Sunday Spotlight: John Williamson, author of Collision

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sunday Spotlight is a weekly scheme I am running to bring publicity to lesser known authors who, in the book blogging community, it is important to support.

Today's author is John Williamson, author of Collision.

About John:

J.M.J. Williamson
I grew up in York, graduated in economics from Hull University, and then moved to London to make a career as a charted accountant working for one of the world's largest firms of chartered accountants.

I am now retired living in Bedfordshire and pursuing what I love most - writing.

I love sci-fi movies and books, and I love writing. It was therefore not surprising that my first novel published would be a sci- fi novel.


Tell us what makes Collision unique

Collision is a thriller, a sci-fi and a love story all in one novel. It started life as an idea. A man is running along a beach at night when a UFO crashes further down the beach after a high altitude collision with a US spy plane. However, when he gets to the crash site it has gone. But now the US, UK and Russian secret services are trying to find it and the mysterious catwoman to get hold of the UFO technology.

The main characters are the man of the beach (Ben), a university lecturer, and the mysterious catwoman seen on the beach (Elle). The antagonists include the secret services of three nations and some more. Let’s just say the UFO is not what it first seems. No spoilers here.

Your book is labelled a sci-fi romance, what attracted you to that genre?

I don’t think I set out to write a cross-genre story. I wrote the story I wanted to tell and then looked for the best way to describe it. At the heart of the story is a classic Sci-Fi trope: time travel. There is also a strong romantic theme to the story, which is something more than just the ‘B’ story. At the time of publication I chose sci-fi romance as the best way of describing the story. But with the benefit of hindsight I may have been wrong. The story does not easily fit into mainstream Sci-Fi or Romance genres. An alternative would have been to place it under the thriller genre which captures some elements of speculative fiction.

In your bio you describe your love of sci-fi movies, what would you say was the main difference between sci-fi movies and novels? (minus the obvious of course)

Money. Hollywood tends to choose stories that will make the biggest impact on the box office. Most of these tend to be storylines with positive endings rather than tragedies. But then again I tend to like positive endings.

Money is also important to finance the amount of time and resources invested in a blockbuster movie. Unlike a novel, a movie is a collective effort of numerous writers, the director, actors and technicians. A huge effort goes into preproduction and post production to produce the highest of quality stories. Every second of a movie is there for a specific reason, and what is surplus ends up on the cutting room floor.

Compare that to time and resources available to the poor novelist who has to rely on himself/herself plus maybe a helpful agent, and an editor.

Having said that I believe a writer can learn a lot about story design from analysing why certain movies are so successful.

Who is your favourite character of your creation?

That’s a difficult question to answer. I like them all in different ways. I would say Jean Daniels who plays the main antagonist in Collision. She’s a relentless CIA operative who will stop at nothing to achieve her objective. But she’s not driven by selfish reasons or greed — others are. She’s a patriot following in the footsteps of her heroic father. In some respects she is a mirror image of the main character (Elle), who is a workaholic. The only difference between them is that Daniels has psychopathic tendencies: she doesn’t have any boundaries she wouldn’t cross to get what she wants.

Which authors would you say influenced your work the most?

In my younger days, I would say the Sci-Fi writers: Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson. They certainly stirred my interest in science fiction. More recently, I have learned a lot from the works of Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth.

Give us an excerpt of a favourite review you have received for one of your books.

Here are two extracts:

“… an immense and complex thrill seeking adventure. It gives way to strong characters and constant action with a little romance thrown in for good measure…”

“This is a novel about high-tech, industrial espionage, corporate greed and… time travel!”

Do you have anything new in the works that we should look out for?

Yes. I’m in the editing phase of my second novel, which I hope to publish in the autumn. It’s another sci-fi story set again in the current day. The main characters are a unmarried mother with a sixteen-year-old daughter running a spa hotel in a Yorkshire village whose best friend is an alien, and a redundant investment banker from the City of London! Together they must save the Earth from enslavement by evil alien corporations. And No, before you laugh, it’s not a comedy. I said it was unusual. There is some more detail about the book on my website

Tell us something unexpected about the life of an author.

With the exception of the big-named authors, the vast majority of writers don’t make a huge amount from their writing. They write because they love to write. Of course, we would all love to write the blockbuster novel and movie. But the reality is that you’re more likely to be hit by lightening than get such a pay-off.

Having worked in the City of London for almost forty years as a chartered accountant before retiring I’m fortunate in not having to rely on my writing to put food on the table. But other indie authors are not so lucky, many having to combine their writing with a full time job.

Is there anything else you want the readers of Confessions of a Bookaholic to know?

I’m always contactable through my website at and I would love to have feedback from readers. In fact, like most writers I crave feedback. Also if anyone would like to review my new book before publication drop me a line.

About Collision:
Collision - a sci fi romanceThis is a story about corporate greed, espionage and time travel. But it’s also a love story about two scientists from different times, who are caught up in the events.

A UFO collides with a US spy plane at 150,000 feet, but survives. US military intelligence track the path of the UFO to a beach in Northern England, before they lose sight of it. After a call from the Whitehouse to Downing Street, MI6 are tasked to work with the CIA to investigate the UFO. But with the UFO now gone, the only clue to its whereabouts is a mysterious cat woman seen by a witness on the beach.

The morning after the incident, a young woman wakes up in a service station after sleeping there overnight. Traumatic memories of her escape, from the night before, flood into her mind. Now her only chance of returning home is to find the scientist who shares her field of research, and persuade him to help her before the security forces catch her.

Find out more about Collision on Goodreads | Website

1 People dared to comment.:

Ruty B. said...

I love sci-fi and it is even better if time travel is included

Great interview

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