Criminal justice student’s fascination with the paranormal leads to novels
Brandman student Walter Williams III has always loved ghost stories.
Although he’s studying criminal justice at Brandman, Williams has self-published two novels, “Nightmare in Paradise” and “Violent Lament,” both dealing with the supernatural. He’s working on a third, “Languishing Day,” and eager to find an editor to help him smooth out the rough spots. Samples of his writing can be found on his blog, Ghost Winds.
“I just really like writing about the paranormal. You can get real life by watching the news or just going outside. I like asking questions about what if?” said Williams, who ponders the journeys of lost souls in purgatory, alternate realities and the afterlife.
There were times when Williams felt like a bit of a lost soul himself while pursuing an education. He started college in 2000 in the hopes of bettering his life. But when 9/11 happened, he signed up for the Army but severe migraine headaches shortened his stay. Although he returned to school, the financial crisis hit his mother and sister hard and he had to devote time and finances to helping them. He also spent a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms while dealing with his migraines.
He used that time to write but never lost the desire to complete his education. With new medication, he’s found some relief and that’s let him return to pursuing a degree.
“I grew up in East Oakland. A lot of people I knew as a kid are dead or have been arrested by now. I think if they had better opportunities they could have gone in different directions,” said Williams. “I want to be somebody who helps people, to make things better or to help people who can’t help themselves.”
He’s hoping to be able to work in crime prevision, possibly teaching children that they have better choices.
Williams said his Brandman journey benefited from the help he’s gotten from Lisa King, his One Stop advisor in Walnut Creek, and Ann Griffin, his student advisor. Their willingness to find answers, particularly about financial aid issues, has kept him going.
“I keep telling myself that I’ve come this far and not to give up. If you give up, then you’ve done it all for nothing,” he said.
Related story: Faculty encouragement leads to alumna’s first novel
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