Planning a Novel 3: Sleuths Galore

I’ve been looking at other novelists’ sleuths – medieval or otherwise – as part of my current work on a series of medieval murder mysteries. The novel I am writing features a Catalan female troubadour and is set in 11thcentury Toulouse. Other sleuths I’ve been studying include Ellis Peter’s Cadfael, Donna Leon’s Brunetti, Lee Child’s…

Planning a Novel 1: Mapping and Settings

Novel planning in progress. I don’t have a lot of study wall space but what there is is starting to fill up! Above – locations and maps for the key settings and journey from medieval Toulouse, to Pallars Sobira in the Pyrenees, and the Iberian kingdom of Aragon. Moving upwards images are San Sernin in…

Reading and Writing

Last week, reading Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree to my two grandsons, age five and two weeks, made me realise why I write fiction myself. My five-year-old grandson has just started reading. It is so exciting to see him doing that after literally five years of his mum and me reading him three stories every night…

Writing a medieval murder mystery

I am on Day 7, at the end of week 1 of the NanoWriMo challenge to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. See my earlier post on starting the challenge and a second post on my writing playlist. If I were going to write the same number of words on each of…

Joining NanoWriMo November

Since I’ve had a writer’s block for over a year, I decided to sign up to NanoWriMo November and see if this could help kick me into a place with a substantial new novel draft to work with. National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel…

New newsletter published

New newsletter just published. Contents include news on my next historical novel, The Anarchy, which will be published by Impress Books in June; a radio interview with me on Soundart Radio; a book reviewing competition; my work in progress on a biography of three medieval sisters; and residencies and workshops I’ve undertaken in the last…

Impressive Books

My publisher, Impress Books, has changed hands. Immense thanks to Richard Willis who founded Impress Books and launched my career as a published historical fiction novelist. And hello, Jeff Collyer, who has taken over and has lots of exciting plans in the pipeline for the Impress Books list. Thank you, too, to my fellow Impress…

Tracking stories through time and across landscapes

Sarah Gray’s interview with me on Soundart Radio discussing my medieval fiction, my watery future fiction, and new arts postgrad courses at Dartington Arts School – MA Poetics of Imagination and MA Arts and Place. Listen in:

Norman silver bird brooch

Writing on a Norman silver mine in the final stages of editing my next novel, The Anarchy. Found this exquisite Norman silver bird brooch to help with writing the scene.