Welcome

Welcome to the world of adventure, love and war. You’ve entered 17th century England. It’s a time of civil war, social upheaval, conspiracies and intrigue. In the world of historical fiction, this is gold. Explore my blog and discover articles about 17th century Britain, creative storytelling, and my writing. Be sure to sign up for my 17th century Broadsheet, to keep abreast of news and special features. Join me in this journey. I intend to pique your interest.

An Accidental Confession

One of the things I love most about history is the stories of people who lived in the past, particularly those who don’t have a historical event attached to their names. We find them in diaries, in footnotes, and in anecdotes. I often wonder what they must think if they were suddenly transported to the present and shown proof that their name and their story has been somehow preserved hundreds of years later. I’m reminded of the young man who went courting but ended up embroiled in a skirmish (“Young” Cambusnethen), or the mayor of a small Midlands town who…

Rambling through 17th century Ireland

In the course of researching day to day life in 17th century Ireland, I came across an interesting little volume called Teague Land or A Merry Ramble to the Wild Irish (1698). It’s a series of letters by John Dunton, written during his travels through Ireland, or as he liked to call them, rambles. The letters were eventually published when he returned to London. Dunton was a London bookseller who enjoyed travelling and often combined both passions. Before hitting Ireland, he travelled to the New England states where he auctioned off a huge stack of books and made quite a…

Gen X: Free Range Children

This blog is mainly about 17th century history with the occasional article about creativity, but I’ve been inspired to tackle something that has cropped up lately with the pandemic: Gen Xers ability to cope during this period of self isolation/quarantine. I’ve never thought of myself as coming with a generational label. All I knew was that I wasn’t a Baby Boomer. Since those Boomers suck the oxygen out of the room, the generation that followed had to get used to being in their shadow. But recently, I’ve been hearing more and more about Generation X, and I’m rather delighted to…

#TenMinuteTales: Confessions of a Tooth Fairy

These days, while the world is under self-isolation or quarantine, people are turning to the artists to inspire and entertain. Historical fiction author and founder of Discovering Diamonds, Helen Hollick, has gathered a collection of Ten Minute Tales to share with the world. I was very pleased to contribute an early short story that, up until now, has only been available through Red Tuque Books anthology, Canadian Tales of the Fantastic. Confessions of a Tooth Fairy is quirky magical realism, very different than my usual stories which are historical and romantic. The story came to me while I was taking…

Inspired by travel: A guest post by Amy Maroney @amymaroneywrites #histfic #research #amreading

There’s nothing so exciting to a reader as discovering a new author, especially when that reader is also a writer. Most writers will express frustration at not being able to read the way they used to before the Muse tapped them on the shoulder, uncritically and forgiving. The problem is that we know what’s behind that screen, and it’s hard not to see the seams. But when we do find a book that flows and makes us forget that we’re also writers, that’s magic. This is how I felt when I read Amy Maroney’s The Girl from Oto, the first book…