A couple of weeks ago, I was delighted to be a guest on North Manchester Radio's show Hannah's Bookshelf, chatting with Hannah about all things book-related. We talked about my historical research, dragons, Dartmoor and human origins, amongst other things, before I fangirled shamelessly over the fantastic Shardlake novels by CJ Sansom and shared the three books I would save for the Library at the End of Days. Trying to choose only three was almost impossible and I actually made my final selection once we had started the recording, as I had, with great difficulty, just about managed to whittle it down to four. If you had to choose three books to save for a post-apocalyptic world, what would you save?
In the end, my choices comprised one of my all-times favourites, a timeless classic that I could re-read a hundred times and still not tire of, and a book which impacted greatly on me and influenced much of what I do today.
You can listen to the interview here.
If you haven't caught the show before, why not follow Hannah on Mixcloud here?
Curious to see what other guests have selected for the Library at the End of Days? Check out the full list on Hannah's website here.
It can be the bane of your life, can't it? I did a History degree via the OU, so I know what a nightmare it can be. Yet I love it and seek out any opportunity to learn something new and cool which I can use in my writing. If any of you have seen my play WITCH, you'll know just how much I love uncovering new information and finding fascinating snippets to share with people.
For a while now, I have been focussed almost entirely on Dhussena's little clan of survivors as they trek through the Great Forest of the North seeking sanctuary. Their story is about to hit a significant point - which I'm really looking forward to writing - and after that, I will need to turn my attention not only to Aamena's people, the wood elves who are the custodians of Dragonheart, but also to the wider Hheserakhian Empire.
Both Dhussena's and Aamena's clans have their roots in Norse mythology and use a lot of Old Norse terminology. However, the Empire itself has a very strong Japanese flavour, particularly around the Imperial Palace. Japan has always fascinated me, so you can imagine how excited I was to learn that there is an okiya - a geisha house - not far from where I live in England and that it is possible to go there for events.
So my research for May is essentially fieldwork and will involve being shown how to wear a kimono properly, talking to geisha about their training and (hopefully) finding out just how difficult it is to play a shamisen, the three-stringed, fretless Japanese instrument with its distinctive snappy twang. I have a couple of characters in my head and I need to know how they would move in kimono before I start writing them.
Hopefully, I will be able to take photos to share with you all - I'll keep you posted!
Who is Blogging Today?
Sometimes it will be me. At other times, you may well be treated to one of Duseena Lorafiel's herbal remedies, or perhaps Zilyana Yllayra's etiquette tips. Aamena Hinnorwen may pop in to talk about a new skill she has learned. There is always a chance that we may be graced by the presence of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, who likes nothing better than to discuss the many benefits of the land he rules. There will be maps, sketches, photos, news, character information, guest blogs from other authors... all sorts of different ways for you to delve into the world of the Chronicles.