Eighteenth Century

Hen Pearce: A Pugilistic Hercules

This guest blog on Catherine Curzon’s blog, A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life, looks at Bristol pugilist Hen Pearce, the Game Chicken. Hen features in the first Dan Foster Mystery, Bloodie Bones. How is it possible to reconcile images of the pugilist as a sensitive, humane hero with the brutal realities of bare-knuckle boxing? You can read Hen Pearce: A Pugilistic Hercules here.


Running for the Finishing Line

Anna Belfrage, HNS Indie Award 2016 judge and winner in 2015, invited the four finalists for the HNS Indie Review Award 2016 onto her blog in the run up to the award announcement. On 11 June 2016 it was my turn to talk about the inspiration behind Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery, future plans for Dan, and what being shortlisted for the award meant to me. You can read Running for the Finishing Line here.


Historical Novel Society Indies Reviews Editor’s Choice A-Z Blog Hop, April 2016

Dan Foster talks about his work in Bloodie Bones in this blog hop run by HNS Reviews Editor Helen Hollick which features books picked as Editor’s Choice by the HNS Indies Reviews – with blogs written by our main characters! Read B is for Bloodie Bones here.


Jaffa Reads Too: Author in the Spotlight

Guest author on Jaffa Reads Too on 27 July 2015, talking about Bloodie Bones and what’s in store for Dan Foster in the future. Read the Jaffa Reads Too blog here.


A Victory Celebration

In the eighteenth century the war between poachers and gamekeepers could be brutal. In autumn 1796, Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist Dan Foster is sent to a Somerset village to investigate the murder of a gamekeeper…

Read an extract from my forthcoming historical novel, Bloodie Bones, which was part of a Christmas Party Blog Hop on 20 December 2014. Our theme was “a celebration”. Read A Victory Celebration and hop to the other blogs at Lucienne Boyce’s Blog.


“Instantly I felt it in my soul”

Silas Told was a Bristol sailor, Methodist and slave trader, and the subject of a guest blog about searching for the real story behind 18th-century spiritual autobiography for the Oxford Centre for Life Writing, Easter 2014. Read “Instantly I felt it in my soul” some thoughts on interpreting the life of Silas Told.


The Female Writer’s Apology: Or, Then and Now

Why did so many women writers in the eighteenth century adopt male pseudonyms, and why do some writers still do it today? A blog written for the SilverWood Author’s Spring 2014 Blog Hop. Read The Female Writer’s Apology here.


We Will Have a Fire: Arson During Eighteenth-Century Enclosures

“Inclosure came and trampled on the grave/Of labour’s rights and left the poor a slave”… An article about arson as protest against enclosures in the eighteenth century. Part of the “Casting Light Upon the Darkness” Blog Hop organised by author Helen Hollick, 21 December 2013. Read We Will Have a Fire here.


Suffragettes

Suffragettes and Insanity

“The suffragettes’ demand for justice was dismissed as a form of madness.”

On 2 November 2016 I was a guest on David Lawlor’s blog, History With a Twist, with a blog about how the government tried to use laws designed to cope with the mentally ill to deal with militant campaigners. You can read the blog here.


Lady Constance Lytton: Book Review

I reviewed Lyndsey Jenkins’s immensely readable biography, Lady Constance Lytton: Aristocrat, Suffragette, Martyr, for Bristol 24/7 on 8 May 2015. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the suffragette movement generally, and also for those who would like to know more about a suffragette with many Bristol connections. You can read the review here.


The Bristol Suffragettes who fought fire with fire

“By the autumn of 1913, women campaigning for the right to vote had put up with years of violence and repression from street thugs and the state alike…” The opening of Eugene Byrne’s feature on the suffragette campaign in Bristol and my book The Bristol Suffragettes, in the Bristol Times on 17 September 2013. Includes some fantastic pictures. Bristol Post – The Bristol Suffragettes.


Talking Suffragettes

An interview with Suzie Grogan about The Bristol Suffragettes and suffragettes in Devon and Somerset on 10Radio’s Talking Books show on 16 August 2013. You can read a review of the book and listen to the show on Suzie’s blog, No More Wriggling Out of Writing. The podcast is the programme’s third most listened to since it was originally broadcast.  Podcast and book review.


The Right Stuff

An article about the Bristol suffragettes published in the August 2013 issue of Clifton Life – pp 50-51.


Other Topics

The Joy of Beta Reading

“We all know that it’s easier to spot other people’s mistakes than our own. True enough, but let’s face it, their mistakes are often our mistakes…”

I was delighted to be a guest on the ALLi blog in November 2016, musing about how beta reading other writers’ work can actually improve your own. Read The Joy of Beta Reading here.


Why Wikipedia isn’t Real Research for your Self Published Novel

On 30 May 2016 the Alliance of Independent Authors published an extract from the talk I gave on doing research for the 4th Leicester Self Publishing Conference on 7 May 2016. You can read Why Wikipedia isn’t Real Research… here.


Using An Assisted Publishing Service

I very much enjoyed talking to Tim Lewis of Begin Self Publishing about my experiences of using an assisted publishing service – SilverWood Books. You can read a summary of the interview and listen to the podcast (released on 3 February 2016) on the Begin Self Publishing website.


Bringing the Past to Life

The 2015 Bristol Festival of Literature included a two-day Book Bazaar featuring seminars and talks on the craft and business of writing. As part of these events, I gave a talk on researching the historical novel – Bringing the Past to Life. I’ve now made the text of this talk available as a free download (PDF document). You can read/download Bringing the Past to Life here.


Walking and Writing

A guest blog on Jane Davis’s blog on 22 May 2015 about how walking inspires my writing. Read Walking and Writing here.


Bambi, Ben Dearlove and Bristol Tramgirls

An interview in Bishopston Voice looking at my fiction and non-fiction work, 25 September 2014. Read the Bishopston Voice article.


“I’ve never seen the point in historical fiction”

A debate about writing historical fiction with author Jane Davis in June 2014. Read the debate on Jane Davis’s blog.


Show, Don’t Sell

A guest opinion piece for the Alliance of Independent Authors blog, March 31 2014. The success of author events is measured in more than just sales…read Show Don’t Sell.


Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

“It’s imagination that makes a story…” A guest blog for the IPR blog on 10 January 2014 on fact, fiction and fantasy in historical novels. Read the IPR Blog.