Kelly Williams, SUNY Empire State College Student and Secretary in Collegewide Services, Publishes Historical Thriller
By Helen Edelman, manager, Exchange
May 18, 2012
Kelly Williams, at left, secretary to the director of collegewide student services and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies student at SUNY Empire State College studying film, writing and history, has published “Op-Dec: Operation Deceit,” a fiction thriller that she says, “takes readers on a living history journey into the secret exploits of World War II with all the explosions of a Hollywood blockbuster.”
Williams – who uses the pen name K. Williams – says the idea for the book started in a dream. “After writing down the few snippets, it grew into a fast-paced read that transports readers back to World War II and popular culture of the 1940s,” she says. “Despite being fiction, the novel portrays actual historical events and people of 1942.”
The book begins in 1933, at the height of Boston’s social season. The central character, Claire is sent away from her childhood home to live in New York. When the heroine returns home several years later, she finds stranger Carsten Reiniger among Boston’s elite. As memories of her past and present collide, she pieces Carsten’s history together and finds a disturbing link to her own past.
Williams engages her readers by questioning the war-time ideology of 1942. Her comparison of the struggles some Germans faced due to an automatic association with Nazis can equate, she says, “to the discrimination that some of Islamic faith face today due to extremists.”
The work also examines the progress of women in society through Claire, who makes a journey from her sheltered existence in New York to view the debris of war-torn Europe in a matter of a few weeks.
“‘Op-Dec’ is an active method of teaching history through entertainment,” Williams says. “The story suggests that things are not always as they seem. This uncomfortable stance for the reader should provoke deeper thought about the work long after the reader has finished it, leaving them begging for more about the secret war that took place during World War II. It is my hope that I inspire them to go out and get that knowledge.”
Williams believes “Op-Dec” will appeal to readers just seeking entertainment but also those with an interest in historical fiction. She also hopes her work will lead to a new perspective on the power of concepts we readily accept about others without question.
Williams hopes to turn this book into a screenplay and is working on several projects, including a sci-fi trilogy, a fantasy series and other screenplays. She is a graduate of SUNY Albany.