Metastasis Contributor Interview: Scott Lee Williams

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeScott Lee Williams is the next participant in our series of contributor interviews. Scott’s story, “The Cure” has a fantastic voice and real three-dimensional characters who I really liked.

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

When I wrote “The Cure” I was playing the game that all authors play – what if – asking, “If cancer had a story, what would it be?” In many ways, my story is two stories: the story of a man who has a disease, and how that affects him and his relationships, and the story of the disease – if the disease were actually a sentient lifeform with its own agenda. Each of those stories has its own emotional resonance. The danger, of course, is in possibly appearing too glib about the very real suffering that cancer causes. Sympathy for the devil, after all, is easy enough, until you realize what the devil’s really after. I tried to counter this by making my human characters as real as possible.

How has cancer touched your life?
I’ve been very blessed that cancer has not directly affected my life in the way that it has many of the contributors to Metastasis. That being said, cancer affects everyone. It’s part of our culture, in that it’s the ur-horror story. Not everyone believes in the boogeyman, but everyone believes in cancer – the body as betrayer. We all walk around with it in our head everyday. We hear about it on the news, or a friend of a friend has it. We look at the unexplained bruise or sore and think, “Is it cancer?”  We all live with a greater or lesser portion of this fear in our lives, and I certainly look forward to the day when it will be something we don’t have to worry about.
When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?
Technology gives me hope in the fight against cancer. I tend to vacillate wildly in my belief in the power of science to improve our lives. I’ll say, however, that right now, the research that’s being done finds new treatments everyday, and screening methods catch cancer at earlier and more treatable stages. We’re also learning to address the environmental and genetic causes of cancer.  We may never entirely eliminate cancer from the human experience, but we are learning to fight better, and smarter, and that is certainly a reason to hope.
Scott Lee Williams writes in Brooklyn, NY, where he lives and thinks thoughts with his wife and cat. He also maintains a blog called Four Each Day, in which he writes four lines, every day, about something that happened that day. Most of the stories are even true. You can find that at http://foureachday.blogspot.com.  Scott Lee Williams

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