by Claire O’Sullivan
I’m pleased to let you know I snagged an interview with DJ Williams, the author of The Auctioneer (which was très cool, along with a copy of the book) which is right here. Sorry, not the book, but the cover…
Here’s the link to purchase it:
Claire: Hi DJ. Thanks for giving this interview and it’s a pleasure to chat with you. I can’t wait to talk about your new book, The Auctioneer. First, I have to hear about your background and your bio– ‘with the DNA of a world traveler.’ Can you tell me a bit about that?
DJ: My parents were missionaries in Hong Kong where I was born. I was fifteen when the family moved back to L.A. I’ve been in Los Angeles ever since. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to travel to many countries, but it was when I found myself in Zambia along the Zambezi River that I realized my dream of storytelling from the age of eight after reading Treasure Island, was the next step of my journey.
Claire: Zambezi! That’s where the Zambezi River was flooding just this month. How incredibly devastating. What you saw and experienced shaped your first novel, The Disillusioned. How so?
DJ: I don’t want to give away the entire story but it does revolve around human trafficking. It wasn’t until a few years after those three days on the Zambezi River, that I finally sat down and began writing what would eventually become The Disillusioned. I didn’t tell a soul, not even my wife! I finished the first draft and sent it to executive writer/producer Judith McCreary of Criminal Minds, CSI, and Law and Order: SVU. She was gracious enough to read the book, with the caveat that if it was terrible that only the two of us would know it existed. When she called me back a week later she gave me the thumbs up and a year later the novel was published.
Claire: Your readers are certainly glad you talked to Ms. McCreary! You also have been involved in music, production and directing. That kept you busy. I understand you have directed episodes of The Restoration Road with Mitch Kruse.
DJ: Yes, I was part of several indie record labels, and later worked at an entertainment company in Los Angeles, before branching out on my own to produce and direct. I’m currently in production on Season 16 of The Restoration Road with Mitch Kruse, as well as developing other projects for film/television.
Claire: I’ve watched The Restoration Road and a videocast with Mitch on his site, with a picture of two rows of classic cars in the background. Was Mitch an inspiration to The Auctioneer?
DJ: Mitch and I have been friends for nearly twenty years, beginning shortly after he sold his auction business. He is one of the greatest auctioneers of all time. With the many stories he’s shared over the years, he was definitely an inspiration to spark my crazy imagination.
Claire: It’s not cut from the same cloth, plot-wise as The Disillusioned and Waking Lazarus. You have some very colorful characters and a terrific twisty/turny plot.
DJ: I’m always working to become a better storyteller, and when Chase Hardeman emerged in my imagination I knew this series was going to be a departure from my first two novels. It’s a different world, more along the lines of Jason Bourne meets James Bond meets National Treasure with plenty of thrills, chills, and espionage. I also wanted to write characters that could go the distance, i.e. Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, Jason Bourne, so that the world would evolve with each novel.
Claire: The Auctioneer is a fast-paced novel that grabs you in the first sentence until the last. That last line was killer so I must know, will there be a sequel?
DJ: I’m in the first draft stage working through the details of the plot and developing the characters so readers will go deeper into the world that began with The Auctioneer.
Claire: Excellent news! For our writers, are you a planner, panster, or plantser? And any other tips for writers?
DJ: While I wish I could say I’m a planner, the reality is that once I sit down to write all the plans seem to disappear as the story comes alive on the page. So, I’d be more of a pantster. Storylines and characters evolve and take me along the adventure. Now, I will say that I do know how the story begins and ends before I write a single word. If not I’d be writing with no end in sight.
Claire: You went the independent route, right?
DJ: Yes, I used resources from Reedsy where I found a great cover designer and publicist. With my past experience building businesses and entrepreneur DNA, I’ve found that it’s become the best outlet to get my stories to the world. Now, when the right time comes there may be an agent or a publisher who partners with me, but for now, I’m proud to be an indie. The Auctioneer launched in February 2019 and has quickly climbed the charts on Amazon Hot New Releases, ranking #21 (Espionage Thrillers), #22 (Vigilante Justice) and #30 (International Mystery & Crime).
Claire: You have a great imagination and ability to weave a tale, and your background is so varied, I definitely can see why your books shot to the top. I already purchased The Disillusioned and‘Waking Lazarus, so it looks like I’ll be emailing you for another interview. I can’t thank you enough for your time to see into your brain, and where you get your inspiration.
DJ: This was fun, and I’m looking forward to hearing how you like The Disillusioned and Waking Lazarus.
I had a great time interviewing DJ. Now, let me first tantalize you with a bit of The Auctioneer.
Starting off, as a writer, DJ makes every word count in a well-written, tightly-packed action thriller. A great way to see action, dialogue and setting with the ability to bend rules. If you’re writing a thriller, crime fiction, underworld intrigue, grief, loss, betrayal, mystery, and a clean read, you’ll enjoy The Auctioneer. This novel’s difference is in how his main character overcomes not really understanding his father’s world to understanding it perfectly within the setting of priceless classic cars in underworld trading and solving a murder all at the same time. And, there’s a hint of romance.
As a reader, The Auctioneer is a pure thrill ride. A young man takes on the mantle of his much-loved father. Chase Hardeman is the son of an ethically-challenged auctioneer and one-time politician. The ex-special ops soldier returns home after his father’s death, only to realize things were not bad. They were worse. Not simply his father’s shady business dealings, but things at home are about to take a turn.
Within these pages, you’ll find a complex page-turner with twists you won’t see coming. Chase’s life is in constant danger because of the… oh wait. I hate spoiler alerts, so… that’s all about you get for now.
For a link to ‘The Disillusioned’
And to ‘Waking Lazarus’
A portion of his work goes to the Wounded Warrior Project. You can read more about DJ Williams here: djwilliamsbooks.com