Today I am interviewing Michael Williams, author of the new mythical fiction/magic realism series, the City Quartet.
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DJ: Hey Michael! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Michael: I’ve been around for a while, starting in the mid-1980s, when I was a ground-floor member of the DRAGONLANCE team. I wrote the songs for the original Weis/Hickman books in the series, and contributed several novels to the series. Later on, I published a trilogy for Time/Warner Books, and then a pair of novels, Arcady and Allamanda, released by ROC in the U.S. and Hodder & Stoughton in the U.K. Arcady received some very favorable notice, being long-listed for the Locus Awards.
More recently, I’ve been publishing with smaller presses, which are more amiable to taking chances with experimental, genre-bending work. My recent City Quartet are four novels released by Seventh Star Press.
DJ: What is the City Quartet about?
Michael: The City Quartet are four novels, mythic and magical realist (I call the blend “mythical realism”) set in a city that is and is not Louisville, Kentucky. My fictional Louisville is both historical and imaginal, the streets often identifiable as the real, geographical city, but underlaid with magical pockets and side streets, with neighborhoods transformed by myth and mythological patterns. Four separate stories, one for each novel: a coming-of-age story with ghosts (Trajan’s Arch); a Greek tragedy that the ancient gods revisit (Vine: An Urban Legend); a haunted film festival with a nightmarish, historical secret (Dominic’s Ghosts); a biography of a homeless man who becomes a mythical creature (Tattered Men). When you read one novel, you follow its principal plot, but the plots of the other novels brush against your vision: you will see an important scene from another book play out as secondary to the story you’re in, and major characters in one book will be minor or even cameo characters in another. The books stand on their own, but are interwoven across space and time, so that you don’t have to read them in a specific order, and you can enter the world of the quartet through any of them. Continue reading