Slowly, slowly

Really struggling at the moment with my writing.  Sort of. It's hard to explain really. The more I edit, the more description and words I add to my novel, New Lives Across the Ocean. Which is good. I can see it gaining depth and detail. That will allow my readers to identify more fully with both... Continue Reading →

How long should a chapter be?

I've blogged about this before but I'm in a quandary again so I think it's worth a revisit. I'm massively editing Chapter One (currently called Wigginton, Tamworth, England - 1883). There are three distinct scenes in it. To keep them together, will have a chapter of between 6500 and 7000 words. But to separate them... Continue Reading →

Bring on 2019

Yep. We've all done it. Made New Year's resolutions, only to break them. This year, however, I'm determined not to do that. Here's the thing: I really want to get more regular with my blog (one of last year's resolutions that I broke) AND I want to get my novel to a point where it... Continue Reading →

A perfectly Tudor Christmas

According to Claire Ridgeway: [A]advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, was a time of fasting which did not end until Christmas Day. Alison Sim, in “Pleasures and Pastimes in Tudor England”, writes of how Christmas Eve was particularly strict and Tudor people were not allowed to eat eggs, cheese or meat. On Christmas... Continue Reading →

History and fiction

An interesting read: what do you think?

Kelly Gardiner

Here’s the text of a speech I gave at a History Council of Victoria seminar on History and Fiction, 28 August 2018.

Other speakers were Linda Weste and Ali Alizadeh, and the panel was chaired by Kathleen Neal.

Here’s (roughly) what I said.

What is historical fiction? You may have an idea in your head – a shelf of maritime novels by Patrick O’Brien, or blockbusters glimpsed in airport bookshops – all armour and abs and authors names in gold lettering. In truth, it’s a broad church. The definition of the Historical Novel Society is simply that it is fiction set more than 50 years ago, or beyond the personal experience of the author. It includes incredibly popular genres such as historical crime and romance, sub-genres such as military or adventure tales, cosy mysteries and thrillers, literary or experimental fiction set in the past, entire industries of Regency and…

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The Value of Friends

Those two cutie pies at the top are my baby girl Bindi (black/tan/white) and her best friend, Molly. They've known each other since they were puppies. They can go ages without seeing each other, but when they do, it's like long lost family. And they have each other's backs: when Bindi got a huge fright... Continue Reading →

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