In The Chair 8: Tom Williams

Welcome, Tom Williams

How would you describe your writing style in only three words? 

Tom: Hopefully. Worth. Reading.


If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Tom: Bernadita (from ‘Burke and the Bedouin’). She’s a really gutsy lady. She can ride and sail and, whatever knocks her down, she gets up again. And she’s beautiful and sexy, of course.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Tom: I’d like to be in Borneo with James Brooke (‘TheWhite Rajah’) in the bit where he’s learning how to govern the country. Some people see that as the quiet bit in between the plots and the battles, but I thought it was the most interesting period in the book. I quite like the business of making things work. I’d have liked to be one of the Europeans he brought in to help.

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Tom: I find the idea of giving a dinner party for great writers a bit intimidating. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with their witty conversation and they’d hardly be likely to be impressed with the food. And I’d worry about them turning up. I’m trying to organise a party at the moment and practically all the writers are too busy or too far away. Getting writers in one place for a dinner party is practically impossible. A drinks party, on the other hand …

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?


Tom: I have an idea for a humorous crime story set in the world of theatre. Performers are fun people to be around but the idea of them killing each other is not that far-fetched.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Tom: The modern idea of author-as-brand. It’s inevitable, but I’d like people to concentrate on the books rather than feeling they have to know about the writer.

Favourite word?  Tom: ‘End.’ As in ‘The End’. I love typing that at the foot of the last page, even though my editor always takes it out before publication.

Tom Williams was in the chair: author of the military-historical series, Burke. published by Accent Press.