William Powell discuses his latest novel When Justice Comes Calling, his writing process, as well as films and books including Star Wars, Fight Club, Resident Evil, American Psycho, and Misery.
Hailing from Sutton Surrey in the UK, William’s works include 45 Days, Descent Into Madness and This Is Not An Exit which is a 4th wall breaking meta-story and satirical (yet dark) look at Will’s creative process. Will’s latest book, When Justice Comes Calling, is the final story in his “Justice Anthology.” It is a sequel to 45 Days and Descent Into Madness and picks up a year after the events that saw Dean Moxley succumb to madness and join up with the Dictator’s forces.
When Justice Comes Calling: A young rookie to the Regime, David Sheffield, is paired up with the ruthless Vincent Williams as they try and track down the killer who is knocking off high-ranking officials within the unit. Detective Sheffield’s eyes are soon opened to the horrors around him, and the world he has now willingly entered. What follows is a cat and mouse game of life and death, and everything comes full circle.
Breakaway Daily: How long did it take you to write When Justice Comes Calling?
Will: The whole process from start to finish was 3 years in total. I actually started When Justice Comes Calling BEFORE 45 Days, though the story was wildly different – after the success of 45 Days and Descent Into Madness (its sequel), I went back and reworked When Justice Comes Calling from the ground up. Some elements remained that I thought could still work, but for the most part, it was a total rewrite. After re-reading the project’s first draft, I despised the beginning few chapters, primarily because so much time had passed since I’d started the project, and I personally felt that I’d grown as a person and writer in that time. Again, I reworked a large chunk of the book, and wound up with the finished project that I’m incredibly proud of.
Breakaway Daily: For folks new to your books, is there a book you would suggest they read first?
Will: Absolutely 45 Days. I originally planned on this long, sprawling epic, but after finishing two chapters, I struggled to figure out how to forward on the story. After reading over the piece I’d written so far, it suddenly dawned on me that as it stood, it seemed like a pretty interesting self-contained idea. I figured I’d chance it, and release the story as a separate short piece on Kindle, and luckily, the feedback was really positive!
45 Days: After World War 3 comes to an end and England is outcast from Great Britain, Vincent must struggle to come to terms with working as a hitman-for-hire for his ruthless boss, who rules the country with an iron fist.
Breakaway Daily: How would you describe your style of writing?
Will: Emotional haha! What I mean by that is I love the art of conflict – feeding off the character’s emotions, feelings, inner-conflict and the troubles that arise from that. All three stories of my series are set in a bleak, dystopian London, with people fighting to survive against incredible odds. It’s dark, it’s dreary, but there is a glimmer of hope there that I tried my best to convey. I’m also a very visual person, and a huge lover of film – so when I’m writing a scene, or monologue, or anything for my story, I imagine it first as a film and how I would imagine it playing out.
Descent Into Madness: After seeing the inner conflict and turmoil of Vincent Williams in 45 Days, now venture deep into the mind of a victim of the Dictator of England in Descent Into Madness.The tale of Dean Moxley is not for the faint of heart – the self-appointed leader of the Rebellion that The Dictator of England plans to destroy, Moxley soon finds that he cannot run forever, and is soon captured by Vincent Williams.What follows is a tale of two halves, with us diving into the mind of Moxley as he is is subjected to unspeakable violence and pain at the request of the Dictator. However, a conflicted Vincent Williams speaks on having to dish out such torture to Moxley, and what makes this hitman-for-hire tick is explored even further.Death waits for no man.
Breakaway Daily: When do you do most of your writing?
Will: Usually in the evening and weekends – I work full-time at my local council as a customer services operative, so the only downtime I get is when I arrive home, and on the odd weekend when I don’t have plans. My set-up is simple; laptop, in my bedroom, closed off from everyone and everything.
Breakaway Daily: Can you briefly describe your writing process?
Will: In short, I put pen to paper firstly, and scrawl out any ideas I may have. From there, I look to find the drama, the conflict and the emotional pull – and obviously a compelling plot that ties all these things together. Once I’m set, I close myself off in my bedroom, put on some atmospheric music (mostly instrumentals or pieces that I think fit the tone of the scene I’m writing), and away I go.
This Is Not An Exit: Based on true events? I’ll let you be the judge? All you need to know is that within this book is a story of self discovery, acceptance and above all else, revenge. This is the end of the road I started on two years ago. It was always going to end this way. Care to join me when the world goes up in flames?
Breakaway Daily: Who are some of your favorite writers and what are some of your favorite books/films?
Will: Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis and S.D Perry are the three to come to mind. The book and movie of Fight Club really impacted me when I was younger and far more impressionable, and both are still my favourite novel/film to this day. Bret Easton Ellis’ work I only discovered a few years ago, but American Psycho is a phenomenal story. Messed up in all kinds of different ways, but a view it as a more extreme variant of Fight Club in a lot of respects. I have to throw S.D Perry in there as an author who I loved when I was a child – her books based on the Resident Evil series encouraged me to write my own stories, and she was a huge influence on me chasing my dream.
What is a recent book you enjoyed?
Will: I recently picked up Star Wars: Aftermath in preparation for The Force Awakens late last year, and found myself really digging it. It felt familiar to a fan, but different enough to take in a new, dark direction. I also finally got around to reading Stephen King’s Misery over Christmas – phenomenal book!
Who do you think would enjoy When Justice Comes Calling and your other books?
Will: I would say anybody who is looking for something a bit different – character driven, emotionally charged, dark. These three books tell three intertwining stories of tortured souls trying to survive in a society of evil men; do you try and combat that with a pure heart and good intentions, or do you sink deeper than your enemies? Where do you draw the line as far as ethics and morals? We join these three characters on their journeys across 45 Days, Descent Into Madness and finally When Justice Comes Calling, waiting to see who, if anyone, triumphs.