Dear readers, welcome!

Hope you are all enjoying Troubadour!Front CoverTroubadour C

At the moment I'm about two-thirds into my new mss and it involves researching a historical murder. No, definitely not the Princes in the Tower! However, trying to solve a crime from this distance in time makes the investigations in the TV series New Tricks seem like a walk in the park but I'm certainly enjoying the challenge as well as the sleuthing. What is amazing is that there are surviving letters that mention this particular mystery and they're available on-line.

When I first started writing full time back in 1998, the world wide web had only just got going and you had to be very sceptical of the so-called 'facts' that were put up. I recall keying in 'King Edward II' when I was researching The Knight and the Rose and the only website that had been uploaded about him was by a gay enthusiast who was certainly no historian. Today it's marvellous to be able to search resources like the UK National Archives. Whereas you'd have to have visited the collections in person and waste valuable time getting the hang of the system (quite an expensive excursion if you lived the other side of the world), now you can key in a payment and that special medieval will that might have taken you ages to wait for, let alone copy, can be on your screen for downloading in a few minutes.

Sometimes, though, it's still excitiing to browse along the history shelves of a university library. At Sydney University, I remember coming across an escheator's record from 1422.  A diligent royal official had recorded the possessions of the rebels captured by the King's men and bounty hunters after the Battle of Boroughbridge: the pieces of armour the prisoners were wearing and the type and colour of their horses. One captive had a set of buttons for peapodding a new gipon and another man had a pig with him. All wonderful stuff for the novelist. However, getting back to exceptional finds on-line, I'm grateful to all those hardworking historians and archivists who have made the records available digitally.

How lucky we writers are these days! 

Happy reading, everyone!

Historical Novels Society of Australasia

If you love historicals and particularly if you live in Victoria, you might like to come to the HNSA Conference which will be held in Melbourne in September (see Upcoming Events). There will be lots of author panels and Regency writer Anne Gracie and I are presenting a craft workshop or aspiring authors.

Plantagenet Society of Australia

PlantagenetsLogoAbout 15 years ago, six of us started a history society dedicated to the Plantagenet era (Henry II—Richard III). We meet six times a year and our invited speakers are experts from many fields.

We now have a Facebook page and you can find videos of the talks we’ve enjoyed  from guest speakers such as our patron: Professor Carole Cusack of Sydney University.

The next meeting will be on Saturday 15 July at Hornsby Library Meeting Room at 2pm – Talk by QC John Bryson on The Beaufort Legitimization. In other words: the Tudor claim to the English crown.

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Upcoming events

18 July 2017
Partners in Words

Bluegum Hotel,
Waitara
7pm

9 to 10 September 2017
Historical Novel Society of Australasia Conference, Swinburne University, Melbourne:

  • Author panel ‘A rose by any other name….’ (authors Anna Campbell, Lisa Chaplin, Lucinda Brant and Isolde Martyn)
  • Historical Romance Workshop for Aspiring Authors (presented by Anne Gracie and Isolde Martyn)