Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain is set in a graveyard in the west of Ireland in the early 1940s and is a continuing dialogue between those buried there. These are not spirits waiting to be translated elsewhere but rather the coffin-bound corpses of the dead. They have brought with them into … Continue reading Book Review – Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain
This is my first 'real' interview - Richard Lowe interviews me about Forsaking All Other and writing in general. It is part of his Author Talk series where he interviews a range of authors about their books and their approaches to writing. Richard's website Fiction Master Class also contains a wealth of material for people … Continue reading An Interview with the Author!
Recently I have read several books where historical implausibilities have just leapt off the page at me - female cooks in the Manor house of a substantial gentry family in the 1530s, characters attending a play several years before the playwright was even born, a twelve year old girl reading a banned book that was … Continue reading Assume Nothing
In the Reith Lectures this year Hilary Mantel discusses what is at the heart of good historical fiction, our relationship with the past, and the central elements in a historical novelist's attempt to bring the past alive for us today. As Mantel herself says 'The reason you must stick by the truth is that it … Continue reading Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lectures 2017
Helen Garner is one of Australia's best loved writers. Her first novel Monkey Grip was published in 1977 and since then she has published further novels, short stories, full length non-fiction works, screenplays, as well as numerous essays, articles and newspaper columns. A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work (2017) by Bernadette Brennan is … Continue reading Book Review – A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work by Bernadette Brennan
I regard writing as in some ways like sculpting with clay. In sculpting the starting point is a design and an armature (the framework on which a clay sculpture is moulded), with writing most of us begin with a general idea of the story we want to tell and the arc it will follow even … Continue reading Revision, revision, revision
I suppose I am getting ahead of myself blogging about the way I write historical fiction when I have nothing published yet, so these are as much the thoughts of a reader as a writer. While the details of place, and manners and customs play a large part in creating the historical world, the style … Continue reading Language in Historical Fiction
This is the latest swashbuckling 17th century historical romance from the pen of Alison Stuart - the first book in a two book series (FEATHERS IN THE WIND) spanning the years of the English Civil War from 1642- 1645. AND THEN MINE ENEMY A family ripped apart in a country divided by war . . … Continue reading And Then Mine Enemy by Alison Stuart
'When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.' The image comes from the twentytwowords site where you can find more delightful photographs of Mark Twain and his cats.
This interesting article by Livi Michael, published in Historia Magazine, looks at the way the writing of historical fiction has changed over the last fifty or so years in response to developments in historiography and the contemporary world view. In the course of my lifetime, historical fiction has been on a journey, from mass-market romance … Continue reading Not What it Used to Be by Livi Michael