Today we have the pleasure of speaking with author D.J. Williams! D.J.’s newest novel, The Auctioneer, was released earlier this year. With the DNA of a world traveler, D.J. Williams was born and raised in Hong Kong, igniting an adventurous spirit as he ventured into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the slums of the Far East. His global travels engrossed him in a myriad of cultures, and provided a unique perspective that fuels his creativity as an Executive Producer, Director, and Author. Storytelling is in his DNA, and continues to inspire his passion to write suspenseful thrillers for an international audience.
Thriller Magazine: Congratulations on the release of your newest novel, The Auctioneer! Can you share some of the inspiration behind it?
I’ve always been an avid reader of suspense, thrillers, and mysteries with an international appeal. So, writing The Auctioneer was my search for characters and storylines that jetset across the globe to immerse readers in gritty underworlds, as well as high societies where absolute power corrupts absolutely. And while he’s not a covert operative who fights in the shadows, I can reveal that the genesis of the story was inspired by a dear friend who is one of the greatest auctioneers of all-time. My hope was that once I injected a little reality into this fictional world readers would find my main character, Chase Hardeman, worthy to stand alongside the likes of Bond, Bourne, and Reacher.
TM: The Auctioneer has received high praise from both readers and book reviewers, which I’m sure feels great as an author. What do you think sets this novel apart from others in the thriller genre?
Hopefully what sets The Auctioneer apart in a massive genre is the uniqueness of the characters and a world wrapped up in global espionage, covert operatives, high-end wheeling and dealing, hunting hidden treasures, and twists filled with havoc, heartbreak, and a bit of dark humor. It’s a fast-paced read driven by scened chapters with a filmic quality to the storytelling. My writing has been shaped by reading my favorite authors such as Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Jack Carr, and others. With so many great storytellers out there, it’s humbling when anyone takes the time to read one of my novels. And this one holds a special place for me as I’ve fallen in love with the characters and the world, which is why I’m hooked on writing the next one in the series.
TM: Chase Hardeman is a very interesting protagonist for the story. How did you go about creating his character? Is he a complete product of your imagination, or are there parts of his character that are similar to yourself?
Chase was inspired originally from my good friend, Mitch Kruse, the original auctioneer. Once that spark of an idea for Chase struck, my imagination wandered into a fictional backstory of him being a former special ops veteran who dreams of leaving a clandestine war behind to become a legend like his father in the auction arena. What Chase discovers is that his search for a hidden treasure will reveal answers to a ghost buried in the desert of Mosul known to US intelligence as the Prodigal. In the trenches with Chase is his best friend, Dexter “Dax” Thompson, who wields a sharp wit and tongue. And then there’s the Black Widow of Bratva, Elena Vihkrov, who adds to the strong female characters who live within my novels.
Kirkus Reviews offered insight into the characters: “Williams delivers an exciting, well-executed thriller. The major characters occupy a grey area between good and bad; even Chase admits that he and his dad were mixed up with the wrong people: “I was no Boy Scout. Sins of a father and son—committed far more often than we ever admitted,” he reveals. The danger is palpable, and women get meaty roles as agents, terrorists, lovers, and combinations of the three.”
I’m sure there are pieces of me lurking within each character, but I’ll leave that up to readers to decide.
TM: I know there is already some considerations to bring The Auctioneer to the big screen in the near future. If you had the final say, which actor do you think could do justice to Chase Hardeman?
A few who come to mind would be Jamie Bell, Taron Egerton, Jack O’Connell or Jai Courtney.