William Lewis took early retirement in 2011 after a wide-ranging career in further and adult education, and learned to fly a helicopter. He also joined a samba band and, in 2018, a writing group. Despite recent restrictions, he continues to enjoy the opportunities of life and the possibilities of creativity.
William has always enjoyed writing, from professional reports, book reviews and educational materials to poems and lyrics for songs with bands he’s been in. He also enjoyed writing amusing sketches for staff parties but had never attempted any story writing. However, the discovery of flash fiction opened a doorway for him and he much enjoys the economy and opportunities of the short form. He particularly likes reading them aloud. He has read some of his stories on local radio stations, and has had some published on online writing sites.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: Laurence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy. Marvellous, funny, rule-breaking storytelling. Epic vistas of the imagination! I’d also like to meet George and Weedon Grossmith, authors of Diary of a Nobody. Terrific, simple, beautifully understated humour.
Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)
A: For years it’s been ‘Random acts of kindness, senseless acts of beauty’. I’ve also been very taken with Gramsci’s call for ‘Pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will’.
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: My imagination. Never lets me down. When I read my stories to my family and friends, I see them looking at me as if to wonder where this stuff comes from. No idea, but I’m glad it does.
Q: Who is your personal inspiration?
A: All the people I’ve ever known, all the books I’ve ever read, all the music I’ve ever listened to, and the feelings I’ve had about all of them. Hmm, I wonder if that’s also the answer to the previous question?
Santa stared disconsolately at his Ofsant report: ‘Quality of presents: good. Workshop and warehouse staffing: poor, due to decline of elderly elves and growth of demand. Business critical. Immediate action required.’ The wind howled around the eaves of the house. Lightning crackled across the moor. A distant owl, unsettled, hooted uncertainly. Edgar Allen Poe …