D. J. Williams is the author of The Disillusioned and is an executive producer and director for non-profits and in the entertainment industry. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife but is a world traveler. Born in Hong Kong, Williams has traveled to the Far East, Africa, and the Amazon to tell the stories of people overcoming the odds. He’s also the co-author of Restoration Road with Mitch Kruse and has directed and produced over 140 episodes for television with NBC, ABC, FOX and various cable networks worldwide.


MTAR: Tell us about yourself.
D. J. Williams:
I was born and raised in Hong Kong until I was fifteen and then moved back to Los Angeles. I guess you could say I’ve been a city boy all my life. I’m a basketball junkie. I love to read fiction. I love the creative process. I’ve been happily married for 22 years to my best friend. I worked in the music business for many years and then transitioned into producing and directing television. I have had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world producing and directing various projects. I guess the mix of all of it has influenced my desire to write. Wow, now I’m exhausted after reliving the last forty-something years of my life.

MTAR: You grew up in Hong Kong. How does that influence you as an author?
D. J. Williams: Growing up in Hong Kong I was always surrounded by friends from different cultures. It gave me a unique perspective that has stuck with me. I?ve also been given the opportunity to travel the world and meet many different people, to hear their stories, and to reflect on how their story has affected my own story. That shapes how I develop my characters. For example, many of the characters in The Disillusioned were inspired by people I’ve met over the years. I have another book that’s making the rounds with publishers where the characters are friends from childhood who I’ve placed into my story line. I’d also say that many of the locations in my stories are places I’ve been. I think it helps make the scenes even more real because I’ve experienced these places firsthand.

MTAR: Can you tell us what gave you the inspiration to write The Disillusioned?
D. J. Williams: I was coming out of a difficult year both personally and professionally. Two unexpected deaths in my family only thirty days apart. A business venture that that ended shortly after. For months I wondered what was happening. I didn’t know that this season would change the direction of my life. I didn’t fully understand it until a few years later. During that season I started writing. I never expected the twists and turns that followed. I was discovering the story along the way. The deeper I immersed myself the more I knew it would eventually involve a social cause. I hoped it would make people judge the truth for themselves and make a choice to get involved in some way.

MTAR: What do you do when you are not writing?
D. J. Williams: When I’m not working I spend time with my wife and friends. I’m a basketball fanatic so I watch quite a bit of it on NBA TV. Other than that work takes up the majority of my time these days.

MTAR: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
D. J. Williams: As many of us know, millions are being sold into slavery. Human trafficking is the second fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world. It is not just something that is happening in third world countries, it is happening here in the U.S. as well. Knowing that is reality I decided before The Disillusioned was finished that I wanted to do what I could to help make a difference. So, for every book sold we are making a donation to the “Let’s Respond” Campaign, which is headed up by the F.A.C.T. Alliance in Orange County, CA.

They are focused on building aftercare facilities for victims, both nationally and internationally. Without aftercare, rescue is futile, as statistically, victims tend to go back to the only life they know unless they have strong alternatives. Currently, the campaign is focused on building an aftercare village in Africa, a victim support facility in Northern California, and has partnered with The Love 146 Roundhome in the Philippines. I am excited that The Disillusioned will be a part of helping this great organization.

If you’re interested in learning more about them you can visit or you can contact me on my website at

MTAR: Besides being an author, I know you are a director/producer for TV. Can you share with us about that?
D. J. Williams: I think working in any type of creative media helps when you crossover into another aspect of visual or written storytelling. In all of these areas you’re trying to tell a story that is compelling for the viewer/reader. You need to grab their attention and then keep it throughout. That’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned from the projects I’ve been involved in. Also, on the television side I work mainly as a producer or director so it’s a different frame of mind from writing. I’m always watching the clock, the schedule, the shots and making sure I’m getting what we need to cut an episode together. For me, writing The Disillusioned was an escape from all of that. I took my time. I wrote alone. No one read a single word until I was nearly finished. It was much more solitary than directing or producing, which I enjoyed.

MTAR: What has been the best compliment?
D. J. Williams: Allow me to quote one of the book reviewers, Christy Maurer. “The Disillusioned is an amazing story! I just finished reading it, and I’m feeling that withdrawal you feel after reading a good book. It’s as if you have been on an incredible journey and now must return to real life. This book is suspenseful, mysterious, thrilling, eye-opening, and convicting all at the same time. From the very first chapter, it grips you and keeps you wanting more. It is a book that really makes you think. It transcends genres. It is a book for anyone who cares about fixing what is wrong with the world. It is for anyone who loves adventure. The action is riveting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s for anyone driven by compassion for a suffering world. And it is for anyone willing to be convicted to be more than what they are.”

MTAR: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
D. J. Williams: The biggest challenges was to find an agent, continue to write, and to be patient. Finding the right agent who can represent the type of fiction you want to write is really important. They are going to be the ones who are talking to the publishers who are looking for what you’re writing. If you go with the wrong agent that doesn’t represent your type of fiction then you’re fighting an uphill battle that is already tough enough. Second, continue to write. When you find yourself discouraged because things aren’t happening fast enough its important to keep writing. You never know when the tide will turn and if you’re not ready with content then you won’t have anything to show. Third, be patient. That’s probably the hardest of them all for me. The publishing world can operate at a snails pace most of the time. For me, I’ve written proposals that made the rounds for months. With my agent we’ve talked with publishers about potential projects and then waited months to hear back. It’s just part of the business. So learning how to be patient amidst the uncertainty is important.

MTAR: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
D. J. Williams: My only advice is to write everyday, unleash your creativity, and never give up.

MTAR: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
D. J. Williams: The hardest part was not knowing exactly how the book was going to end. When I started writing The Disillusioned I had a completely different story in mind. The further I went with the characters the story took many twists and turns I never anticipated. I had to go back and rewrite quite a bit to make all the pieces fit together. I think the second hardest part was to finish it. You get to a point when you’re writing when you question if anyone is going to read what you’re pouring your heart and soul into. There’s a gut check moment where you have to decide that you’re going to finish the book even if you’re the only person who ever reads it.

MTAR: What are your current projects?
D. J. Williams: I have a 4-book series that has been making the rounds over the last year with various publishers. We’re still trying to find a home. I’m going to shelve it for now because there is a story I’ve been researching over the last three years. I think I’m finally ready to write it. It’s filled with rich characters from the 1920’s and present day whose lives collide. My hope is it will keep readers guessing, leaving them on the edge of their seats, trying to figure out how these two eras are connected. I’m also thinking about writing a sequel to The Disillusioned at some point. For now I’m ready to jump back into the deep end and see what happens. Wish me luck!