Please welcome the next guest in my Meet Some UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) series. I met Desiree Williams online when she was promoting Heart Song, the first book in her Heart Song trilogy.
Even online, I could tell she was a warm, welcoming spirit. Meeting her in person proved my instincts right. Her smile is gorgeous and inviting, and I was fortunate to get to chat with her on the last day. I only wish we’d had more time.
Hi, Desiree. Welcome to my blog.
DW: Hello! It is such an honor to be here. Thank you! (Side note: your intro gave me warm fuzzies and a cheesy grin)
Finally meeting you in person gave me the warm fuzzies! This year’s UtopYA was your first. How did you find out about the con, and what made you decide to attend?
DW: It was wonderful being able to meet you in person. I chuckle when I think about how nervous I was to come say ‘hi,’ but you just pulled me right in with your own welcoming bubble of sunshine. =)
Anyhoo ... An author friend told me about UtopYA shortly after I published my first book in 2014. However, with all I had to juggle at the time, I couldn’t attend that year’s con, BUT I made sure to put it on the books for 2015. My main goal for the con was to become a sponge. I had planned to soak up as much knowledge, wisdom, and all-around-awesomeness that I could, and I’m pleased to report I did. Now, how I use all of that is a different story altogether.
A sponge... I love it. Such a perfect description of what you need to be at UtopYA. Now, tell us about your Heart Song trilogy. The final book in the series, Heart of the Guardian, recently released. Congrats! What’s the hardest thing about wrapping up a series?
DW: Heart Song is about a girl, who meets a boy, and saves the world. HA! Just kidding. *wink* The Heart Song Trilogy is a journey of love, hope, and redemption. I’ve loved watching my characters grow and develop while the brokenness within them is repaired and each one learns the power of genuine love. Of course all while they’re striving to free their respective nations from the oppression of a dark lord. There’s elemental powers, shifters, action, romance (clean), and comedy.
It’s sad to think that the characters’ journey is coming to an end, but, as the creator of this little world, I’m looking forward to what is in store next. Even though it’s hard to let go, I know it’s not the end-end. *Spoiler alert* There’s a spin off series for the next generation of Guardians. Eep!
Oooh. Glad to hear about the spin off series. So, what advice would you give to new writers who are working on their first book?
DW: Never stop. Don’t ever give up. Keep moving forward.
Seriously, new writers can cram their head full of craft knowledge, but it is the emotional aspect of the writer’s life that could be their downfall. I don’t know how many times I’ve laid on the floor—yup on the floor, staring at my ceiling—wondering why I keep trying. Those icky emotions derive from just self-doubt and have no room in our minds. Kick them out! And if you need help with that, reach out to someone. Just because writers spend hours on end at their computer doesn’t mean the journey has to be traveled alone. Shoot, here’s a virtual hug right now. *big squeeze!*
I love hugs! Sending one right back to you. I've been asking everyone... what is your favorite inspirational quote? Why?
DW: Ah, I have so many. But the one that keeps coming to mind is from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Fear is a liar—plain and simple. Everyone has a goal or a dream, but they will never know what they’re capable of until they take that first step. You can’t see the end of the journey, but you can start with Step One.
You are so right... fear is a liar. Plus, it knows how to manipulate us. Finally, what do you think makes UtopYA, renamed Utopia for its fifth year in 2016, so special?
DW: The people. The entire time I was at UtopYA (now Utopia) I could feel the genuine care everyone had for one another. Complete strangers pulled me into conversations just to make me feel welcomed and not like an invisible ant. The panelists were passionate about their topics because they wanted others to succeed. The market may be full of other writers, but it doesn’t have to be a competitive battlefield. The genuine care to help build others up made UtopYA special for me and is what will have me going back again.
✮✮✮✮✮ Quick Answers ✮✮✮✮✮
Last Movie you Saw: Disney’s Inside Out.
Comedy, Romance, Drama, or Horror? Comedy or Romantic comedy. I will go out of my way to avoid a book or movie if I know it will make me cry or scream.
Last book you Read: The Redemption by MaryLu Tyndall
First Job: No laughing, but I was a grocery bagger at the commissary on the base my parents were stationed at.
Gift cards or Cash? Gift cards. It lets the person know you’re thinking about their interests, but with the option they can pick out what they want.
Favorite Vacation Spot: The beach! Yes, the sun, sand, and ocean breeze. So many wonderful things to be said about the beach. =)
More about Desiree
Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.
You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.blogspot.com
Please visit often for more UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) interviews,
and check out the announcement post to see
the schedule and links to past interviews.