Social media has introduced me to countless talented authors as well as a great many books I never would have picked up on my own. I was never an avid reader of paranormal or YA stories, but Chandler R. Williamson is in a Facebook group I belong to, and her recent release Beyond My Words has an interesting twist: a young writer comes face-to-face with the main character in a book she’s writing! He’s a handsome Prince Charming who, due to a curse, becomes a dragon each night. I asked Chandler a few questions about her story, and she kindly obliged.
- PK: What was your inspiration for Beyond My Words?
CRW: My inspiration came one day as a thirteen-year-old in my bedroom. I was drawing a picture of some random girl and listening to the song, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, when it occurred to me. What if everything this girl wrote a story that came to life? It escalated from there. I started asking myself questions like, “What’s her name? Where does she live? She’s a writer, what stories does she write? I like dragons. Let’s go with dragons!” I’ve spent the last twelve years with Ellie and her dragon prince, Erick, and I’m still continuing their story every day.
- PK: What was it about the song that inspired you? (For those of you in my generation who might not be familiar with it, here’s a link to listen):
CRW: Honestly, I’m really not sure what stood out to me the most. Music has inspired two (published) stories of mine, Convicted: 25 to Life with the song, Kiss it Better by He Is We and Unwritten. Listening to music is how I get pumped for writing and it’s what drives my stories and imagination more than anything else. There are plenty of other stories in my head that are inspired by songs. One of the biggest influences on Beyond My Words is actually the song, Love Story by Taylor Swift, especially the music video. It’s been the thing I go to again and again when I need inspiration. (Erick’s appearance is inspired by Romeo in that video, actually.)
- PK: What drew you into paranormal worlds (dragons, shifting, fantasy becoming reality)? Is this your reading preference as well?
CRW: Actually, I’ve never successfully made it through a fantasy novel in my life. The closest thing I’ve come to is novels written by the magnificent Shannon Hale. But I love shows and movies like Once Upon A Time.
Dragons have always been my favorite mythical creatures. They’re majestic and fascinating and their lore is so enticing and fun. In my research, I learned that in some lore, each dragon has a different personality based on the color of their scales. The silver dragon is lively and likes to be around humans. The red dragon is lustful and angry. As Erick’s curse progresses, his desires become less sweet and more selfish.
- PK: Beyond My Words is the first of three books telling an overall story. This episode ends with a lot of questions unanswered. What made you decide to end the book where you did?
CRW: I wanted there to be a lot of mystery there so you’d want to keep reading. 😉
- PK: How soon will we be able to find out what happens to Ellie and Erick?
CRW: I’m shooting for the next book to be released in October 2020. I’m a new mommy so I’m trying to juggle lots of stuff, but it’s mostly written at this point. I just need to put it together and add to it.
- PK: I see you create lovely home decor that’s available on Etsy. Would you like to tell us about how got started on this?
CRW: Thank you!
I made a wooden initial for my son, Garrett, with an elephant on it. I’m a vendor at a lot of local arts and craft shows around the Northern Utah area and I thought they’d be a cute thing to start selling. Then I started gluing them together and making names, words, and phrases. It’s really fun and making names is especially fun because each one is so unique!
- PK: What other writing projects do you have planned?
CRW: Right now, Beyond My Words is top priority over everything. But for projects after Ellie’s story is finished, I’m actually hoping to turn more toward contemporary in my next novels. I have TONS of stories in the crammed folder on my computer. I’ve been writing down ideas since I started writing in 2007.
- PK: Is there anything else you want readers to know about you and/or your books?
CRW: I live in Ogden, Utah, with my wonderfully sweet and supportive hubby, Ryan, two cats, and my adorable son, Garrett. I’ve been teased for always having a pencil in my hand whether that’s writing or drawing. I have three books out as well as a short story I wrote on my Latter-Day Saint mission at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City where I served a year and a half. Our family is extremely religious and, though my stories can be a little dark-toned at times, I always try incorporating my religion into my novels somehow. My stories are all considered clean romance novels with several subgenres such as historical fiction, fantasy, contemporary, and crime fiction. My stories are my therapy for life and reveal a lot about myself and the way I view those around me. I’m actually not a big reader, but I absolutely adore movies and audiobooks.
The dream that keeps me writing is meeting someone in a book signing who tells me that my words saved their lives in some way.
Blurb for Beyond My Words:
What if everything you wrote came true? Ellie always dreamed of what it would be like to meet her characters in real life. She didn’t realize until she met Erick McKinley, a smooth-talking player with the heart of a gentleman, that with every word she wrote, she doomed an entire kingdom. If she doesn’t find a way to break Erick’s curse to become a dragon every night, then she has to face the consequences of her writing stupor.
You can purchase Beyond My Words at Amazon.