Thursday, 27 September 2012

History in the Court 2012

History in the Court is a wonderful annual opportunity for lovers of historical fiction to meet one another and their favourite authors. It's run by David Headley, owner of Goldsboro Books in London. Last week I scooted up to the big smoke to attend for the second time. The bookshop is quite small, so people spill out into the street, with chatter and laughter broken only by the occasional sound of a wine-glass breaking...

It was lovely to meet again two writers I met last year: first, Douglas Jackson, who writes thrillers set in ancient Rome under his own name, and a different strand of thrillers, the most recent of which is The Isis Covenant, under the name James Douglas. Like so many writers, he works to a gruelling production schedule but clearly loves what he does - we had a good chat about how useful Google satellite is when researching locations.

I also met Karen Maitland, one of my favourite historical fiction writers, again. I've read all of her books and strongly recommend them - her latest, set in Iceland and Portugal, is The Falcons of Fire and Ice. We discussed Icelandic volcanoes and medieval health remedies!

It was great also to see the lovely Jenny Barden, who's caught up in the whirlwind of promoting her book, Mistress of the Sea (see my previous blogpost here about the launch) - and in organising the Historical Novel Society's Conference, which starts tomorrow!

I had hoped to meet Lynn Shepherd at last, the author of the brilliant Tom-All-Alone's - but one of the penalties of milling about in the street in the semi-dark is that it's very difficult to know who's there! Some writers wore badges, but you feel uncomfortable barging up to someone and staring fiercely at their pectoral region ...

I was also remiss on the photography front (blame the wine) - so I only have one of Karen Maitland. Here's the link to my report on last year's History in the Court, which is more heavily illustrated!

On Saturday, I'm off to the Historical Novel Society Conference, and I'm really looking forward to it. There are fascinating panel discussions and talks lined up, pitch meetings and the chance to socialise with authors and readers. Three of my Fictionfire clients will be there, so I'm looking forward to catching up with them.

Two Saturdays after that (13th October), I'll be running my writing workshop I Need a Hero, about how to create memorable heroes and heroines in your fiction - full details of that and the other workshops in the autumn/winter series are on my website here - they include setting up your social platform, writing short stories, and creating villains with relish!

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