Speakers and Workshop Leaders

This is a formative list – more names will follow as appearances are confirmed.


Gillian Bagwell grew up in California, and began her professional life as an actress, studying at the University of California Berkeley and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley, before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television. She moved into directing and producing theatre, founding The Pasadena Shakespeare Company, where she served as artistic director for nine years, producing thirty-seven critically acclaimed productions. She united her love of books, British history, and theatre in her first novel, The Darling Strumpet, based on the life of Nell Gwynn. Her second, The September Queen, is the first fictional account of the perilous and romantic odyssey of Jane Lane, an ordinary girl who risked her life helping the young Charles II escape disguised as her servant after the disastrous Battle of Worcester in 1651. Recently returned to Berkeley, Gillian is working on her third novel, about the formidable four-times widowed Tudor dynast Bess of Hardwick.   www.gillianbagwell.com



Jenny Barden has had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city solicitor, did little to help displace her early dream of becoming a knight. Impelled by a fascination with the Age of Discovery, she travelled widely in South and Central America, and that inspired her debut novel, an epic romantic adventure, Mistress of the Sea, based on Francis Drake’s first successful campaign in the Caribbean. Extracts from early drafts have been shortlisted for several national awards, and the novel is scheduled to be published in September 2012 by Ebury Press, Random House. Jenny is currently working on a sequel centred on the first Elizabethan ‘lost’ colony of early Virginia. She is represented by Jonathan Pegg of JPLA.




Author and journalist, Vanora Bennet, has written six books: four historical novels and two non-fiction books about her experiences as a journalist. Her articles have appeared in various publications in different countries. She has found that writing books is as much of a surprise, a pleasure and an adventure of the mind as it was to become a foreign correspondent. Her latest novel, The People’s Queen, which deals with Chaucer’s love life, a royal mistress turned businesswoman-on-the-make, and a fourteenth-century credit crunch, has a lot in common with our own times seven centuries later.




Patricia Bracewell holds an M.A. in Literature from the University of California, and she taught literature and composition before embarking upon her writing career.  A lifelong fascination with British history and a chance, on-line reference to an unfamiliar English queen led to years of research, a summer course in Anglo-Saxon history at Cambridge, and the penning of her debut novel Shadow on the Crown.  Set in 11th century England, this first book of a trilogy about Emma of Normandy will be published in 2013 by Viking/Penguin in the U.S.A. and by HarperCollins in the U.K. Patricia is a member of the California writers’ organisation, Left Coast Writers, and the editor of their on-line column, Roadwork. She lives with her husband in Northern California.




Lucinda Byatt developed a passion for all things Italian as a result of studying, working and marrying in Italy. She has worked as a translator for longer than she cares to remember, and now also teaches Italian Renaissance history at Edinburgh University. Raised on a reading diet of Cynthia Harnett, Rosemary Sutcliffe and Anya Seaton, she loved history enough to complete a doctorate. She’s fascinated by the lure of historical fiction, but also unashamedly purist: solid research must underpin the flights of fancy. She’s delighted to be part of the editorial team for the society’s newly merged Historical Novels Review, which will continue to offer an intriguing range of features, coupled with its benchmark review section.




Born in Glasgow in 1977, Campbell attended first Gryffe High School and then Glasgow University where she read law. Campbell practiced as a solicitor for eight years before becoming a full-time writer, (though she still teaches a small number of law classes at Glasgow University). Since the publication of her debut novel, Viking Gold, Campbell has spoken at around 100 schools across the UK and been filmed by Education Scotland speaking to a class of 13 yr olds for their Glowvember book festival. She regularly speaks at museums, book festivals and history festivals throughout the UK – the Jorvik Viking Museum and the National Museum of Scotland being two recent highlights. She likes long road trips, procrastinating and watching TV late into the night when all normal people are asleep.




Christopher M. Cevasco is an author whose historically themed fiction has appeared in Black Static, The Leading Edge, and A Field Guide to Surreal Botany, among many other magazines and anthologies. He is a 2006 Clarion workshop graduate and a 2007 Taos Toolbox graduate. He was also the editor/publisher of the award-winning Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction, which garnered two nominations for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History during its thirteen-issue run. Chris writes in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he lives with his wife and their two young children. He is seeking representation for two recently completed novels, an alternative history of 1066 and an historical thriller about Lady Godiva.




Elizabeth Chadwick wrote her first historical novel (unpublished) when she was fifteen and immediately decided that it was what she wanted to do for a career. Seventeen years later she got her wish when her novel The Wild Hunt was plucked from leading literary agent Carole Blake’s slush pile and went on to win a Betty Trask Award which was presented to her by HRH Prince Charles. She has since written another 20 novels, including The Scarlet Lion which HNS founder Richard Lee voted one of his historical novels of the decade, and To Defy A King which won the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Best Historical novel of 2011. Elizabeth is currently writing a major trilogy on Eleanor of Aquitaine.




After a career in national newspapers, Rory Clements now lives in a seventeenth-century farmhouse in Norfolk and writes full time. When not immersing himself in the Elizabethan world, he enjoys village life and a game of tennis with friends. He is married to the artist Naomi Clements-Wright and is the author of Martyr, Revenger, Prince and Traitor.




Linda Collison’s writing has appeared in a variety of magazines over the years, beginning in grammar school when her article about General Mordecai Gist won the Maryland Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest. Linda and her husband Bob Russell have written two guidebooks, and have sailed thousands of nautical miles aboard their sailboat, Topaz. The three weeks they served as voyage crewmembers aboard HM Bark Endeavour inspired the Patricia MacPherson Nautical Adventure Series (Fireship Press).   Linda’s first novel, Star-Crossed (Knopf; 2006), was chosen by the New York Public Library to be among the Books for the Teen Age – 2007. Her fiction has won awards from Honolulu Magazine, Southwest Writers and Maui Writers Conference.




Pia Fenton (writing as Christina Courtenay) is a committee member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, currently their Vice Chairman responsible for organising one of their awards. She has won two of the RNA’s prizes – the Elizabeth Goudge Trophy in 2001 and the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2006. Pia-Christina writes historical romance and her first novel Trade Winds was shortlisted for the RNA’s award for Best Historical. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, won the Best Historical Fiction award for The Big Red Read and her third, Highland Storms, won the Best Historical Romantic Novel of the year award (RoNA) this year.




Emma Darwin grew up in London, with interludes in Manhattan and Brussels. Her debut novel The Mathematics of Love was published in 2006 and The Times called it, “that rare thing, a book that works on every conceivable level”. It was shortlisted for many awards including the Commonwealth Writers Best First Book, and has been widely translated. Her bestselling second novel, A Secret Alchemy, was described by the Daily Mail as “powerful and utterly convincing”. Emma is an associate lecturer in Creative Writing with the Open University and has a PhD in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths, in which she explored the writing and reading of historical fiction. Her third novel is in the works.




J D Davies is the author of ‘The journals of Matthew Quinton’, an acclaimed series of naval historical fiction set in the Restoration period. The first two books, Gentleman Captain and The Mountain of Gold, have been published in the UK, USA and Germany; the third, The Blast That Tears the Skies, was published in the UK in April 2012. A further three titles have been commissioned. David is also a prominent historian of the period who won the prestigious Samuel Pepys prize for Pepys’s Navy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, author of Blood of Kings: the Stuarts, the Ruthvens and the Gowrie Conspiracy, and is currently working on a naval history of his native Wales.




Richard is married with two children and works as a GP in the West Midlands. He has always been fascinated by historical settings as well as horror and fantasy. In 2010 he set up Mercia Books to self-publish his novels written primarily for young adults and is receiving a widening and enthusiastic readership. His writing includes: The Northern Crown series (Set in Anglo Saxon Northumbria), The Praesidium Series (Historical Fantasy in the 17th century), The Hourglass Institute Series (Time Travel adventures). Other than writing, his main interests are games of all types. He is the designer of a board game based on the Great Fire of London. He also runs the UKs largest table top hobby games convention, UK Games Expo every May in Birmingham.




Angus Donald was born in China in 1965 and educated at Marlborough College and Edinburgh University. He has worked as a fruit-picker in Greece, a waiter in New York and as an anthropologist studying magic and witchcraft in Indonesia. For the past 20 years, he has been a journalist in Hong Kong, India, Afghanistan and London. Angus is the bestselling author of The Outlaw Chronicles, a new series of books about the legendary hero Robin Hood. The first three books in the series, Outlaw (2009), Holy Warrior (2010) and King’s Man (2011) are published in the UK by Sphere, and the fourth book of the Chronicles, Warlord, will be released in July 2012.




Sarah Dunant studied history at Cambridge. She has written eleven novels, three screen plays and edited two books of essays. She worked for many years with the BBC in radio and television, producing and presenting arts documentaries and magazine programmes, most notably The Late Show on BBC 2 television (1989-1996) and Night Waves (Radio 3 1996-2004). She reviews for many British newspapers including The Times, The Observer and The Guardian, and sits on the editorial board of The Royal Academy’s art magazine. She was a vice patron founder of the Orange Prize for Woman’s Fiction. She has taught at Goldsmith College at University of London and teaches at Washington University, St Louis (Renaissance studies). Her most recent novels The Birth of Venus (Florence 1490’s) and In the Company of the Courtesan (Venice 1530’s) and Sacred Hearts, (Convent, Ferrara 1570) have been international bestsellers translated into thirty languages. Sacred Hearts was short listed for the first ever Walter Scott prize for Historical Fiction (June 2010).




Barbara was lucky enough to have a childhood idyllically suited to developing, in its passion for family story and legend, a life-long love of genealogy and history. She went on from studying history at university to working as a research assistant and editor at several publishers specialising in history and art books, while establishing her writing career in the background. In 1986 her first novel, Lady of Hay, was published. That was succeeded at two-year intervals by another ten novels and three collections of short stories, all revealing her love of history, her fascination with the supernatural and the anomalies of time and the certainty that one way or another, the past will return to haunt us. Lady of Hay celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011 with a new edition complete with a short sequel, and has been published in more than 30 languages. Her latest novel, River of Destiny, will be published in July 2012.




While at University, New Zealand-born Barbara Ewing was sent on a Government Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where she won the gold medal for the best student and later played Agnes Fairchild in the TV award-winning Brass. She is now the author of a number of acclaimed novels of which A Dangerous Vine was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and The Mesmerist was chosen by the Westminster Libraries in central London as their ‘Read of the Year’. Her books have been translated into German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Greek, Turkish, Polish, Serbo-Croat and Russian.




Charlie Farrow is a marketing professional. She was amongst the first cohort of marketers in the UK to be awarded Chartered status. She has worked with big brands and small businesses, both agency and client-side. She currently specialises in helping writers bring their work to market, providing a full range of literary, technical and marketing services – editing, cover art, e-book production, marketing strategy, advertising and promotional materials both on and off-line, video and social media.

In the parallel universe that she occupies the rest of the time, she has a fondness for herbs, myth, history and folklore. She is an artist and has been gestating her 14th century time-slip novel for quite some considerable time. Twitter: @charliefarrow1




Jean, born within the sound of Bow Bells, still lives in the East End of London. A qualified district nurse and university lecturer, she started writing in 2002. Her debut novel, No Cure for Love, won the Harry Bowling prize, leading to a two-book deal with Orion. Her second novel, A Glimpse at Happiness, was shortlisted for the 2010 Romantic Novel of the Year and won the Big Red Read. Her third, Perhaps Tomorrow, won the 2011 Festival of Romance’s best Historical Read, and her fourth, Hold on to Hope, has just been released. Her latest novel, Call Nurse Millie, tells the stories of the District Nurses of the St George’s and St Dunstan’s Nursing Association working in the bombed-out and deprived post-war East End of London. Jean, an official Women’s Institute speaker, regular contributor to library events, book festivals and author panels, also teaches creative writing workshops at London South Bank University and has appeared at numerous writing conferences.




Diana Gabaldon is the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels—Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), and An Echo in the Bone—as well as one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion; the Outlander graphic novel The Exile; and the bestselling series featuring Lord John Grey, a character she introduced in her Outlander series. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.




Daisy Goodwin, a Harkness scholar who attended Columbia Film School after gaining a degree in History at Cambridge University, began her TV career at the BBC as an arts producer. At Television Centre, she made films about literary figures, and devised Bookworm and The Nations Favourite Poems initiative. Whilst at the BBC she also devised the hugely successful shows Looking Good and Home Front. The mother of two children, Daisy also finds time to dream up and edit poetry anthologies, including the bestseller 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life.  Daisy made her debut as a presenter in the BBC2 production of Essential Poems (To Fall In Love With) followed by Essential Byron and Essential Poems for Britain. Her debut novel, My Last Duchess (Headline Review) or The American Heiress (St Martin’s Press), is the story of Cora Cash, an American heiress who marries an English duke at the end of the nineteenth century.




Half Spanish by birth, C.W. Gortner was raised in southern Spain, where he developed a lifelong fascination with history.  After holding various jobs in the fashion industry, he earned a MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. Internationally acclaimed for his emotional insight into his characters and attention to detail, he travels extensively to research his books. His historical novels include The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, and The Tudor Secret which is the first book in his new suspense series, ‘The Elizabeth 1 Spymaster Chronicles’. C.W.Gortner’s books have sold in fourteen countries to date. He lives in Northern California.




Liz Harris, born and raised in London, has since lived in USA, Berkshire, Cheshire and Oxfordshire. She has degrees in Law and in English. An interest in foreign travel and in different cultures led to her debut historical novel, The Road Back, which is to be published by Choc Lit in September, 2012. She has also written a number of short stories and is published by DC Thompson. Whilst resident in the north west of England, she was a regular contributor to local newspapers on matters relating to education. A member of the Historical Novel Society, she is also an active member of the RNA, has been the convener of the Oxford Branch of the RNA for the past six years, and ran the Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2011.



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the Midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep. Karen has studied the Elizabethan period for many years and wrote her master’s thesis about All’s Well That Ends Well. She has also authored a nine-book historical mystery series set within this period.

Karen’s books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen is published by Ebury Press in the UK, her most recent titles being The Queen’s Governess, Shakespeare’s Mistress and The Queen’s Confidante, soon to be released.




Helen Hart has been a published author since 1999. Represented by London literary agency Pollinger Ltd, she has written a number of novels under pseudonyms for Scholastic, Oxford University Press, HarperCollins, Virgin Books and a range of overseas publishers. Her work has been translated into many languages including Swedish, Danish, Japanese and Greek.  One of her Young Adult novels, written as Maya Snow, was shortlisted for the Solihull Children’s Book Award 2010. Helen is one of the founding partners of publishing consultancy SilverWood Books which helps writers get their work into print – whether that’s by offering editorial appraisals and advice on submitting work to literary agents, or by helping authors self-publish to a high standard. She is the co-founder of the successful ‘Get Published Masterclass’ in Bristol and was a judge for the Bristol Short Story Prize in 2010 and 2011. She recently self-published a swashbuckling pirate adventure for young teens, The Black Banner.




Elizabeth Hawksley has published thirteen historical novels, with Frost Fair being short-listed for the Elizabeth Goudge Award. She originally worked in theatre and her plays have been performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, the Oxford Playhouse and the Edinburgh Festival. She lectures and takes workshops in numerous venues. This year, she has been tutoring at the Writers and Artists’ Weekend, Fishguard; at the Writers’ Holiday in Caerleon, and at Dillington House, Somerset, amongst other things. Elizabeth is also a reader for a well-known authors’ advisory service. She has been a publishers’ reader; and reviews for the HNS. She has a BA Hons degree from the University of Sussex, and a MA, with distinction, from Birkbeck College.




Cathy grew up with a healthy interest in anything related to the Arthurian legends – thus the inspiration for naming her design business ‘Avalon Graphics’. She has always been fascinated with British history, the Dark Ages in particular. She regularly attends local Renaissance Festivals in North Carolina where she resides, and will be traveling to the UK for the first time in 2012. Cathy offers an array of design services and has particularly geared Avalon Graphics to suit self-published authors and small businesses in need of quality design while on a tight budget. She provide full book jacket layouts, marketing materials such as flyers, postcards, bookmarks, web graphics, book trailers for YouTube and portfolio websites for her clients including: Susan Higginbotham (website),Sun Jester and Lumina Music (website), Richard Denning /Mercia Publications (website, book covers, book trailers), Helen Hollick (website, book covers, book trailers, marketing material), SilverWood Books (book covers).




Helen is published in the UK and the US with her books about King Arthur and the 1066 Battle of Hastings, officially making the USA Today best seller list with her novel Forever Queen. She also writes a series of historical adventure seafaring books inspired by her love of the Golden Age of Piracy. As a firm supporter of independent authors, publishers and bookstores, she has recently taken on the role of UK Editor for the HNS Online Review for self-published historical fiction produced in the UK. Helen lives on the outskirts of NE London with her husband, adult daughter and a variety of pets, including a dog, cat, and two horses.




Doug Jackson took a lifelong fascination for history in general and Romans in particular and turned that into his critically acclaimed first novel, Caligula, which was followed by Claudius, an epic retelling of the invasion of Britain. His new series, featuring the tribune Gaius Valerius Verrens, begins with Hero of Rome, soon to be followed by Defender of Rome and Avenger of Rome. Impeccable research and believable characters combine to put flesh and blood on the dry bones of the past and breathe new life into them.




Sarah Johnson is Book Review Editor for the Historical Novels Review.  She has been treasurer/registration coordinator for four of the past HNS conferences in North America and is eagerly anticipating the next UK conference!  A reference librarian and professor at Eastern Illinois University, she has been reading and collecting historical novels for many years.  Her reviews have appeared in Booklist, NoveList,Bookmarks Magazine and the Globe & Mail (Toronto), among others.  In 2012, she won the American Library Association’s Louis Shores Award for excellence in book reviewing.  Her most recent book isHistorical Fiction II: A Guide to the Genre.




Barbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed Tudor-era “Thornleigh” novels published by Kensington Books, New York, including The Queen’s Gamble, The Queen’s Captive, The King’s Daughter and The Queen’s Lady, and of contemporary thrillers. Over 400,000 copies of her books have been sold. The Thornleigh saga follows a family through three tumultuous Tudor reigns. The Queen’s Gamble was an Editor’s Choice of the Historical Novels Review (November 2011). Constable & Robinson will publish all four “Thornleigh” novels in the UK beginning with The Queen’s Lady in October 2012. Barbara recently signed a 3-book deal with Kensington to continue the series, so readers have many more adventures of the Thornleighs to look forward to. Barbara has taught writers at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers’ organizations. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.




Richard Lee founded the Historical Novel Society in 1997 after trying to join it, only to find it didn’t exist. The society has since developed in many unforeseen ways, following the enthusiasms of the active membership, with Richard trying to keep as light a hand on the tiller as possible. It is with bemusement but great pride that he regards the society’s robust health fifteen years on.

Richard has been involved with the organisation of many HNS conferences, co-hosted the Cambridge History Festivals, and ran author talks for two years at English Heritage’s flagship Kirby Hall re-enactment event. He has been a judge of the CWA’s Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the RNA’s Elizabeth Goudge Trophy and the RNA’s Pure Passion Awards.

Richard studied English at Merton College, Oxford, and has worked for many years bookselling with W.H. Smith and Waterstone’s. One day he will finish his novel of the Crusades.   www.historicalnovelsociety.org Twitter: @histnovel



Award-winning researcher and author Lois Leveen dwells in the spaces where literature and history meet. Her first novel, The Secrets of Mary Bowser (Hodder & Stoughton), is based on the true story of a free black woman who became a spy for the Union Army during the American Civil War – by pretending to be a slave to the family of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Leveen is a regular contributor to Disunion, the New York Times on-going coverage of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and her poetry, short humour pieces, and scholarly essays have appeared in magazines, anthologies, and on National Public Radio. A former university professor, she frequently gives talks on history and literature at schools, museums, and libraries.




Claudia spent her childhood in Mexico City, and fell in love with Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz as an undergraduate.  She wrote under a pen name for years, but Josefina’s Sin (Atria/Simon & Schuster 2011) is her first main-stream published novel under her own name, and provides readers with a rare glimpse into the often-ignored world of the Mexican court.  Josefina’s Sin has garnered rave reviews from Publisher’s Weekly (A superb debut…) and many others, who have called the book “lyrical”, “poetic”, “sensually spicy”, and a few not-so-raves: “soft core pornographic”, “lascivious” and “too much sex”.  Claudia lives in California with her family.




Dr Ian Mortimer is the author of The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England (a Sunday Times bestseller), and The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England, plus six other history books and many peer-reviewed articles on English history. He is arguably the most innovative historian writing today, experimenting with new literary forms, historical meanings, and new ways of testing the veracity of historical evidence. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was awarded the Alexander Prize (2004) for his work on the social history of medicine in seventeenth-century England. In June 2011, the University of Exeter awarded him a higher doctorate (D.Litt.) by examination, on the strength of his historical work. He also writes historical fiction under his middle names (James Forrester): to date he has published two novels of a trilogy set in the 1560s, Sacred Treason and The Roots of Betrayal. He lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor, in Devon.




Though born in Yorkshire, Margaret now lives in the band of the Roaring Forties – an area renowned for its wild, westerly winds on the island of Tasmania. After graduating with a BA (Writing) in 2004, her first novel was published in London in 2005. Competing as a writer in a mainly male-dominated sub-genre is a challenge, but Margaret’s work is well respected by readers of classic maritime fiction set during the Napoleonic era. Now, with five historical novels to her credit, she is writing a sequel to her age-of-sail nautical adventure, Floating Gold.




Justin is an editor by profession (in the financial sector) and is a lifelong fan of historical fiction. He is the founder and organiser of two successful book groups, including the London Historical Fiction Book Group.





Born in Nigeria, Simon has always been interested in writing and began his first novel once he’d finished his degree and started working in the civil service.

After two years of working in London, he decided he was better suited to a more academic career and returned to university to do a research degree. Once finished, he became a teacher. After securing his first book deal, Simon continued teaching full-time for as long as possible. Finally, in 2005, he realised he could not teach while devoting so much time to writing and reluctantly gave up
teaching until he had more time to devote to it. Simon now lives in Norfolk with his wife, Carolyn and two sons. The author of more than fifteen highly successful books, his latest novel, Sword and Scimitar will be available soon.




BA (Hons) MA (MPhil) DPhil (Oxon)

Harry Sidebottom was brought up in racing stables in Newmarket where his father was a trainer. He had a basket saddle on a donkey before he could walk. He was educated at various schools and universities, including Oxford, where he took his Doctorate in Ancient History at Corpus Christi College. In similar fashion he has taught at various universities including Oxford, where he is now Fellow and Director of Studies in Ancient History at St Benet’s Hall, and Lecturer in Ancient History at Lincoln College. Since 2006 he has been working on the Warrior of Rome series of novels featuring the Anglo-Saxon nobleman turned Roman army officer Ballista and his Familia set in the Roman Empire during the so-called `Great Crisis’ of the Third Century AD.




Rick Spilman has had a fascination with ships and the sea for most of his life. His first novel, Hell Around the Horn, is due out this summer. Based on the voyage of a British windjammer in the particularly brutal Cape Horn winter of 1905, it is a story of survival and the human spirit in the last days of the age of the sail. Rick is the founder and host of the Old Salt Blog. An avid sailor, he has sailed as volunteer crew on the replica square-riggers “HMS ROSE” and “HMS BOUNTY.” He has been published in the Huffington Post, gCaptain, Forbes online, and several canoeing and kayaking print magazines. He was also a nautical columnist on the Clarion science fiction blog.





Mary Tod writes historical fiction with a focus on WW1 and WW11.  Her novel, Lies Told in Silence is represented by Canadian literary agency, Anne McDermid & Associates.  Mary posts frequently about writing historical fiction on www.awriterofhistory.com and on being an author-entrepreneur, www.onewritersvoice.com .  After researching for a blog post and find no data, she decided to conduct a survey  to discover more about those who read historical fiction and those who do not  – demographics, story preferences, favourite time periods, reasons for reading or not reading this genre, sources of recommendations and so on. Prior to embarking on a writing career, Mary had a successful business career working at an executive level management consulting, sales and marketing.




Russell Whitfield was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey. Russell has had an (almost) lifelong fascination with ancient Greece and Rome, sparked by seeing the “The Three Hundred” Spartans on ITV in the seventies. Educated to A-Level, he did not complete college, preferring instead to seek fame and fortune in a heavy metal band. Sadly, fame and fortune were not forthcoming and a career in telesales beckoned. A series of jobs followed culminating in the heady heights of ‘content editor’ for a large multi-national. Gladiatrix was Russ’s first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book is currently in development. In an attempt to stave off an ever increasing beer-gut, Russ trains in western boxing and eastern martial arts, but his training thus far has left little impression on said gut – or his class mates for that matter. Heavy Metal is Russ’s music of choice: He is a huge fan of the Swedish band Hysterica and has written a song for their forthcoming album The Art of Metal.




V.M. Whitworth is an academic and historian. After reading English at Oxford, an MA and DPhil from the Centre for Medieval Studies in York, V.M. published Dying and Death in

Later Anglo-Saxon England. Her first novel, The Bone Thief, is a historical thriller set in 900 AD, in the immediate aftermath of the death of King Alfred the Great, featuring Wulfgar of Winchester. Having worked as a lecturer, tour guide, artist’s model and EFL teacher, V.M. now lives on a smallholding in Orkney with family, cats, ducks and occasional sheep, planning further adventures for Wulfgar.




3 Responsesso far.

  1. kathleen milner says:

    Found my suitcase. Ready to pack. Ahh,
    So much to write, so little time.

  2. […] pleased and honored to be included as one of the speakers and workshop leaders at the Historical Novel Society’s 2012 conference in London, England!   Guests of honor […]

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