Writing

Ring out the old, ring in the new – YES PLEASE!!!!

New Year’s Eve is a date imbued with hope. It is also host to a variety of traditions, all of them meant to ensure a happy future—or at least give us a glimpse of what is to come. Eating twelve grapes at midnight is one of those “let us hope things go well next year” …

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Much Medieval Mayhem – straddling the zone where myth and history meet

After so many weeks of lovely medieval posts we are now well into December, a month that in medieval times was usually a period of fasting. Three days a week, the so called “ember days”, good Christians would abstain from meat and certain other foods as well as wine, honeyed ale, gambling and sex. By …

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Escaping it all – of an addiction to romance and Happily Ever After

2020 has not been a good year. It has been a year of increased polarisation, of a sad downward spiral when it comes to common decency in prominent politicians. It has been a year of pandemic and fear. It has been a year when some governments have used the pandemic as an excuse to permanently …

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Glory and gore – or how M.J. Logue contrasts blood and pain with tender love

As my final guest in my 17th century Glory and Gore extravaganza, I have the pleasure of welcoming M.J. Logue. You want gritty? You want quirky? You want books to cry over, laugh out loud at? You want depictions of battle, of death and loss that have your guts twisting in agony? You enjoy contrasting …

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Glory and Gore – how a TV show inspired Deborah’s life-long love affair with the 17th century

Today’s 17th century guest (no, no, no: not guest, enthusiast!) probably doesn’t remember, but Deborah Swift was one of the first people I met who wrote books set in the 17th century when I myself was about to publish my first book set in this tumultuous time. We both attended a Historical Novel Society conference, …

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BETRAYAL IS COMING FOR YOU! Now available through all online retailers

Much earlier this year, Char Newcomb contacted me and asked me if I was interested in becoming part of a cooperative effort to help promote and support my writing endeavours. I said YES!, because seriously, I struggle with promotion and could do with some new insight into just how to tap into the hidden persuaders …

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Glory and Gore – meet Cryssa, a LoTR fan with a thing about Charles II

Today’s 17th century enthusiast and I have a lot in common. Like a fascination with LoTR (Lord of the Rings for those among you who do not share this affliction). In Cryssa’s case, this means she has a complete set of LoTR figurines – still in their original packaging. Her then young sons wanted to …

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Much Medieval Mayhem – meet a present day Lady of Mercia!

Today’s guest is a person I admire greatly. I love how deftly she weaves history and plot together, how gently she breathes life into her characters. I cry when I read her books. I smile. I experience smells and sounds and sights. More than anything, I become utterly submerged in a world that lies more …

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Glory and Gore – how the lives of your long-dead kin inspired your writing

Today’s guest, Elizabeth St.John, is a lady who can trace her ancestry several centuries backwards in time. I am a tad jealous about that: while Liz’ ancestors were leaving their marks on the actual events of the time, mine are anonymous peeps who probably kept their heads down and concentrated on scraping together a meagre …

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Much Medieval Mayhem – in which Helen talks of Harold, arrows and the dastardly Conqueror

Today I have the great pleasure to welcome Helen Hollick to Much Medieval Mayhem. Helen is a person who has been very important to me—and many, many others—in my writing journey. Generous with her time and advice (very direct advice at times), Helen seems to imbibe directly from a constant source of energy, how else …

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