faceless Knights. Two great books! I love William's artwork - it's really stunning.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Steph! Yes, William is certainly a talented guy... It really is a commodity to not only do one thing well, but he is excelling in two areas that require a ton of talent.