From Court to Cloister

From Court to Cloister After nine years of research there is one moment that stands out to me, among all the remarkable events of the Wars of the Roses. The event I am talking about took place in October 1459, at the Battle of Ludlow, which is also known as the Battle of Ludford Bridge…

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Reading the Market

  Obviously, people read for different reasons; to switch off, to turn on, to be informed about the world they live in or to escape from it; for research or for relaxation.  Various studies into reading fiction have investigated this, though none of them comprehensively. In 2005 the British Marketing Council conducted a survey into…

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What I’m Reading Now

Of all the books that I currently have on my bedside table (and it is a considerable pile) the most unusual is probably In Heaven’s River, by Julian Daizan Roshi and Sumiko Hayashi. It is a tribute to the life of Enku, a mountain monk or yamabushi who lived in Japan in the 17th century,…

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Hilary or Florence?

Two nights ago I attended a wonderful reading by Hilary Mantel at MMU. She was magnificent – wise, witty and engaging. She read from two brilliant stories and answered questions put to her by the audience and by the also brilliant Dr Eileen Pollard, who deserves much praise for arranging this event. Mantel said so…

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Thinking Big

Rebellion, the sequel of Succession is out this week. This has led me to consider what I might say about it, if asked. Obviously I might not be asked. but this, in any case, is what I would say… The fiction that has most impressed me in the past has had a certain quality that I…

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The end is nigh!

It has been more than eight years since I started to write Succession and its sequels.  Eight years and four months since I looked up at the angels in the ceiling of Manchester Cathedral and wondered who Margaret Beaufort was. Margaret Beaufort, I should say, is thought to have donated them. So much has happened…

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Hitting the big time?

OK, so, new book out in August, new publicist assigned. The very lovely Julia suggests that I come up with one or two story ideas that she can tout around various magazines. No, the ones I’ve already written sporadically over the years won’t do – the magazines have a specific brief. A particular length, upbeat,…

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