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Karen Maitland interviewed by SD Sykes

Posted on: 12/11/2015 with tags: company of liars, interview, karen maitland, plagueland, q & a, sd sykes, the butcher bird, the raven's head, the vanishing witch, Medieval

We asked H for History authors SD Sykes and Karen Maitland to interview each other – find out what drew them both to the medieval period, why it continues to fascinate and how it has inspired their writing… Here are Karen’s answers to SD’s questions…   SDS: You write with such energy, truth and feeling about the Middle Ages. What is it specifically that drew you to these times? Have you ever considered writing contemporary novels, or novels set in a different time period? KM: Thank you! Wha…

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SD Sykes on her favourite Medieval monsters!

Posted on: 21/10/2015 with tags: butcher bird, Medieval, monsters, sd sykes, Medieval

A real treat for you today, The Butcher Bird author SD Sykes tells us about her favourite medieval monsters! My Favourite Medieval Monsters. Read ‘Plague Land’ or my latest book ‘The Butcher Bird’ and you will see that I not only confront, but also embrace the medieval obsession with monsters. The people of this age couldn’t get enough of them. The best place for monsters to inhabit, of course, is in the unknown. In those places that lie beyond the horizon. In the age before long-distance travel…

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Langley Abbey

Posted on: 18/08/2015 with tags: company of liars, dangerous art of alchemy, h for history, historical fiction, karen maitland, langley abbey, leiston abbey, Medieval, the raven's head

Karen Maitland talks about Langley Abbey, a key location in her latest book, THE RAVEN’S HEAD Cellarium, Langley Abbey. Photographer: Ashley Dace‘A tall, gaunt man steps from behind one of the pillars into the glow of the furnace.’There are some people who appear friendly, even charming, like the neighbour spraying his roses who cheerily calls ‘good morning’. But behind the chintz curtains he is adding that deadly pesticide to his wife’s tea, as he did for his three previous wives whose bones no…

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SD Sykes: Crime and Plague

Posted on: 12/05/2015 with tags: historical crime, historical fiction, plague, plague land, plagueland, sd sykes, Medieval

SD Sykes on Crime and PlagueMurder in a time of death.You might wonder why I chose to set my debut novel Plague Land, a story of murder, against the backdrop of a plague. And not just an ordinary plague… the Black Death, the worst demographic disaster the world has ever seen. A plague that’s estimated to have killed roughly half the people in Europe. Would a murder have mattered at this time? With so many dead already, would anybody have cared about yet another death?To be honest, at the height…

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