Welcome to my blog. I am not a very regular blogger, but I try to keep this site updated with news and information. If there's none of the above I may just share my random ruminations.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


The subject of this blog post, Tom Williams, is the author of the Burke series of historical adventure novels, set during the Napoleonic wars. 

(For an explanation of why I often refer to him as 'the other' Tom Williams, do look at the previous post.)  

Over to you Tom....  

  Gilli has very kindly offered to carry an interview on her blog so that I can shamelessly plug Burke in the Peninsula, to be published at the end of the month, but she has decided to get in a guest interviewer. I hope he's up to the job.

TW: Gilli has asked me if I can interview you because she can't think of any good questions to ask.  How do you feel about that?

Tom: I can understand how she feels. The world seems to have gone mad right now. Putting interview questions together is just more than you can expect anyone to cope with.

TW: Would it be fair to say that you are hiding away from 2020 by writing books set in the early 19th century?

Tom: That's probably pretty fair, though the Napoleonic Wars were even worse to live through than coronavirus. There were enormous numbers of young men killed in the fighting, which left farms short of labour. There were food shortages and lots of social disruption. There was quite a lot of support for the French in Britain and the government was seriously worried about revolution here as well. And, of course, taxes were going up. There may well have been plague to add to the awfulness – there certainly were huge numbers of troops who died of what was probably typhoid fever on an expedition to the Netherlands and it seems likely they would have brought it back with them, but with so many people dying anyway, it's unlikely anyone would have noticed. 

On balance, 2020 may not be so bad.

TW: So far.

Tom: Well, yes. I suppose the way Brexit is going, war with France can't be completely ruled out.

TW: If writing interview questions is proving so difficult, how did you manage to write a whole book? 

Tom: I wrote the book a while ago but there were issues with my rights to the series so it's taken a while to get it published.

TW: That sounds boring and depressing.

Tom: It was. Can we talk about something else?

TW: OK. Did anything good come out of the delay?

Tom: Actually, yes. I've decided to self-publish. It gives me a lot more control. I've taken the opportunity to republish all the existing Burke books with beautiful new covers.

TW: They are, indeed, gorgeous. Do you have any here for us to look at?

Tom: Strangely enough, I do.


TW: As a completely impartial interviewer, I can only say that I’m blown away by these covers. Are the books available in paperback as well as on Kindle, so people can admire these beautiful covers on their shelves?

Tom: They are indeed – and at a mere £6.99. There are details of all my books on my website at http://tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk/my-books/

TW: And what about the new book, Burke in the Peninsula?

Tom: That will have a beautiful cover too.

TW: I'm sure it will, but what will it be about?

Tom: Burke is sent out to Spain to liaise with the guerrillas fighting the French – but it turns out that not all the guerrillas were the good guys. Working out who to trust and who not to takes him a while. After that it’s back to irregular warfare against the French, while the estimable William Brown ends up in the front line at the battle of Talavera. According to the history books, Talavera was a famous victory. William Brown would probably beg to differ on that .

So Burke in the Peninsula is the mix of spy story and military history that readers will probably have come to expect by now. And, yes, there's a beautiful woman. (Regular readers may remember her from an earlier story. I liked her so much, I just had to bring her back.)

TW: And when will Burke in the Peninsula be out?

Tom: I'm aiming for the end of September, but I'm trying to whip up some interest first. If you all write to me, promising faithfully that you're going to buy it, I'll probably try to sneak it out a few days earlier.

TW: What an excellent idea. I’m sure that hundreds of people will be in touch. But how do they get hold of you?

Tom: You can contact me through my website: http://tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk/.. Or there’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams. And I’m on Twitter as @TomCW99.

TW: So you mean I didn’t need to have interviewed you at all. I could just have looked you up on social media.

Tom: Pretty much, yes. But this has been fun . And can I say that you're a really good interviewer?

TW: Well thank you. And you've been a brilliant interviewee.

Gilli intervenes to bring the mutual congratulations to an end.

TW: And, Gilli, can I just say how much I enjoyed reading your Buried Treasure?

Gilli immediately books me to interview her next week.


Jane Risdon Author said...

Fab interview. Informative too. Good luck Tom x

TCW said...

Thank you, Jane. This is the first full-length novel I have published myself (all the others were first published by small publishers) so I'm very nervous. I really hope it sells and proves that self-publishing is a viable option because I know a lot of people are getting unhappy with the way traditional publishing works in this rapidly changing marketplace.

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