Ten years ago today the University of Leicester and Philippa Langley confirmed that the remains discovered in a parking lot were those of Richard III, killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. As part of my research for The Godmother’s Secret, I spent time at the Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester, completely enthralled in the brilliant displays and information concerning his life and death, and I highly recommend a visit. Totally immersive, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional reaction I would have when standing on the glass floor over the pit where he was interred, a hologram depicting the position of his remains. As historical fiction authors, we love to spend time in archives, libraries and the sites where our characters lived…and died. This day at Leicester, along with walking across the fields and through the woods of Bosworth, really brought to life and inspired The Godmother’s Secret. Here’s a link to the Richard III Visitor Center: https://kriii.com.
‘A luminous, pin-sharp portrait of a true trailblazer. Mills’s writing simply glows.’ Zoë Howe, Author, Artist and RLF Writing Fellow at Newnham College, University of Cambridge
Rosalind: DNA’s Invisible Woman tells the true story of the woman who discovered the structure of DNA, whose work was co-opted by three men who won a Nobel prize for the discovery.
Luce Hutchinson’s mother, Lucy St.John, dreamed of a prophecy that her daughter would be of eminence. She saw a star fall from the skies and land in her hand as she walked in the gardens of the Tower of London. Her daughter was born there, 400 years ago. This theme of destiny is woven through my novel Written in their Stars, and the St.John family motto, Data Fata Secutus, roughly translates as “Following his alloted fate”. On the night of Luce’s 29th birthday, her husband signed the death warrant of Charles I, thus sealing the fate of England’s monarchy — and my family. Lucy Hutchinson’s extraordinary account of her and her husband’s life during England’s Civil War is memorialised in her first-hand account: Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson. One of the first examples of women diarists in English literature, Lucy’s memoirs inspired my trilogy, The Lydiard Chronicles.
I just returned from an absolutely wonderful time in England, hugging family and friends from the Peak District to the Cotswolds, long muddy walks, cosy country pubs, exploring palaces and paintings, and discovering inspiring stories and locations that beg to be written about. While I sort out my photos and thoughts, I’m inviting friends in the San Diego area to join me for Author Talks at the end of the month in our fabulous libraries at San Carlos and Mission Hills. Hope to see you there!
So, yesterday I woke up to two gold medals and a shortlist. Today, I woke up to winner, HFC 2022 Book of the Year. It’s been a very sloppy morning of joyful tears and disbelief. Thank you, HFC, for the amazing honour; Dee Marley and the HFC gang who do so much for authors year round. Thank you Jenny Toney Quinlan for editing and cover design, Amy Wilson Maroney and Cryssa Bazos for being my writing buddies; and thank you to the amazing community of authors, bloggers, readers, friends, family and historical fiction fans around the world who’ve cheered me on. Thank you Friends of Lydiard Park for supporting me and providing me unlimited time to spend at Lydiard and in the archives, discovering my ancestress’s stories. I could go on and on, but the band’s started playing, so time to move on, with so much love and gratitude!