LIFE & STYLE

This Author Went From A Business Career To Writing Fiction. Meet Beatriz Williams

By Moira Macdonald
The Seattle Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Beatriz Williams says she always dreamed of becoming a writer, but that her engineer father urged practicality. She attended Stanford University and then Columbia University, graduating with an MBA in finance and working as a communications-strategy consultant. Williams shares her journey on becoming a novelist.

The Seattle Times

For her best-selling 2018 novel “The Summer Wives,” Beatriz Williams was inspired by the idea of a secretive island world.

The book, which spans several decades (early 1930s to late 1960s) and two generations of a high-society summer family and a local clan, takes place on Winthrop Island, a place that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

Williams, who grew up in the Seattle area and now lives in Connecticut, said that Winthrop Island is fictional, but it owes a significant debt to the real-life Fishers Island, on the East Coast. “The island was first pointed out to me many years ago by my husband,” said Williams in a telephone interview this month. “His parents live on the Connecticut shoreline, and if you look across on a clear day you can see Fishers.”

Fishers, like Winthrop, is “a place where people go to maintain a particular culture without changing,” said Williams, noting that the real-life island has no hotels or restaurants. “You have to belong to one of the clubs on the island. All the entertaining is domestic entertaining, you have to be part of the group. I thought, that’s really fascinating. I kept my eyes open over the course of years; I thought it would make a really interesting setting.”

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