I've been telling stories for as long as I can remember and writing has been an important part of my life for over 30 years. I've tried my hand at pretty much everything and now factual writing about wildlife pays the bills (well, sometimes). I've recently started self-publishing my fiction output, starting with my debut novel 'Elsham's End'.
I live in England, on the Kent coast, in a small town called Folkestone. I've known it all my life, having grown up in the countryside near here. It now has a thriving creative community which I value a great deal. Kent is known as the Garden of England and I gain tremendous inspiration from its varied landscapes, but often from the less garden-like parts!
A few readers have asked me about the origins of my first novel.
'Elsham's End' is based on the house I grew up in, in the Kent countryside. I was very fortunate to live there - it was a beautiful place with a large, rambling garden. But my family's relationship with the house was ambiguous - we all loved it and yet I think we all knew there was something not quite right about it.
It was fairly isolated and I suppose that contributed to this feeling, a vague sense of unease. It was very quiet there, particularly at night. Many of the events in the book came from dreams that I and other members of my family had. Visitors who stayed in the house often reported strange and unsettling dreams too, some refusing to sleep there again.
My mother particularly never really felt at ease in the house, and I later discovered that she hated living there. She had many dreams that centred around the boxroom, a small attic space above the garage, which features very strongly in the novel.
In looking for an explanation, she always put the peculiar atmosphere in the place down to its history. Two sisters had lived there before us. Essentially they had run a private hospice there - a place where people went to die.
My own experience of living there is hard to pin down. I really only became aware of how strange the house felt when we left. My older brother and sister had flown the nest, so we moved to a smaller place in a busy little village further up the valley. I was ten years old, yet I was acutely aware of how different the atmosphere was in the new house. And I realised I'd just stepped out of the shadow of the old place, which had been cast over me from such an early age I was not even aware of it.
Where to find HJ Williams online
This member has not published any books.