Guest Post: Writing A Cause Driven Series by D.J. Williams

I stood on the shores of the Zambezi River as a spark for a story pierced my soul. After three weeks of travelling across the country, witnessing the reality of those forgotten by the world, and facing a major change in my career, I knew that one day I'd write about this place. Little did I know that it would be years before I found the courage to write my first novel, The Disillusioned. I was so afraid of failing to capture the story that I wrote the novel without telling anyone. When it was finished, I reached out to a friend in the TV industry and her response encouraged me to step out in faith and publish.

I share this with you because those days on the Zambezi defined my passion as a storyteller.

What I discovered throughout the writing process, was that using my experiences of travelling to the poorest places in the world fuelled my drive to create the Guardian novels, a series filled with mystery, suspense, and adventure. All of those were aspects of the story, but from the first novel the reality of the fight against human trafficking was an underlying thread throughout. It's one reason why I've defined this series as cause-driven novels. My hope is that readers will be entertained, but will also be inspired to make a difference in the world when they flip that last page.

Writing the second novel, Waking Lazarus, was challenging to continue in the cause-driven storytelling style. To capture this story in a unique way, the novel spans nearly a century as readers are taken back to the 1920s and then return to the present day on a global adventure. It also pushes readers further into the world of child slavery, poverty, and the darkness of secrets. I'm humbled that the Guardian novels, and the cause-driven storytelling style, have garnered the attention of Hollywood's elite.

"The Disillusioned is a fast-paced mystery... you won't put it down until you've unlocked the secrets and lies to find the truth." 

- Judith McCreary, Co-Executive Producer, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, & CSI.

"Waking Lazarus is a captivating visual story with a colourful narrative. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down." 

- Peter Anderson, Oscar Winner, Cinematographer.

I'm writing my third novel, The Auctioneer, and experimenting with ways to continue in telling stories that raise awareness for causes and issues around the world. It's like writing layers, where the story that draws readers in leads to a deeper place that travels the road between fiction and reality. My hope is that others who are passionate about storytelling will embrace this same approach and will write books that not only entertain, but also challenge readers beyond the last page.

About Waking Lazarus

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Image: DJ Williams
Jake Harris’ life hasn’t turned out the way he planned. Battling his addictions, and the shattered pieces of his family, he is hired to ghostwrite a memoir. From the 1920’s story of a controversial evangelist, to the present day mystery of a former District Attorney, everything changes when his search for the truth leads to an atrocity hidden from history. With a past he can’t remember, he begins to discover that he is not the person he believed himself to be. Rather, he is a threat to a secret society that has remained in the shadows for nearly a century. Jake is drawn deep inside a world he never knew existed that brings him closer to his own extraordinary destiny.

About D.J. Williams

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Image: DJ Williams
Currently based out of Los Angeles, Williams continues to add to his producing and directing credits of more than 350 episodes of broadcast TV syndicated worldwide by developing new projects for television, film and print.

For more information, visit his website. Waking Lazarus is available to buy now.

What do you think about the concept of cause-driven books? Let me know in the comments below!

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