Talking on Nest ferch Rhys at Carew Castle this weekend

I am talking about the turbulent life of the Welsh noblewoman, Nest ferch Rhys at Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales, including a tour of the castle, on Sunday 18 September 2022 at 11am and again at 2pm.  Nest is the heroine of my Conquest trilogy and Carew was one of her castle homes. It may have…

Voicing the Voiceless – medieval female protagonists

Almodis de La Marche, countess of Toulouse and Barcelona, was, according to the monk chronicler William of Malmesbury, ‘afflicted with a godless female itch’. Ah ha, I thought, she sounds like she should be the heroine of my first novel. After that first novel on Almodis, I wrote four more novels set in early medieval…

New video review of Conquest

I just came across this video book review of my Conquest trilogy by the Mental Traveler. Thank you! The Conquest trilogy centres on the turbulent life of the 12th century Welsh noblewoman, Nest ferch Rhys, who was the daughter of the last independent Welsh king during the Norman invasions. She was the mistress of the…

Book Events Coming Up

I just gave my first in-person author’s talk after a two-year hiatus and it was a delight to be talking with readers and other writers again. I spoke about my current work on a medieval murder mystery featuring a female troubadour protagonist. Thanks to Parisot LibraryLit for organising the event. More talks coming up in…

World Book Day 2022

#WorldBookDay2022 #BehindEveryBook @Soc_of_Authors @CouncilWriters Celebrating writers, translators, and illustrators everywhere today.

Medieval floating mills

The novel I’m working on is set at the end of the 11th century in Toulouse (and moves into the Pyrenees and the Iberian kingdoms in the second part). Medieval Toulouse had floating water mills for milling flour, which I was curious to find out about. The title image shows the Floating Mill Museum in…

Black Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday or Black Saturday. I’ve set a scene in my new medieval novel during the Black Saturday night vigil in Toulouse’s Saint Etienne Cathedral. As an atheist myself, trying to imagine my way into the religious beliefs of my medieval characters is a major challenge. I asked my Catholic friend, Anne, to…

Talk on Fictional Sleuths in France This Week

I will be giving an illustrated talk at Parisot Library, 82160, France this week on my current shift from writing novels based on real medieval women to a series of medieval murder mysteries, featuring a fictional sleuth. My sleuth, Beatriz de Farrera, is a Catalan trobairitz (or female troubadour). I’ve envisaged her based on this…

Planning a Novel 3: Sleuths Galore

I’ve been looking at other novelists’ sleuths – medieval or otherwise – as part of my current work on a series of medieval murder mysteries. The novel I am writing features a Catalan female troubadour and is set in 11thcentury Toulouse. Other sleuths I’ve been studying include Ellis Peter’s Cadfael, Donna Leon’s Brunetti, Lee Child’s…