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
Art Somebody is going around telling people he's Banksy - but it isn't the street artist
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 4 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Game of Thrones season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as it’s not him
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
Costa Book Awards 2015: H is for Hawk named book of the year
New Ghostbusters movie lands all-female cast with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures