Spies and intrigues in the 12th century

HenryBlois
Henry of Blois, Abbot of Glastonbury and Bishop of Winchester

I am currently hard at work on the final book in my Conquest series about the Welsh and the Normans in the 12th century. The trilogy is centred on the life of Nest ferch Rhys, the daughter of the last Welsh king of the south-west kingdom of Deheubarth. The final book is called The Anarchy and will be published by Impress Books in 2019. I’ve been rereading the first two books to get thoroughly immersed again in the characters’ lives. The advantage of writing the final book in a trilogy is that your characters’ backstories already exist in your own previous novels. In the new book, I’m enjoying developing the role of Breri, a travelling Welsh bard and a spy, and I am writing in an intrigue involving the Vatican and the Bishop of Winchester.

My latest newsletter with updates on all my writing including historical fiction, future fiction and art writing has just been published. If you don’t already subscribe you can sign up here.

April Writing

March was very busy and I’m hoping to get some settled writing done this month. I’m working in two opposite directions – the future and the past – and trying not to go mad with that!

I’m editing a book called The Midden with Jenni Nurmenniemi, which relates to the Frontiers in Retreat art and ecology research project. I have just returned from Helsinki and a very productive meeting with Jenni and the book designer, Serge from NODE. The book will be published in the summer and includes essays by Taru Elfving, Emma Itaranta, Jenni Nurmenniemi, Jussi Parikka, Antti Salminen and myself.

1 Annantalo
My Water Age workshop with children at Annatalo Art School, Helsinki

I’m also finalising a series of books, The Water Age, that I will self-publish, which are the culmination of my own work in the Frontiers in Retreat project. One book is a collection of my future fictions. The other two books present art and writing workshops, one for adults and the other for children. More on the publication dates for those coming soon.

And work on the final book in my historical trilogy, Conquest, published by Impress Books, is underway. The new novel, The Anarchy, is set in 12th century Europe and focuses on the Welsh princess, Nest ferch Rhys and the continuing struggles between the Welsh and the Normans. I have a couple of guest blogposts coming up this month on M.K. Tod’s A Writer of History and Mary Anne Yarde’s Myths, Legends, Books and Coffee Pots. Her first guest this month, is Tom Williams, a British writer who has written a novel about a man he describes as ‘the James Bond of the Napoleonic Wars’. If you are interested in historical fiction this sounds like a good read.

New newsletter and books giveaway

urinal Cluny
Urinal used for medical diagnosis, from the Cluny Museum, Paris

My latest newsletter has just been published. It includes news on my novel in progress, The Anarchy, depicting the continuing conflict between the Welsh and the Normans in the 12th century in the aftermath of the sinking of The White Ship, when King Henry I lost his heir.

The newsletter also includes items on my recent talks with writers and readers, my visual inspirations for writing from the Cluny Museum and news on two new guest blogposts coming up.

And finally there is a competition to win a free book by answering a simple question about Henry I.

If you don’t already subscribe to my newsletter you can sign up here.