Hal Williams


Native Texan and Vietnam veteran Hal Williams is the author of twenty-six novels including fifteen books of the "Persephone of the ATF" series. His writing style reflects his wealth of experiences ranging from rock-n-roll musician and racecar driver to working journalist and book manuscript editor. In addition to writing and still working around racecars, Hal enjoys playing bridge, target shooting, and collecting vintage revolvers. He lives in the Dallas area.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My Dad was still in the Navy and assigned to Corpus Christi Naval Air Station when I was born. At the end of WWII, we moved to Edinburg in far south Texas where my mother grew up. My earliest memories are from there, and I treasure them to this day. That gave me a limited insight to Hispanic culture. Then his Civil Service job sent us to San Antonio, Fort Worth, and ultimately, the Dallas area. Each new location showed me something different. Each venue added fresh experiences.
When did you first start writing?
That's a hard question to answer. Book reports, essays--these were part of school life. Then I became a journalism major in college and had to be more acutely aware of grammar fundamentals, something high school did not emphasize adequately. My first fiction attempts came around 1975 and were predictably poor. I really only started to write with any seriousness ten years ago. A wonderful lady named Nancy Dewitt at Oso Press published my first effort in 2009.
Read more of this interview.


Persephone of the ATF
From her earliest days as a rookie agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Pam Robinson progresses from the dust of the Pentagon attack of 2001 to the Deputy Directorship of America's most elite investigative and enforcement agency. She endures professional and personal challenges along the way, all of which make her more prepared to take over the top spot, should it become available. She doubts herself at times, exudes confidence at others. Tragedies and successes make her life a roller coaster with no exit. She can be abrasive and sarcastic. She can be sensitive and sympathetic. She sometimes calls herself Persephone, mythological queen of the underworld. Through it all, she can only be who she is—a veteran ATF agent dedicated to her job.
Price: $3.99 USD.
Price: $3.99 USD.
Price: $3.99 USD.
Price: $3.99 USD.
Price: $3.99 USD.
Price: $3.99 USD.


Master Stroke
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 22,830. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
When a package bomb detonates in a Topeka post office, the similarity to some previous events calls for a maximum investigative effort. ATF Deputy Director Pam Robinson travels to Kansas in support of that activity. First, however, she must do some fence mending with Marian Wortham, her Assistant Director for Arson and Explosives.
The Parlor Car
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 18,460. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
An all-Pullman train bound from San Francisco to Chicago experiences unforeseen delays. Passengers deal with the interruptions in different ways. Not all are sanguine about the situation. The potential for conflict increases with each passing hour.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 34,980. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Two groups on a collision course create havoc in and around Washington, D.C. ATF Special Agents Pam Robinson and Marian Wortham trace bombing evidence and pursue the ones responsible for the mayhem.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 33,210. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
An unanticipated event elevates Pam Robinson to Acting Directorship of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Issues not of her making confront her almost immediately. They will try her patience while at the same time providing opportunities for her to excel.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 25,290. Language: English. Published: November 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
ATF Director Rick Conroe faces a dilemma. Any attempt to bring Pam Mertens back into the agency means butting heads with Attorney General Gerald Fielding. Pam’s abrupt defection has left him without a Deputy Director and a representative the media respects. He needs her back and knows what it will take. He also knows she’ll accept nothing less.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 16,640. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
After accepting appointment as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Pam Mertens faces challenges unlike any before. Her nominated replacement as Assistant Director takes the job, then abandons it. Her marriage to an FBI agent falls apart. Her ATF boss fails her when the chips are down.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 25,190. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Trudy Midland has four tasks on her agenda this snowy morning. She will not complete all of them. A bomb not meant to target her will interrupt her errands and bring her into contact with ATF Deputy Director Pam Robinson.
Fire and Ice
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 39,680. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Two successive fire-bombings of Louisiana churches involve ATF Special Agent Pam Robinson in the arson side of her forensic specialty. Coming right at Christmas, they are especially heinous crimes. Some imaginative thinking will, she hopes, lead to identification and apprehension of the bomber.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 24,220. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Usually tough-as-nails ATF Special Agent Pam Robinson struggles with both sadness and insecurity as she goes through tumultuous times. The offer of a plum position in Washington and the likely affection of a handsome man beckon, but she can’t make up her mind if even that combination is enough for her to leave her new life in Dallas.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 36,010. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
ATF Agent Pam Robinson is called to Washington from Dallas, her assignment a temporary one. She is to fill in for her vacationing boss for two weeks. Could it become a permanent transfer?
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 24,950. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
“If you’re calling to see if I’m dead, I am,” ATF agent Pam Robinson tells her boss in Washington. Her relocation to Dallas, Texas, has exposed her to summer heat that she can barely endure. She has a new home and a new job, plus a younger man who wants to be more than a friend.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,550. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Reliance on experience helps propel Pam Robinson to a high-ranking position within ATF and the agency’s select National Response Team. But the higher you go in the food chain the closer you get to something that can eat you. Her confidence grows gradually as she responds to various challenges both at work and in her personal affairs. Then she makes a mistake that very nearly costs her life.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 21,190. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
A cold wind off Lake Michigan whips the folds of Pam Robinson’s gray canvas duster and ruffles her blonde hair. Wisconsin in winter is no fit place to be, she tells herself. Then she remembers that she might not be in Sheboygan at all if not for her ATF reinstatement. Some functionary at the Department of Justice had concluded that it was permissible to shoot someone who was trying to shoot you.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 32,160. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Dynamite is an explosive invented by Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel, who received a patent for it in 1867. One hundred fifty years later, ATF Special Agent Pam Robinson gets more than one opportunity to witness its effects. Now part of ATF’s National Response Team, Robinson responds to a chain of New York State bombings that claim hundreds of lives.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 43,270. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Pam Robinson mutters curses under her breath when she enters the ATF building on Monday and sees her office. Dozens of pink message slips litter the surface of her desk like confetti. A half-dozen paper coffee cups sit here and there, not all of them empty. Her swivel desk chair has vanished altogether. Damn the world!
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 42,660. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Sports
As a professional driver in Indy cars, Ray Denton is facing a premature end to his racing career. He has the temperament of a tarantula and the patience of a tornado, neither of which makes him popular. He also has a gorgeous blonde girlfriend who loves him but hates auto racing.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 31,730. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Texas Ranger Captain Steve Oliveras gets a late night phone call from his boss. “Earlier this evening a couple of guys broke into an ISO shipping container in Galveston. They certainly weren’t expecting what they found. Out of a hundred and sixty or so people inside, forty were already dead.”
Table Stakes
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 38,280. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
College student Grady Nash saw something he was not meant to see while doing something he should not have been doing. Now the Reno police are hunting him, but they are not the ones trying so hard to kill him. Las Vegas gangsters are playing that hand, and they keep getting closer to hitting the jackpot.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 93,560. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
A gunshot shatters the Saturday morning serenity of a Maryland neighborhood and brings contract government troubleshooter Trent Collins out of semi-retirement. Collins soon discovers that ambition and avarice are key ingredients in a recipe for multiple murders. But being assigned to the case also makes him the assassin’s next target.
Series: Persephone of the ATF. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 77,510. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Two organizations with brutally similar techniques but different objectives create conflict and chaos on the Texas-Mexico border. ATF Agent Pam Robinson and Texas Ranger Steve Oliveras must put aside personal and professional animosity as they pursue drug smugglers and an Islamic fanatic through a lethal crossfire.
Goat Blood
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 66,790. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
In 1961 the Dominican Republic has become a pariah nation ruled by a vain, clinically paranoid egomaniac. Former American soldiers John Murphy and John Hooper become entangled with a plot to eliminate Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.
The Anaya Deceit
Price: $4.29 USD. Words: 104,230. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Spanish-speaking American agent Trent Collins encounters danger, deception, and intrigue in the busy streets and back alleys of Buenos Aires. But does Washington want him to prevent the impending war between England and Argentina or help start it? Doing either one will require him to confront Argentine admiral Jorge Isaac Anaya.
Monkey Blood
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 72,970. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
Moral differences and volatile tempers create dangerous tension among members of a mercenary death squad in 1959 Africa. Former military policeman John Murphy needs to prevent the men from turning their expertise and their weapons on each other. If he can...