ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Full-time author of historical fiction and historical fantasy.
Wars of the Roses, Richard III, Medieval Queens and Noblewomen, Robin Hood, Stonehenge
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
I was born in Canada, but have lived in Britain for half of my life. I have worked in heritage and tourism, and have a lifelong interest in archaeology and anthropology. The medieval period the prehistoric Britain are my prime areas of historical interest--especially Richard III and the Wars of the Roses, and the British Bronze Age/Stonehenge. I write full time now and like to travel around to ancient churches and ruins in my spare time.
When and why did you start writing books?
I wrote my first story at 5, my second at 6--it was about Cleopatra. I wanted to be a writer from that age onwards and would fill notebooks full of short stories. By age 8, I was writing 'monster' stories with my friend Terri, and then at 11 I read Tolkien and that opened the way for studies in various mythology and history.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
I really couldn't be happy doing anything else! It was always the end goal, and I know I am very lucky to do it full-time. I still have to pinch myself sometimes.
Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
My version of Richard III, which is nothing like Shakespeare's. Also, amusingly, the Duke of Buckingham, his enemy, who turned out to be a far more interesting character than I had imagined
Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
Probably my Stonehenge novel, THE STONEHENGE SAGA. Although I knew the archaeological side of things pretty well, I gave it a twist by having the story based on the Arthurian myths but moved far, far back in time to about 2400 BC. A large amount of characters to deal with and a lot of events.
Who is your favourite author and book?
The Lord of the Rings by JRRR Tolkien. Also love works by Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, Robert Holdstock
What book are you reading right now?
I've been reading a fair bit of horror--Adam Nevill's The Reddening is one I'm reading at the moment.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
From history and folklore
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Church-crawling, photography, travelling, and...reading. I usually have half a dozen books on the go.
Do you have any new books in the works?
Yes, as soon as I finish one I begin another. In fact, I have two. THE MELANCHOLY WINTER is a historical piece about Richard III's older brother who died in his first battle, aged only seventeen. The other is a high fantasy, the first long story I've written in that genre for many years. I wrote the first draft in around 1981! I shelved it for years, thought it was unworkable from the original manuscript and binned it. But...the characters came back to haunt me. They wouldn't let go...it wants to be written! I have to write on it when I can squeeze it in though, as the stories I know already have a strong readership have to come first.