Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

Blogs

Find Blog:

August 2016

1
0
Publisher Harriet Sanders Introduces the Macmillan Collector's Library
24th August 2016 - Harriet Sanders

This summer has seen the launch of the Macmillan Collector’s Library, a highly collectable selection of some of the best-loved titles in the literary canon, such as The Little Prince and Peter Pan. Each book also has its own introduction or afterword commissioned from a well-known writer, such as Christina Hardyment, Liz Fenwick, Sara Paretsky, Paul Bailey and Val McDermid. Exclusively for Foyles, Publisher Harriet Sanders introduces the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Macmillan Collector’s Library

When I was asked if I’d like to head up a new Classics imprint, I leapt at the chance. I loved the idea of creating a list of books to treasure, when so much of modern life is throwaway. And, like most people in publishing, I’m an avid reader and have been all my life. As a child of the 70’s with no internet and only 3 television channels, I’d often spend an afternoon perusing my parents’ extensive bookshelves for something to read. Top picks were Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the stories of Saki and P G Wodehouse and Jane Eyre.

 

I want our readers to enjoy that feeling of discovery, of being able to choose from a characterful selection of classics. I’d love it if readers were to think, 'Five Children and It was my favourite book as a child so I’ll definitely be buying a copy to pass on to my niece and nephew'. I love the idea of books as carefully selected gifts that open up new worlds and bring great pleasure to those who receive them.

The books aren’t academic editions with reams of notes.  What we do have, though, are introductions from fellow fans: Carol Drinkwater and Amanda Owen are writing introductions to the Herriot novels, whicih will be published in January 2017; Val McDermid will be introducing Sweet Danger by Margery Allingham in May 2017 and Paul Bailey has introduced Les Miserables, which we publish in an abridged edition in September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s not to say my own experience of the classics has always been positive – my strict St Tinian’s-like girls school put me off John Buchan and much of Thomas Hardy for life!  And I must confess you won’t currently find editions of either of those - except for Hardy’s poetry which he himself deemed to be superior to his novels. However, one book that I love and which has found its way into the collection is Born Free. When I first read it as a child it made me want to be running off around Africa and it’s amazing to think someone else might have a similar experience. Our edition has an afterword by John Rendall, whose lion Christian was released into the wild by Joy and George Adamson.

So now I have the responsibility of choosing what to publish, how do I go about it? 

Well first of all I want to offer the very best stories, very well told.  I want the beautiful exterior of the books to do justice to the high quality of the words inside them.  I want to offer a great variety of books so we’ll publish novels, non-fiction, poetry, plays, short stories and children’s books.

 

 

 

 

I think this variety and quality is reflected in the new books we have just published:

 

For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Farewell to Arms - I’m thrilled to be publishing two novels by the great American writer Ernest Hemingway

Doctor Thornethis was Anthony Trollope’s bestselling book in his Barchester Chronicles and it was recently a very successful ITV series

Classic Locked Room Mysterieshow dunnit rather than who dunnit, this completely new collection features stories from the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins and G K Chesterton.

Ross Poldark and Demelzathe new television series has reawakened interest in Winston Graham’s matchless Poldark series.

The Water Babies – a beautiful illustrated edition of this wildly inventive children’s novel, inspired by Darwin and a plea to improve the lives of the poor in Victorian England.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – which Ian Fleming wrote for his young son with charming illustrations by Joe Berger. 

Every couple of weeks I discuss with my colleague what books we should add to the list.  I studied modern languages so I’m personally keen to expand our offering of European literature – some Maupassant short stories perhaps or maybe Chekhov?  Half the room backed me up, half the room was luke warm but I’m working on them! 

Some suggestions are dismissed fairly swiftly once we reread them –they can seem hopelessly dated now.  I loved the Anthony Buckeridge Jennings books, about a boy at a boarding school, as a child, but sadly they’ve not aged well. To endure, I think classics have to offer not only a compelling sense of place but also deal with themes and issues that still have resonance today.

What constitutes a classic, what we love and value what we cast aside is a topic that never ceases to fascinate me.  My aim with Macmillan Collector’s Library is to publish books which I consider to be worth cherishing.

 

 

 

Diana Bretherick on Researching in Turin, the 'Devil's City'
23rd August 2016 - Diana Bretherick

Diana Bretherick was a criminal barrister for ten years and currently lectures in criminology and criminal justice at the University of Portsmouth.  Her first novel, City of Devils won the Good Housekeeping New Novel Competition in 2012 and was selected for the 2013 Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club. 

 

Diana’s website is http://www.dianabretherick.co.uk/ and her twitter @DianaBretherick

 

Her new book, The Devil’s Daughters is a tale of murder and intrigue which opens in 1888. When young Scottish scientist James Murray receives a letter from Sofia Esposito, a woman he once loved and lost, he cannot refuse her cry for help. Sofia's fifteen-year-old cousin has vanished and Murray must return to the city of Turin where he was once apprenticed to the world-famous criminologist, Cesare Lombroso, and where he soon uncovers evidence of more disappearances and murders.

 

Below, exclusively for Foyles Diana writes about her investigations into both the city of Turin and the real-life inspiration for her detective Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909), the world's first criminologist, who lived and worked in the city. Not to mention some detailed exploration of the city's culinary aspects!

 

 

 

 

 

The Devil’s in the Detail: Researching in Turin, ‘the Devil’s city.’

 

Advice is often given to ‘write what you know’. But sometimes writing what you don’t know is much more interesting. Indeed many authors will say that researching a novel is one of the best and most absorbing aspects of the writing process.

 

For my historical crime novels ‘City of Devils’ and ‘The Devil’s Daughters’ I was, to some extent, doing a little of both. When I started writing them I was a university lecturer in criminology so the world I was describing (the birth of criminology in 19th century Italy) was one with which I was already familiar. But I had decided to make the world’s first criminologist, Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909), my detective so I needed to find out much more about the man and his theories. Fortunately his main works had recently been translated into English which enabled me to get a feel for his voice – and what a voice it was! I included a Lombroso quote at the head of each chapter to illustrate his ideas about crime, which were unusual to say the least. He believed that those who were born with a propensity to commit crime were throwbacks to primitive man. Not only that but they could be identified by their physical characteristics. According to Lombroso, thieves had scanty beards and small wandering eyes, habitual murderers had prominent hawk-like noses and strong jaws and female criminals had long, luxuriant hair. This gave me a problem. It seemed to me that, given these beliefs, Lombroso would make a somewhat erratic detective so, inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I introduced fictional Scottish doctor James Murray to challenge Lombroso’s methods and ideas and help guide him towards a solution to the crimes he was investigating. Murray was loosely based on Conan Doyle in that both of them studied in Edinburgh and were schooled in deduction by Professor Joseph Bell, the real life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.

 

The books are set in Turin where Lombroso lived and worked. Naturally this involved research trips to the city. I wanted to walk the same streets as my characters and get a feel for the location. When I arrived it soon became clear to me that the city’s history and atmosphere made it a character in its own right. Dating back to Roman times, it has had a turbulent past, being occupied and ruled by, amongst others, Burgundians, Lombards and Franks before becoming, albeit briefly, the first capital of a united Italy. Nestling between the Alps and the river Po, the city has a network of underground tunnels, a wonderful Museum of Egyptian antiquities founded in the early 19th century and beautiful baroque architecture. Not only that but Turin also has a dark reputation, allegedly being the location of both the gates to Hell and a 17th-century doorway said to have been created over one night in 1675 by Satan himself. Perhaps it is small wonder that Lombroso was drawn to the supernatural, engaging in ghost hunting as well as his criminological experiments. He also created his own museum of criminal curiosities that he had collected over the years including skulls, death masks and pottery and paintings created by offenders. The museum is now open to the public and gives further fascinating insights into Lombroso’s character as well as the way in which crime and criminals were viewed in the late 19th century. A replica of his study is on display there as is his skeleton. This allowed me to stand next to my protagonist, which is an unusual experience for a novelist!

 

I also examined in detail the culinary aspects of Turin, sampling regional dishes and wines enabling me to describe them in my books. In particular I became addicted to the traditional Torinese drink bicerin, a heady concoction of dark chocolate, exquisitely bitter coffee and whipped cream, paying a daily morning visit to Al Bicerin, the café where it was created in 1763. Turin is also home of the slow food movement and the place where grissini (breadsticks), Vermouth and solid chocolate were invented, so it’s no wonder my research was so thorough!

 

Having collected all of this wonderful information about Lombroso the man, his work and his home in Turin it was finally time to start writing. That of course was the real challenge. Research is supposed to enhance not impede the telling of a story. There was so much that could have been included but I had to be strict with myself and put in only that which was needed. The devil, in this case, really was in the detail.

 

 

#FoylesFive: Personal Development
21st August 2016 - Charlotte Pope

Charlotte, from our Bristol shop, suggests five of the best books for when we need a little extra inspiration and encouragement in life.

Sometimes in life you just get stuck in a rut, and need some inspiration to get you going again. There are thousands and thousands of books nowadays promising the answer to all of life's problems. If you want some wisdom and knowledge, that is proven to give you the kick in the backside you need to chase your goals, look no further than these:

 

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

A prominent neurological and psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl was also a Holocaust survivor. His classic book Man's Search for Meaning documents his experiences in various concentration camps. Frankl realised that some camp inmates were able to survive horrific conditions, when they attached a “meaning” to their survival. A fascinating book that will have a profound effect on your thinking.

 

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The 'Slight Edge' of the title is what Jeff Olson considers the secret to success: successful people make the right little choices every day and they keep making them. Sounds simple? It really is. This is an incredibly interesting book – a must-read to help you realise your goals.

 

Sane New World by Ruby Wax

After a lifelong battle with depression, Ruby Wax became determined to find out just what was going on in her brain. Once hospitalised in the Priory due to her debilitating mental illness, she went on to have a MA from Oxford University in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy. Laugh out loud funny and incredibly informative, this is the perfect manual to understanding your mind.

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

First published in 1936, this classic remains the definitive book on how to deal with people. From being a good conversationalist, to how to handle arguments, this is an essential guide to communicating with other people in a tactful and sincere manner. I think this should be on all school reading lists.

 

59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman

Straight to the point with more scientific facts than you can shake a stick at. Here Wiseman writes about such subjects as happiness, motivation, creativity, relationships and decision making, using evidence based examples backed up by tons of scientific studies to show you how to reach your goals. If you want a practical “self-help” book that's no nonsense and actually has some factual backing, this is one to read.

 

Paul MacAlindin Introduces Upbeat, his Account of his time as Musical Director of Iraq's National Youth Orchestra
18th August 2016 - Paul MacAlindin

Paul MacAlindin was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and holds degrees and post-graduate degrees from both the University of York and the Open University. He has been a full time classical musician since 1993 when he was Assistant for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic. Since then he has been conductor and guest conductor for many orchestras including New Zealand Symphony, Tonhalle, Dusseldorf, and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

In his new book Upbeat: The Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq Paul tells the story of the orchestra of which he was musical director from its inception to its eventual end. The orchestra came through the most difficult and dangerous of times to produce fine music not only in Iraq but also in Britain, Germany, France and the United States. A beacon of hope and achievement the young musicians and their tutors made bridges across their own ethnic divisions, made great music in the most trying and tragic of circumstances, and became their country's best ambassadors in 5000 years.

Below, excusively for Foyles, Paul describes some of the most memorable moments and musicians in the Orchestra's all-too-brief history.

 

Forging a National Youth Orchestra for Iraq

 

If you’ve ever dug into the comparative mythology of the Hero’s Journey, first brought to light by Joseph Campbell in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, you’ll know that something deep, unspoken exists in all of us, raring to get out, tear us apart, stitch us back together and return us to life forever changed. UPBEAT is the story of how a very unlikely group of young Iraqis and their friends put themselves though such a mill to forge a national youth orchestra for Iraq.

 

As its Musical Director, I started writing UPBEAT: The Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq in 2012, shortly after we’d given the UK the premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ ‘Reel of Spindrift, Sky’ written specially for us to commemorate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Fortunately, I could jog my memory by reviewing every document, e-mail and report I’d saved from the very start. However, it wasn’t until 2014, when the so-called ‘Islamic State’ cut Iraq in two, that our odyssey came to an abrupt end, giving me the time to gather my thoughts and complete our journey by writing this book.

 

UPBEAT is the story of how we stayed on track over five years to become Iraq’s most powerful cultural diplomat. I found myself mining every cranny of our tale to find out how we talked to each other through music by Beethoven, Haydn and Mendelssohn. How did we survive our darkest months and celebrate our greatest victories? What did we change in Iraq? Most urgently of all, how can I answer that heart-wrenching question – who are the Iraqis?

 

There’s Waleed from Kirkuk, one of our most dynamic players, whose drive to give up a football career and learn to play the flute from the Internet would overwhelm the achievements of many a western youngster. As one of the few who could speak both Kurdish and Arabic, he shone out as the leader of our wind section and a reconciler from within the orchestra. TV cameras magnetized themselves towards him and he loved every minute of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Then there’s Tuq’a from Baghdad, who adored her cello as much as her headscarf. She channeled her hunger to learn with such conviction that she quickly found herself leading the cello section.  I’ll never forget her stoicism, rehearsing seven hours a day in the humidity of Aix-en-Provence, whilst fasting for Ramadan. Though I couldn’t speak to her in Arabic, her face, sometimes deeply serious, other times joyous, and her infectious titter, betrayed a beautiful soul. Often, as when Julian Lloyd Webber coaxed the first tones out of his Stradavarius cello, Tuq’a, sitting just metres away, would lose herself in wonder.

 

 

 

 

Ali is an unforgettable character, a gentle giant on the horn, who practices at home with a towel in his instrument to keep his religious conservative neighbours from finding out about his love for music.  We took the three best young horns in Iraq – there aren’t many more – and built them into a crack horn section, coached by top players from London and Germany. The horns, without doubt an endangered species in Iraq, needed all the love and care we could provide.

 

 

 

 

 

Our brilliant bassists, Chia and Samir, though they both lived in Iraq, shared no common tongue other than music as they stood by each other over the years giving foundation to our strings. Both utterly loved the bass and the orchestra, committing to our shared vision of peace and reconciliation. Every year, people sensed just how impossible our achievements were, how our strength pulled us together to put our many differences aside, staying focused on learning and making music.

 

What they could never, and should never have known, was my journey into the abyss of fundraising, logistics and online leadership that kept us going as, each year, Iraq’s political quagmire made the challenges even more insurmountable.

 

Suleymaniyah, the Kurdish-Iraqi town where we started in 2009, possessed a tempo and vigour that propelled us along as we bounced up and down on the party buses to and from the hotel and rehearsal. Shops trading in colourful clothes, luminous fruit cocktails and black muscle-cars whizzed by as clapping and dancing filled our ramshackle transport. Supporting two universities, modern and artistic, Suley lay beneath mountains snow-capped in winter, parched in summer. Regardless of where we hailed from, London, Baghdad, New York, Erbil, parties, food and music kept us going, in spite of some teachers taking a catastrophic hit to the bowels. 

 

One afternoon, at the end of our first week there, the power cut in our airless rehearsal room and plunged the whole orchestra into darkness. Bewildered, I stopped conducting, and everyone carried on playing Haydn Symphony 99, so I started conducting again, acutely aware that nobody could see me, each other, or the notes. The lights came on again shortly before the last bars.

Afterwards, I asked how this was possible? By a fluke of faulty wiring, we’d shown what we were made of. ‘Oh,’ they said, ‘we’re so used to power cuts in concerts, we memorize the music beforehand!’

 

So, who are the Iraqis? I can tell you that for as long as Iraq continues to be savaged by violence and corruption, neither they nor we will ever really know, as nobody can reach their full potential in that state. Recently, Iraqi Ambassador to the US, Lukman Faily, told me on Twitter; ‘for normalizing the situation, a whole generation of positive counter-narratives are required.’ That’s UPBEAT in a nutshell, a story of what young Iraqis do when they’re given fairness, love and respect. They drop their differences, realise their power and accomplish the unthinkable together. They become a bunch of real characters in a drama of multiple realities, each one of them worth the whole of Iraq put together. And the whole of Iraq is full of young people like Waleed, Tuq’a, Ali, Chia and Samir, waiting wearily in the wings to go on their own hero’s journey, create their own positive narrative, and rebuild their future together.

 

Images from top: Paul MacAlinden © Mike Luongo; Waleed Leading the Woodwinds, © Tariq Hassoon; Tuq'a in Erbil, ©Tariq Hassoon; Ali in Bonn © Beethovenfest, Chia and Samir in Bonn © Beethovenfest

 

Martha Collison introduces her new book Twist and shares her recipe for her 'Bollywood Bar'
17th August 2016 - Martha Collison

Martha Collison is the youngest ever baker on The Great British Bake Off - she made it all the way to the quarter finals whilst studying for her AS Levels! Martha is a self-taught baker who started cooking at the age of eight - the result of her brave parents letting her loose in the kitchen and enjoying the (sometimes mixed) results. Since then her baking repertoire has grown no end, and she now balances baking, writing and testing recipes for various purposes with writing a monthly column in Waitrose Weekend as well as her own blog. She loves spending time with her family, and is passionate about helping with charitable campaigns including #NoChildTaken with Tearfund. In her first book, Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking, she offers a way in to master baking, while adding 'twists' to recipes to turn them into contemporary bakes.

Below, exclusively for Foyles, Martha introduces her new book and her baking method and shares a recipe for the fabulous 'Bollywood Bar'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a recipe writer, to write a book to encourage people to diverge from the recipes and create their own bakes is somewhat unusual. However, that is exactly what my first recipe book, Twist, is designed to do.

I started baking when I was 8 years old by working my way through a few different children’s recipe books. Once I’d mastered a few basic recipes, the natural next step was to add my own little twists. I couldn’t buy any ingredients myself, so I’d rummage through the kitchen cupboards and drawers to find what I’d deem delicious additions; chocolate, dried fruit, jams, sticky sauces. I’d customise my bakes to make them more interesting.

As I grew older and gained experience, I found that I still baked in exactly the same way even though I had access to so many more ingredients.  I grew frustrated with some recipe books offering 3 or 4 different ways to make a chocolate cake that essentially served the same purpose, so I wanted to create a useful baking book full of versatile recipes that are the building blocks for many more creations. Twist is based on this concept – taking a simple but perfected recipe and using it to expand baking in all different directions; whether that's with flavour, shape or style. I’ve spent a long time researching the science behind my favourite recipes, finding out what works and why that’s the case. I love the facts behind food, and I think baking is a lot less mysterious when you have a basic understanding of concept, for example the role of gluten in cookies or sugar in brownies. When you know why a technique works, it removes the fear of failure and allows bakers to have the confidence to get creative with flavours.

 

My favourite part of Twist is what I call baking ‘evolution trees’. They show my favourite stripped back recipes at the bottom of the tree, and then expand out showing all the different combinations that would work well together. My favourite 3 twists are written out fully, but the other ideas are there to encourage bakers to put their own twist on my favourite recipe. Vanilla cupcakes become caramel macchiato cupcakes, or lemon cheesecake cupcakes. Dark and sticky chocolate cake transforms into chocolate and passion fruit cake, mint ice-cream layer cake and tiramisu bundt cake. The possibilities are endless, and the recipes can be adapted to suit your own taste.

Writing a recipe book was unlike any task I’ve ever undertaken before, and required a lot of hours and a lot of patience to get it right. Seeing it in bookshops now is a surreal experience, as it has always been a dream of mine to have a recipe book published. I grew up reading recipe books before I went to bed and obsessing over cookery shows whilst my friends watched Tracy Beaker.  I was inspired to bake by flicking through the pages of beautiful books, and I hope Twist can be just that to a whole generation of new bakers.

 

Click here for Martha's recipe for her fabulous Bollywood Bar shown left.

Robyn Young Introduces her new Historical Fiction Series
16th August 2016 - Robyn Young

Robyn Young was born in Oxford and grew up in the Midlands and Devon. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex and lives and writes in Brighton full-time. She is the author of the Brethren trilogy, which has sold over a million copies and been translated into nineteen languages, and the equally succesful Insurrection series, about Robert the Bruce. Below, exclusively for Foyles, Robyn introduces her new series, which opens with Sons of the Blood at the end of the 15th century, and explains why she is so excited about the new way of working she has adopted this time around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW HORIZONS

I am celebrating the launch of my new novel, Sons of the Blood, set at the end of the fifteenth century when the Wars of the Roses are drawing to a bloody close in England, and Europe stands on the brink of its greatest era of discovery.  

It’s the first of a planned series, the first book I’ve published in two years, the first I’ve written on this period.  With all these firsts I guess it’s not surprising that it feels – in that same terrifyingly exhilarating way – more like a debut than my seventh published novel.

My first six came in the form of two trilogies, Brethren and Insurrection, each set around the closing decades of the thirteenth and opening of the fourteenth centuries.  In terms of inspiration, they were lightning strikes.  I remember where I was and what I was doing when both were conceived.  This new series was slower, subtler to form: born in flashes of discovery, such as the fact that a decade before the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa María sailed across the ocean blue a humble Bristol merchant ship – The Trinity – may well have sighted the coast of what would become known as America.  Or that John Cabot would be inching his way down that Atlantic seaboard under the authority of Henry Tudor at the same time that Columbus was lost in the Caribbean – turning the world pear-shaped in his maps to suit his increasingly feverish belief that the Indies were just over the next horizon.

The thing that first struck me about this period was what a web Europe was: how interconnected people and groups were, and how, when one thread was pulled by one person, court or country, it could send shivers through the entire structure.  At school, events of this era were covered briefly, if at all, and then only in isolation, so it was both surprising and exciting to discover all these connecting strands: the fall of Richard III, the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, the rise of the mighty Tudors, the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand, the expulsion of the Moors from Spain while the Ottoman Turks crowded at the doors of Christendom, the corruption at the heart of the Vatican, the powerful Medici in Florence, cradle of the Renaissance, and Columbus’s voyages, which birthed the age of discovery.

In order for me to be able to explore this intricate web, I needed a protagonist who could move freely between all these kingdoms and factions.  Thus, Jack Wynter, was born.  Jack is fictitious, but he’s the illegitimate son of a real person from history – Sir Thomas Vaughan – a Welsh diplomat and trusted man in the court of Yorkist king, Edward IV, under whose authority The Trinity had sailed into the Atlantic on a secret expedition. 

Vaughan is one of those intriguing figures about whom surprisingly little is known, despite the fact he was clearly a major player on this particular stage of history.  A high-ranking official, he acted as ambassador to the courts of France and Burgundy, and was chamberlain to the king’s eldest son, Prince Edward, heir to the throne.  After the unexpected death of the king, Vaughan was tasked with escorting his young charge to London to be crowned, but they were intercepted by the late king’s brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who arrested Vaughan for treason and sent the prince, his own nephew, into the Tower.  Soon after, Vaughan was executed, Gloucester took the throne as Richard III, and Prince Edward vanished from history.

Jack, the product of an adulterous affair between Vaughan, one of the highest officials in the realm, and an innkeeper’s wife from Sussex, has difficulties from the start.  As a bastard, he exists, in many ways, outside society.  The fact he has been brought up so close to the glittering world his father inhabits, yet always kept at arm’s length from, creates a tension within him that only grows as he does. His outcast status and the varied, and mysterious, career and connections of his father, make him the perfect traveller through all the intrigue and high drama of this age.

One thing that’s been very different for me in the creation of this new series in comparison to the trilogies, is that although I’ve done enormous amounts of research, I’ve done much less initial plotting.  The Insurrection Trilogy, following the life of Robert Bruce, was very much based in fact, with the majority of my characters real figures from history. This necessitated a huge amount of pre-planning: chapter breakdowns that ran to 50,000 words, detailed character biographies, discussions with my editor.  Now, although my notes on the period and the players in it are extensive – perhaps more so – the actual plot is a mere sketch.  Because of the fictitious elements there’s more scope for my imagination to roam.  I feel more as though I’m on the adventure with my characters, rather than some distant god, manipulating and guiding them.  Anything could happen.  It’s all before me, unknown. 

An entirely new horizon.

 

 

Latest Blog
Publisher Harriet Sanders Introduces the Macmillan Collector's Library
24/08/2016

Publisher Harriet Sanders Introduces the Macmillan Collectors Library and provides an insight into the title selection process.

Diana Bretherick on Researching in Turin, the 'Devil's City'
23/08/2016

Diana writes about her investigations into both the city of Turin and the real-life inspiration for her detective Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909), the world's first criminologist, who lived and worked in the city.

#FoylesFive: Personal Development
21/08/2016

Charlotte, from our Bristol shop, suggests five of the best books for when we need a little extra inspiration and encouragement in life.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd