Second-career writer

This medieval village and castle in the Tarn Valley in southern France was where I was first prompted to start writing historical fiction. A guest post by me charting my mid-life switch from academic to novelist has been published today on M.K. Tod’s A Writer of History blog.

The Displaced Nation

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’….

Writing in exile

In my interview published today on The Displaced Nation, author Harriet Springbett talks about being an English writer living in France: ‘When I go back to England and see bookshops stuffed with books, or blogs featuring new books every day, I feel intimidated. Writing stories suddenly seems rather pointless and I wonder what I can…

Into the Map

For the last few days I have been putting together maps to help readers envisage the action of my latest novel set in the 12th century, The Drowned Court. The characters travel from Dublin, to Wales, to England, and into northern France. Poring over old maps and, as far as possible, walking the terrain myself…

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…

A writing life in France

at Hotel Les Fleurines 17 Boulevard Haute Guyenne Villefranche-de-Rouergue, 12200 France organised by The English Library   Many writers, from Joyce to Hemingway, have seen and used the value of the estranged position. Not entirely fitting in, being a bit of a voyeur is the ideal position for a writer. Not belonging can allow a…

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…

Considering historical fiction

Just back from Cluny Museum of the Medieval Age, Paris. Talking on Sat 25 Mar 10.30am at Parisot Library, France on historical fiction.       Does historical fiction try to impose today’s moral values on another era? 7th century Visigothic votive crowns. Cluny Museum, Paris.       Historical fiction takes time instead of…

2017 Book Events

I have a series of book events coming up this year, talking on and presenting my new historical fiction trilogy, Conquest, which is set in 12th century Wales, England and France. I’ve been researching early medieval toilets, nuns, clothes, castles, and some rather salacious poetry by clerics and dukes. The first book came out last…