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Brian Murray Wiilliams grew up in south Alabama, in an eccentric family of artists, teachers,

chefs, and storytellers. Since graduating from Auburn University, Brian has worked as a yoga

instructor, theater director, and server at several great restaurants in New York City. He currently manages a Michelin starred Spanish restaurant.

Brian writes hopeful stories about queer kids growing up in the south. He loves horror movies, brunch, and loud music. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, who also writes YA.

  • It’s me, Brian. Hi.
    Welcome to my website. I’m really proud of it. Isn’t it beautiful? I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell you a little bit about me... my life, my writing, and my all that kind of stuff, because I figure if you're here, you might be at least a little curious about some of that stuff. So here are the questions I get asked the most.
  • You have a little bit of an accent. Where are you from?
    I was born in a small town in southeast Alabama on one of the five cold days they’ve ever had. The same week as three of my greatest friends and favorite people. I like to think we were all lined up next to each other in the hospital. Whether or not that’s true, I have no idea, but it’s kind of cool to think about. We were all born within five days of each other, though.
  • What were you like as a kid?
    Obsessed with mysteries, monsters, and vampires. Storybook witches and summer-camp slasher movies. Happiest when I was reading a book and blasting music. Or eating pizza.
  • What kind of music do you like?
    All kinds, really. I love a lot of Brit pop and indie rock. I think I’ve seen Belle and Sebastian live more times than anyone except my partner. I hated country music until I left the south, but now, I really like some of it. I’ve always loved and identified with female musicians the most. Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Etta James, Irma Thomas. Cher, Bette Midler, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Rickie Lee Jones, Tori Amos, Courtney Love, Maria McKee, and Jennifer Nettles have all been life-long favorites. And obviously, Robyn and Carly Rae Jepsen. Right now, Ethel Cain, Paloma Faith, Jessie Ware, Lana Del Rey, and Taylor Swift are on every playlist I make.
  • What's Your Family Like?
    My family was big and eccentric and southern and colorful. I had so many aunts and uncles and cousins when I was a kid. My grandmother knew how to Charleston and had more friends than anyone I’ve ever known. Everyone LOVED her. She and my grandfather owned a company that made gravestones. My grandfather used to take me and my little brother with him to check out the sites where a new marker was going to be placed, and we spent a LOT of time playing in cemeteries when I was a kid. My dad’s mom loved to fish and was a cutthroat bridge player. My uncle was a chef and theater director who could basically do anything. He acted, sang, and taught English, and he played the organ at our church. He was flamboyant, hilarious, and slightly scary, too. My mom taught school and was a social worker and is the sweetest person I’ve ever met (although you wouldn’t want to be on her bad side. Trust.) She reads really quickly and when I was a kid it seemed like she’d read two or three novels a week and still find time to read to me every single night. I think that her love of reading made me determined to learn how to read, because it seemed like so much fun. Otherwise, why would she be doing it? I was so determined, I kind of made myself figure it out, and by the first grade, I had a serious book obsession. I made it a goal to read every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book there was, and I think I got pretty close. I would get a new one every Friday. I probably annoyed my brother because it’s all I did. My dad is an identical twin. He managed a retail store. My dad really loves music and sports. He has an unexpected sappy side, and I inherited his love of music and his tendency to cry easily in movies. (Seriously, it doesn’t take much at all) My brother is awesome. He's very fun. Loyal. Cares so much about his family and tradition. We used to have the best time, wandering around in the woods behind our house, hanging out with this family who lived across the street and had five kids of various ages and a POOL. There was a whole crew of neighborhood kids who used to hang out and ride bikes all over the place and it was really cool that my brother and I were often part of the same friend group, as kids, and then later when we were both in college. We used to watch the same five or six movies over and over because they would make us laugh so hard. I remember this one movie called Drop Dead Fred that we couldn't get enough of one summer. My brother married the funniest woman, who can make me laugh pretty much more than anyone I know. And they made the most fabulous human, my niece, who is the best of us all, I think.
  • What made you want to write?
    Every English teacher I had encouraged me to write. I loved writing stories, but I really wanted to write plays and movies. In high school I figured out I was better at acting in plays than writing them and was lucky enough to get a scholarship in theater and perform a lot. I couldn’t imagine anything ever coming between me and my love for acting and later directing, even though I enjoyed writing. After college and grad school, I moved to New York. I started a small theater company that only produces horror, and we have made some really cool low-budget indie theater. In between theater and my job as a restaurant manager, I make time to write.
  • So you wrote a book?
    Yep. In 2017, my partner, who is a brilliant writer, encouraged me to try writing a novel after I told him this idea about a kid who lives in Alabama and is falling in love with his best friend. I decided to do NaNoWriMo. And to my complete surprise, I found that I Ioved getting up every day and writing about that kid. I kept working, and thanks to some amazing input from my partner, and later some amazing writing mentors, that novel became something that I was incredibly proud of and wanted to share.
  • If you could live anywhere for a year, other than where you are now, where would it be?
    Paris, Santorini (I've never been, but it's so beautiful), New Orleans, Los Angeles, or Montezuma, Costa Rica. And any of those places would be ideal vacations for me, too, of course. I think Austin and Atlanta would be fun, too.
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