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
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage