I am running a series of daily image trailers on Twitter prior to an illustrated talk that I am giving at Downham Market Library on Monday 11 December, 2-3pm.
A lot of the research I undertake for my historical fiction involves images, objects, places and maps.
To celebrate the publication of my latest novel, The Drowned Court, I will present some of these fascinating images in the talk. I aim to show how I use them to help me write and how some of these objects, faces and places have found their way into my fiction.
Booking for the talk is essential on 01366 383073. (Tickets £3, includes refreshments.)
The images above are: Statue of the Virgin, Albi Cathedral, France; December from a Book of Hours; Locust in a manuscript; the Witham Pin in the British Museum. Follow me on Twitter for more images over the next week.
Those of you who now live or have lived in a place other than your place of birth may be interested to take a look at The Displaced Nation and to sign up for their bi-monthly Displaced Dispatch.
For the last eighteen months I have been interviewing authors for the site’s regular column, ‘Location, Locution’.
My latest interview is with Harriet Springbett, British YA author living in France.
Other interviews include:
Jacqueline Yallop, British historical novelist and non-fiction writer living part-time in France
Simon Mawer, British novelist living in Italy
Charles Lambert, British novelist living in Italy
Emmi Itaranta, Finnish future fiction writer living in the UK
A.J. Mackenzie, Canadian historical crime duo living in the UK
Clare Kane, Scottish novelist living in China.
Thank you to The Displaced Nation editor, ML, for her beautiful and inventive interview layouts.
‘I could not put this book down from the moment I started it. I practically inhaled the content.’ Poppy Coburn on Daughter of the Last King
To those of you who have already read one or more of my historical novels: I would be grateful if you get the time to post a brief review on Amazon or Goodreads. Thanks to those of you who already did so. A few lines is enough and it all helps. My next novel is published in a week’s time. Here are some recent reviews:
On Conquest: Daughter of the Last King:
‘As the drawbridge came down, I ventured in. In fact, I remember nothing of what happened in my everyday life until I came out at the end.’ The booktrail on amazon.co.uk
‘Nest is a fascinating character torn between two cultures and … two men. The book offers fantastic insight into the lives of women of the period; the frustration of being kept in the dark about events, the lack of control … and the constant reminders that a woman’s greatest currency is her ability to bear children.’ Lisa D on Madwoman in the Attic blog
On The Viking Hostage:
‘machiavellious plotting … human chess played with lives and land.’ Ani Johnson on The Book Bag
‘brings the historical condition of women to life through vivid storytelling.’ AMM on amazon.co.uk
Thank you very much to those reviewers and all readers who have enjoyed the books.
Today is Hide a Book Day organised by the Book Fairies. Books will be left all over the world for readers to find. This year, the books are also hiding to celebrate the 10th birthday of Goodreads, and that celebration goes on all month. My books are hiding in London, Narberth, Bristol and Toulouse over the coming days.
Above is an artist’s impression of the Welsh fort at Carew that preceded the Norman stone castle occupying the site today. The sketch is based on findings from archaeology digs in the 1990s. The stone cross at the entrance to the site, inscribed with the name of the 11th century king Maredudd ap Edwin, is testament that Carew was an important centre for the royal family of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth. My novel series, Conquest, is concerned with the surviving members of that royal family, after the Normans invaded and killed the last king, Rhys ap Tewdwr, in 1093, along with two of his sons. Initially, three of the king’s five sons survived but one of those soon died in a Norman prison. The youngest son was born in captivity in Carmarthen castle and was maimed to prevent any claim from him. Another son, Gruffudd ap Rhys, was hidden by his kin in Dublin and returned when he reached manhood to challenge the Normans for his lost kingdom. My novels centre on the king’s daughter, Nest ferch Rhys, whose colourful life led her to be dubbed Helen of Wales.
I will be at Narberth Book Fair in the Queen’s Hall, Narberth in Pembrokeshire
on Saturday 23 September 10am-4pm,
along with 34 other authors and tons of books.
There will be talks, readings, workshops, children’s corner.
Entry and all events are free.
My new book, The Drowned Court, is set in the 12th century, and will be published by Impress Books on 30 October.
I am currently writer in residence at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, on the Finnish island of Suomenlinna, working on a project called Frontiers in Retreat.
Frontiers in Retreat is an art and ecology project I have been involved in for the last four years. A series of exhibitions, titled Edge Effects, has just begun and showcases some of the work produced by the 25 artists and 8 curatorial partners in the project:
June-September, Edge Effects at Skaftfell, Iceland; June-August, Edge Effects at Mustarinda, Finland; July, Edge Effects organised by Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Glasgow; July-September, Edge Effects in Aizpute, Latvia, and opening soon online in July: Edge Effects, Farrera, Spain which includes my work, FORD and my interview series with some of the artists. More Edge Effects exhibitions opening later in the year in Zagreb and Seoul.
HIAP has just produced the beautiful booklet above, designed by NODE in Berlin, and edited by Salla Lahtinen and Jenni Nurmenniemi. You can download a free copy here
The booklet summarises the work of the Frontiers in Retreat artists and partners and is also available at the Edge Effects exhibition venues. It features the photograph below of my installed text work, MEANDA, from the Exoplanet Lot exhibition organised by Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou, Cajarc, last year.