One Minute With... Kate Williams
Friday 26 September 2008
Where are you now and what andcan you see?
I'm at home in my study, and I can look out across the gardens behind and see the trees and the autumn leaves. I chose my house because I loved the fact that there was a really busy road with lots of things to stare at.
What are you currently reading?
My own work. I used to hate reading my old work but now I'm rather fond of it. I quite like going through it in the hope of making it better.
Choose a favourite author and say why you like her/him
I love Cao Xueqin, especially The Story of the Stone. It combines the rumbustiousness of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones with the delicacy of Clarissa. It's amazing to see the shadows of these British 18th-century archetypes in a Chinese setting.
Describe the room where you usually write
The study where I am now – it's completely full of print-outs. I fear I haven't tidied it since 2005. I also love writing longhand on the Tube.
What distracts you?
Paris. I rented a flat in the Left Bank over the summer, which caused a friend to proclaim that I was finally a true writer!
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Anna Howe, in Richardson's Clarissa. She's sensitive and selfless. She's also a supporting actress – and that is how I see my role as a writer, one who helps the great story to shine.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
They're brilliant. I'm always surprised by how many young people there are. I had a girl tell me she was going to Oxford to be like me recently! Very strange, but lovely.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Queen Victoria. Although we imagine her as a dour and dreary matron, she was young, vibrant and determined to win the throne.
Kate Williams's 'Becoming Queen' is published by Hutchinson
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Tory activist asked to step down after Labour candidate Rupa Huq is 'manhandled' while questioning Boris Johnson on the campaign trail
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word, TV review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest account of a woman enduring a still too common fate
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils