Book Reviews Request

‘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…

Hide a Book

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…

Medieval Wales

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…

Current status – art writing in Finland

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…

Murder Mystery in France

My interview with author, Stephen Goldenberg, has just been published on The Displaced Nation website. Goldenberg has written and self-published a murder mystery set in France and thrillers set in Britain. He is now working on a novel about a man who modelled for the artist, Francis Bacon. Stephen and I are talking about our…

Simon Mawer interview

My interview with acclaimed novelist Simon Mawer was recently published on The Displaced Nation site. Mawer’s fiction has received a slew of prizes: The McKitterick Prize for his first novel, Chimera; The Glass Room was short-listed for the Booker Prize; and Tightrope won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. He has lived in Italy…

Bull-dancing at Knossos

A beautiful new edition of Mary Renault’s classic novel, The King Must Die, the story of Theseus in Knossos, has just been published by The Folio Society. The book includes eight exquisite illustrations and cover design by Geoff Grandfield. Grandfield’s dominant black and terracotta palette references Cretan frescos and black-figure Greek pottery, which were, in…

Untold Stories

        For an article just published in Historical Novels Review, I asked four novelists to tell me about material they decided to leave out of their novels and how they approached being selective about their researched material. ‘You should fight the desire to include something simply because you find it interesting,’ said Livi…

Simon Mawer, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder

I’ve recently published two articles. An interview with Booker short-listed novelist, Simon Mawer, is published in my regular column for The Displaced Nation. His novel, Tightrope, set in 1950s London, won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. Mawer had a peripatetic upbringing and now lives in Italy. He says that not feeling at home…