I'm a writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles, working on scripts and novels. I produced my first book, the fantasy-adventure Fire on the Mound, as a weekly podcast. It tells a mythic story through vocal performance, sound effects, and an original score.
What inspired you to become an author?
When I think about it, every story that moves me.
What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
I think Stephen King once said anyone who writes fantasy is basically hoping Frodo and Sam have one more adventure. So Tolkien, definitely, was a big inspiration in general. More specifically, Fire on the Mound was inspired in part by theological questions I had, and the movies Ben-Hur and Princess Mononoke. The Ben-Hur novel is really good, too. I wanted to create a monotheistic mythology as the backdrop for a kid struggling with forgiveness, and hint at the consequences of his stubbornness as well as the selfishness of youth. The story and characters started to erupt out of that.
Who influenced you the most in life?
My parents, my teachers, my professors. And Spider-man.
What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?
One winter back in Madison, Wisconsin I was driving somewhere on a cold and snowy night. You couldn't see more than a few feet because the air was so dense with snow. I slid into a snow bank in a residential area several blocks from the UW campus. Absolutely no one was around. But as soon as I got out of my car, a stream of college students appeared out of the snowy haze -- and they rescued my car from the snowbank. Then they disappeared into the night, just as silently as they had materialized. It was pretty amazing.
Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)
I really like Hayao Miyazaki. His manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is my favorite story of all time.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Hmmm, probably something Stu Maschwitz wrote -- he said something like, "If I told you your tenth screenplay would be your first good one, would you still write the other nine?" When I get frustrated with what I’m working on, I think about that. The idea of perseverance -- and growing through doing.
Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?
My mom kept a scrapbook all through my school years, and every year she'd ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, then she’d write it down. It's funny to see some of my answers. Most years my answer was "Marvel Comics penciller" or just "writer" and one year I wanted to be a “physicist.” Who knows if I even knew what that was. But, yes, I haven’t been able to shake it for some time, so I might as well keep going.
Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?
I like to listen to movie soundtracks from a similar genre. So things like Joe Hisaishi's Studio Ghibli work, Austin Wintory’s The Banner Saga is amazing, Bear McCreary’s Battlestar Galactica, Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score. That kind of thing.
What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
I just keep moving. There's always something else to write.
After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?
Vikings -- written by Michael Hirst -- is beyond awesome! Also, Manhattan -- a fictionalized account created by Sam Shaw of the U.S. developing the first atom bomb is also pretty darn good.
What are you working on currently?
I'm finishing my second novel. It's, more or less, a sci-fi kung fu spaghetti western about the last woman on Earth. Her name is Ze, and she's a shaman. She kicks butt, and she knows it. She carries a giant sword, it’s ridiculous. There’s robots, monsters, natural disasters--a real planetary-romance sort of adventure, except the exotic locale is a transformed Earth far, far, far in the future. Certain elements of pop culture have survived, but in ways devoid of their original context.
When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
Go to the theatre. In the last few years I've seen some amazing shows here in LA, like Grapes of Wrath, Eurydice, Henry IV part I, and an exceptional one-woman show called Murder Bear Blood Story.
What are some of your most favourite books of all time?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë was a revelation, for sure. I read the book after seeing the film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. That movie blew me away - the editing, the music -- there are shots of Jane running over the moors that could have been Frodo and Sam in Mordor! So I had to learn more about this character and picked up the book. It’s so good. I also really like Watership Down by Richard Adams. A beautiful story about the power of stories. And surely every reader has a good cry at the end when -- well, I better not say.
Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
Hmm, in Fire on the Mound I would say Captain Belesys. He doesn't get much page-time, but he's the sort of dastardly rascal who shows a glimmer of remorse but then he quickly buries that idea beneath the weight of his own ego! In the new book I'd definitely say Ze, the main character. I'm still in the process of unearthing her character. I like her imperfections as much as her more admirable qualities. And I think she has a cool costume, haha.
Which of your books are you most proud of?
Well I've only written one, but I think it's always best to say the next one is even better! :)
What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
I just finished The Unfolding Text by John Tulloch and Manuel Alvarado. I really enjoyed it -- it examines some pretty cool sci-fi and fantasy concepts through the lens of classic Doctor Who episodes. I thought it had a lot of interesting things to say about story construction.
Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
Yes, after I finish the sci-fi novel I am eager to write my first bio-pic. A feature film. I don't want to say who it is because I think it's amazing there isn't a movie dedicated to this person yet! It’s a fascinating story. I have a lot of research ahead of me.
What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
It must be well-hidden, because I'm not sure.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
Telekinesis would be fun. And if I was good enough at it, I could use it to fly, so that's two powers with one stone!
Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?
If they’d like to check out Fire on the Mound they can go to www.fireonthemound.com.
I’ve also set up a Patreon account for the production of my next podcast novel, the sci-fi book I mentioned above, title-to-be-released! If they want to follow along, they can go www.patreon.com/williamjmeyer.
Where can we find you on social media?
Fire on the Mound is on Twitter and Facebook:
and I'm on Twitter: