Author Gail Williams Answers the Pivot Questionnaire

Author Gail Williams and I both have stories in the Steampunk anthology Steel & Bone (Xchyler Publishing, 2015). Mine is Sindisiwe: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale. Hers is The Steel Inside: Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants.

  1. What is your favorite word?

There are so many!  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, rambunctious, rubicon, mischief, different.  Like different a lot.

  1. What is your least favorite word?

Right this second “favorite” is really annoying me, there’s a “u” missing, it should be “favourite”.  I don’t mean to be offensive, and I know that it’s just pedantry, but being as I’m British, American spelling can really grate on my nerves.  It’s something that I’m getting over since the American audience seems more interested in my work than the British one but sometimes I just have to grit my teeth about it.  In all I’m not sure I have a least favourite word, they’re all good in the right circumstances.  I guess thing I hate to hear the most is ‘not listening’, it’s so closed off.  Hate that.

  1. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Good company, good conversation, and if it comes along with good food and wine, so much the better.

  1. What turns you of?

Wilful stupidity.  Having differences of opinions I find really interesting, a good debate is equivalent to a good conversation, but people who are wilfully stupid irritate me, especially when they say ‘I’m not listening.

  1. What is your favorite curse word?

Felgercarb.  It’s the swearword used in the original Battlestar Galatica.  For all I know it was used in the remake too, but I never saw that.  Also really like ‘frelling’ from Farscape.

  1. What sound or noise do you love?

My husband saying “I love you.”  Oh dear, that sounds so sappy, oh well.

  1. What sound or noise do you hate?

Finger nails on blackboards – sorry, think you call them chalkboards.  Or the dentist drill.  Or that really creepy laugh that is supposed to emulate a child’s chuckle for a little kiddies rides you see outside the supermarket that actually sounds like something off the soundtrack from a gore-fest horror movie.

  1. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Writer – ha-ha – only just kidding.  Right now I’m a full time asset management professional, which means I work a lot on spreadsheets and it gets dull quick.  Really prefer to be working with words  all the time, hence the response.  There again, I’m also a freelance editor, which is working with words, so I can’t say I’d like to attempt that as technically I’m already in the profession.  Which I guess leaves police work as the working with people would be interesting and the solving problems would be an intrinsic reward.  This might be why I write a lot of crime fiction.

  1. What profession would you not like to do?

Pathologist.  I think this is ‘dead’ interesting and I watch a lot of pathology programmes and I read a lot about forensic pathology, but I don’t think I’d be much good in the theatre.  I had to remove the heart and lungs from an already gutted rabbit once, I nearly threw up.  The rabbit stew was really tasty though.

  1. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Well last time it was “You’re too early go back”, so I could deal with hearing that again.  Oh and by the way, it’s Saint Peter at the Gates not God (oh dear the pedantry is showing again).



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