An Interview with Sonya Deulina Williams, Author of Mirrors.
We sat down with Mirrors author, Sonya Deulina Williams, to ask her a few questions. She really likes her bird. If you have a question for Sonya, please reach out to her through social media. She would love to hear from you. We included links at the bottom of the interview to make it easy.
CP: Mirrors is a mind-bending sci-fi mystery. It’s unique, and I’m sure you drew some inspiration from somewhere. Let’s start with literature. What are your top 5 sci-fi books?
SDW: Just 5?? Grrr…. Okay, if I have to choose…
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick- I love the duality in this book and the sci-fi technology. A scramble suit conceals the identity of an undercover agent who is becoming addicted himself, trying to expose the dealer, who supposedly is in his friend group, but then starts to lose his own identity. This is one of the best dystopian novels for unsuspected turns, and the characters are so interesting.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley- I love dystopian books, and this is probably one of the first I ever read. This book is about a society where people drug their emotions into submission, and their society attempts to eliminate their individuality. This book was messed up in a good way and brought me into the sci-fi dystopian world genre as a teenager. It left an impression on me that I will never forget.
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle- This book is pure magic. I love it even more than the first in the series, A Wrinkle in Time. I love the way L’Engle connects the fate of the world with events on cosmic and microcosmic levels.
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmier- This writer is incredible, not only am I enraptured with his writing style, but how he speaks to the depth of human pain and emotion, and what connects us as people. His concept of people’s wounds suddenly becoming illuminated by light and connecting humanity was magnificent.
Eye in the Sky by Philip K. Dick- This book was just plain fun, but also had so many layers to it, as all of Dick’s books have. This book presents an alternate reality from so many perspectives, and makes you ask questions like, what is reality anyway and what is God, and who is really in control? Blew my mind.
CP: You can find elements of those books in Mirrors. There is also a PKD vibe, but you have a unique voice. What are your top 5 sci-fi movies?
SDW:The Matrix- A classic, and one that I fell in love with immediately, just loved the idea that there could be another world beyond this one, rendering this world an illusion. I remember after watching this thinking, wait, is this the Matrix? Where’s my red pill?! Again, alternate realities are my thing.
Inception- A psychological sci-fi of the best kind. I am fascinated with dreams, and this is the best and most elaborate version of a dream world I have seen, plus Leo is one of my favorite actors, so it was sure to be a winner for me.
Waking Life- lesser-known movie, also about the dream and waking world, about not being able to escape and learning how to navigate the dream world, another huge inspirational movie for me, and one that blurred reality and fiction.
Donnie Darko- I love this one. It’s a dark and mind-reeling psychological thriller. I love stories of misunderstood underdogs. Donnie is seen as mentally deranged by friends and family (well he is talking to some sort of demonic bunny man) but he is able to see into the future, and it’s bleak, but he somehow time travels and avoids it from happening. This is definitely a disturbing movie, but it is oh so good.
Artificial Intelligence- This is another classic to this genre. This movie was so interesting and filled with so many feels. I felt such a strong emotional connection to the little boy who just wanted to be loved. This story is about robots, aliens, love, persecution, and had me wondering about the implications of creating robots who could feel and understand love, and what really was the difference between them and us. Like I said before, I love a good underdog story and this is definitely one for the books. Be prepared to bawl your eyes out.
CP: Yes, we cried in AI too. Like the books, you can see themes from the movies you like in Mirrors; especially Matrix, Inception, and Donnie Darko. On to more mundane matters, what’s your favorite food?
SDW: Hmm… I love food in general, so this is hard. I love seafood, so I will have to say crab legs… and chocolate, anything with chocolate.
CP: What is your favorite thing to do in your downtime?
SDW: I don’t have one single thing that I love to do. In fact, I get bored easily and so I like to change things up! My top things are hanging out with my bird, who is extremely ridiculous and entertaining, having strange philosophical conversations with my husband, catching up with friends, reading in comfy places, like the bathtub! Also, I love to swim and be outside, so visiting a body of water is always fun.
CP: What shows do you binge-watch?
SDW: Too many to list… okay, let’s see currently it’s The Handmaid’s Tale and American Gods. Before that it was Stranger Things, Black Mirror, The OA, You, Sense 8. Basically Sci-fi, Psychological Thrillers, Dystopian themed shows or some combination of those three. I love shows that are thought provoking and pull on your heartstrings.
CP: What’s your ideal vacation?
SDW: Probably going somewhere I have never been before, with beautiful nature and wildlife where I can explore, have wild animal encounters, swim, and do things at my own pace. I would love to go to Scotland and explore the castles, mountains, and lochs. Also, the jungles of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. So many amazing birds to see!
CP: What piece of sci-fi tech do you wish we had right now?
SDW: A teleportation device would be awesome! I would want to explore different dimensions, see what’s beyond this world, and travel to different galaxies. If there really are an infinite number of parallel universes or other dimensions, we could theoretically travel to them by breaking into the other-dimensional space, where time and space operated differently than they do here. If there really is a matrix, then I will find it with teleportation!
CP: Clearly we’re going to colonize the moon at some point. Would you rather be an early colonist, later arrival, or not go at all?
SDW: I would love to be a later arrival. Who knows how we will be able to grow food if we can even survive on the surface of the moon? Can we survive the temperatures? The solar storms? How to do we handle the lack of gravity? We will have a lot to figure out. Let the first explorers take the risks, and I’ll come in when I’m good and ready!
CP: Being a writer seems like the ideal job to many. What are some of the upsides and downsides of author life?
SDW: Well, I am not a full-time writer, yet. It is my hope and dream that I will get to do this for a living one day. However, this has been my experience so far… The upsides are that I get to do what I love, use my inspiration/imagination to create stories, and hopefully inspire others with them, essentially the craft. I love watching the different parts of my stories connect in ways I have never encountered before; it’s like I’m an explorer, making a new discovery. The hardest thing for me is definitely the part after I have written the book, putting it out there for the world to see, opening myself up to criticism, worrying about if people are going to buy/like/understand my book, and marketing myself as an author. To me, this is where the “work” comes in, a stressful, yet necessary evil.
CP: Speaking of your book, why should a reader buy Mirrors?
SDW: I believe that I have a unique story on my hands. Many literary influences have shaped my writing, but my take on alternate realities is something I have not encountered before. I think my writing style is exciting and will draw you in. I also hit on some more significant themes that are important to me, like purpose, family, connection. I hope that my book will make you think, ask yourself the big questions, and make you wonder what is possible. Maybe the improbable really could be probable. I hope that you will get to know me a bit better through my writing.
Sonya would love to hear from you, so don’t be shy!
My book on Amazon: http://bit.ly/mirrors_chandra