Born in 1948 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Williams is a freelance writer who has also published nearly 20 books, most of them in the fields of suspense and horror.
He attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, receiving a B.S. in 1970, and went on to be a teacher at public schools in Cleveland, Ohio, then he became a professional actor before becoming a freelance writer in 1986.
Among his novels are Ash Wednesday, Soustorm, Lowland Rider, McKain's Dilemma, Reign, Dreamthorp and The Searchers series. His books have been translated and published in many languages and countries, including France, Germany, Russia, Italy and Japan. His most recent books are Figures in Rain, a collection of his short stories, Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas, a picture book, and a centennial history of Elizabethtown College. He also writes reviews for Rambles.NET.
Nearly a hundred of his short stories have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, Twilight Zone, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and many other magazines and anthologies. He has been a final nominee for the World Fantasy Award and the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award, and a six-time nominee for the Horror Writers Association's Stoker Award. His story, "Gandhi at the Bat", was recently made into a short film by Stephanie Argy and Alec Boehm. Figures in Rain, a collection of Williamson's short stories, won the International Horror Guild Award.
Apart from writing, Williamson is also a musician and music collector. From 2001 to 2007, he was the lead singer and guitarist with Rambles.NET editor, fiddler, and bodhranist Tom Knapp in Fire in the Glen, a Celtic duo, and he loves and collects nearly every kind of music.
A lifelong member of Actors' Equity Association, Williamson recently resumed his acting career, and has performed in plays and musicals at Lancaster's Fulton Opera House and Theater of the Seventh Sister. In 2010 he began recording performances of fellow A/P/AVP contributor writer Andrew Vachss's short stories, as well as some of his own, for the MPformance.com website (www.MPformance.com).
His lives with his wife Laurie. Their son Colin lives in Tokyo, where he works for Square, developing video games.