December 1 marks the release of A.C. Williams’s first novel, Nameless, part one of a high octane time travel trilogy about a girl trapped in universe that has forgotten God, when God is all she can remember. Nameless is also the first release for Steel Rigg Books, Crosshair Press’s imprint for mature readers.
To celebrate the novel’s release, Crosshair Press sat down with author A.C. Williams and asked her some questions about her book and where it came from.
Crosshair Press (CP): What gave you the idea for this book?
A.C. Williams (ACW): I first started working on this story in 2001, my freshman year of college. At the time, I was at a super strict Christian college, and I wondered what the world would be like if every Christian lived life isolated in a safe little bubble. That’s what got me thinking about the world of Nameless. What would the universe be like in 250 years if no one had access to a Bible?
CP: What question or theme/message did you want to communicate?
ACW: Telling God you’ll follow Him is easy. Obeying God after your world falls apart and you feel betrayed isn’t so easy. The question behind Nameless—really the whole Destiny Trilogy—is can you do what God says is right even when everything keeps going wrong? Some people think choosing to follow Christ means your life will be all sunshine and daisies, and that’s not true. Life is thunderstorms and catastrophe whether you follow Christ or not. But with Christ, you don’t have to go it alone.
CP: You have quite the cast of unique characters. Who’s your favorite and why?
ACW: I should probably pick Xander or Kale since they’re the main characters. But I have to say Al. I would dress up like Al. She’s funny and goofy, and she makes people laugh. Plus, she’s infinitely more important than anybody knows. (Note from CP: Yes, that’s a hint, folks.)
CP: How do you think people will identify with Xander? With Kale?
ACW: Everyone has moments where they have to choose whether to act based on faith or circumstances, and that’s why Xander is such an important character. Even though she can’t remember anything else, she relies on her faith to show her how to live, even though her situation makes it difficult. As for Kale, we all have skeletons in our closets, and we’ve all experienced times where people learn things about us we’d prefer they didn’t.
CP: How can people discover more about the book or connect with you?
ACW: I’ll be hosting a virtual book release party December 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central, on Facebook. I’ll be giving away electronic copies and posting trivia about the book, music clips, videos, and all sorts of fun stuff. But I’m also planning to do some local book signings and events.
I’ve also written a short prelude called Ashes, which is available for free from Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and the Crosshair Press website and for $.99 for Amazon Kindle. I’ve also been posting free character shorts on the Nameless website, www.MorningstarDestiny.com. By December 1, there will be nine shorts available, each from a different character’s perspective, all taking place before the events of Nameless actually start. So it’s a good way to get to know the characters before you read the book.
CP: Nameless has what some would call mature content. Why did you decide to include this in your story?
ACW: Nameless is not a Christian book; it’s a book about a Christian. It’s about real relationships and real problems Christians and non-Christians face every day. Real language and gritty, uncomfortable scenes challenge what I believe about God and about my own faith. I think softening the darkness of sin cheapens God’s gift of grace. Is it appropriate for kids? No. But for adults, it asks the hard questions about faith and living that “good” Christian books usually avoid.
CP: What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
ACW: I’m still dealing with anxiety that people will think I’m a horrible person because I’m even capable of writing something so dark. I’m emotionally preparing myself for the backlash. But I fully believe Nameless is a story I was called to write, and I have written it the way I believe it is supposed to be written. I would rather make people angry and do what God has called me to do instead of bowing to people’s opinions.
CP: How do you hope your readers respond to this book?
ACW: I want readers to walk away from Xander’s story knowing that our world is broken but our God is good. Choosing to follow Christ solves our eternal problems but we still have a heap of trouble to survive on Earth before we go home. We just don’t have to do it by ourselves.
Nameless will be available December 1, 2014, for Amazon Kindle, NOOK, and in softcover format. It is also available for multiple other e-reader formats through Smashwords, and you can find A.C. Williams on Goodreads, Facebook (AmyTheStoryteller), Twitter (acwilliams05) or on her blog, www.amycwilliams.com.