Water Love

My post Water Love is just published on meanda.net. It outlines my future fiction and books on water art and writing workshops for adults and children. Also if you are drying out, unable to swim in these lockdown times, check out the links to octopus art, pool art, underwater soundart and the Outdoor Swimming Society’s…

Spies and intrigues in the 12th century

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…

Welsh goldmine

Researching royal bastards, medieval Welsh noblewomen and Welsh gold at the British Library this week for the final book in my Welsh Conquest trilogy. The Anarchy – coming soon. See Impress Books.

Gendering Modernism

My review of Maria Bucur’s book, Gendering Modernism, has just been published in Times Higher Education. In this book, we learn that the Royal Academy was established in 1768 by a group of artists, including two women, but no other female artists were admitted until 1936 and that 88 per cent of the funding for…

The Normans in Wales

Nest ferch Rhys, the 12th century Welsh princess, is the heroine of my fiction trilogy, Conquest. Nest was wife or mistress to a Norman king, a Welsh prince, and the Norman constables of Pembroke and Cardigan castles. Interpretations of the few facts known about Nest ferch Rhys vary greatly. In my novels I am attempting…

Stepping into medieval London

‘The only plagues of London are the immoderate drinking of fools and the frequency of fires’ wrote William Fitz Stephen in his account of the city in the 12th century. On a recent trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts I came across a little book called Norman London in a second-hand bookshop. The book contained Fitz Stephen’s…

Bodice-ripping?

Saturday 25 March 10.30am Tracey Warr at Parisot Library, 82160, France Is historical fiction bodice-ripping escapism, taking liberties with historical facts, or a genre putting flesh on the skeleton of history, and engaging with contemporary society? In this event Tracey Warr will discuss a wide range of historical fiction writers from Mary Renault to Bernard…

Welsh Castles

A review of Conquest: Daughter of the Last King and interview with me by Lisa Redmond has just been published in the February issue of Historical Novels Review. I told Lisa that ‘Conquest was sparked by my travels back and forth by train across the spectacular triple river estuary at Carmarthen Bay, with its string…

Dreaming Ireland

Dreaming Place is a new ebook by Anna Keleher with illustrations by Anna Keleher and Claire Cote. The two artists made two journeys wild-camping in the Marble Arch Caves Geopark which straddles the Ireland/Northern Ireland border. They talked with lots of local people about the relationship between the land and their dreams. They recorded local…

You never know how the past will turn out*

It’s interesting to think about how contemporary details find their way into historical fiction. I’m not talking about errors and anachronisms, but how writers use what they see and hear around them and turn it into something else in their fiction. The locusts kept in a classroom by the creepy tutor in my new novel,…