Harrogate History Festival

In the words of Samwise Gamgee, “Well, I’m back.”

Admittedly, I’ve not been to Mordor, just Harrogate (a considerably pleasanter place), but it was just as much a journey into the unknown: my first history festival, my first literary event, my first time meeting other writers; presenting myself at the reception desk, I was a most unlikely virgin!

But I’m delighted to say it all went well. I got to meet and speak with people whose books I’ve read, one of them actually bought my book (thank you, Giles Kristian!), I had a free supper while talking with some lovely members of the public, met the brains behind Salon London (the lovely Helen Bagnall) and the voice of Scotland (the enchanting Sara Sheridan). And here are some photos to prove I was there!

First, one of me with my books (a slightly pathetic show compared to the feet of shelf space required for other writers but gratifying nonetheless).

Me and my books (dark glasses not because I'm too cool but because I'd just come in from outside)
Me and my books (dark glasses not because I’m too cool but because I’d just come in from outside)

Then one of me sidling in between two of the best young writers of historical fiction in an attempt to catch some of their lustre: Ben Kane (left)  and Giles Kristian (right).

Ben Kane (left), me (centre), Giles Kristian (right)
Ben Kane (left), me (centre), Giles Kristian (right)

And finally, but certainly not least, the two finest beards in Harrogate, possibly the world: Robert Low (author, journalist, raconteur, life liver) and Irving Finkel (Assyriologist and rediscoverer of cuneiform tablets from Babylon with instructions on how to make the Ark).

Rober Low (l), me, Irving Finkel (r)
Rober Low (l), me, Irving Finkel (r)


  1. Awww,amount of shelf space does not denote quality of fiction- and I have your book on my Kindle.
    though I have never read Bernard Cornwell’s Warrior Chronicles or young Master James Aitchenson’s series, the latest of which ‘Knights of the Hawk is featured there….nor indeed, LOTR….. a shameful admission for a Medievalist….or so I’ve been given the impression.
    Perhaps someday I will raid my brother’s bookshelves for some of the above….

    Also, really want to know…when is the next book due out? Want to read about Oswald.

  2. Delighted to hear you have my books, Joanna! As to when Oswald: Return of the King is out, I’ve finished it and sent it to my publisher at the end of October. I believe the release date is late spring/early summer.

    1. I wholeheartedly recommend ‘The King in the North’, not only for the history but for the rather wonderful endpaper maps, where 7th-century Britain is depicted in the style of Tolkien’s maps for ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

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