About the Author
I suppose, obeying the conventions by which I live as a writer I should start at the beginning and work my way through the trials and conflicts to the happy ever after!
I came to love historical fiction partly through drama, partly through books and television. I can remember acting out dramatic pieces of Scots history (I grew up in a village just outside Glasgow) in front of the blackboard – half a dozen eight year olds galloping about on pretend horses like the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, was a sight to behold! But I thought it was wonderful!
Years passed. I met my husband, had a couple of kids, continued to write and be rejected by publishers, but I didn’t care. I was doing what I loved and I knew I was getting better because I was starting to win competitions. In 1989, on the strength of the first three chapters and synopsis, THE WILD HUNT was taken on by literary agent Carole Blake of Blake Friedmann and auctioned to Michael Joseph, part of the Penguin publishing group. Together with my husband, I went to London for the first time in twenty years and was taken out to lunch at the Groucho club. “I adore your love scenes,” enthused my new editor “they’re erotic without being pornographic.” “Yes,” grinned my husband “I’m the research assistant!”
As in all good novels, there are certain high spots along the way. In 1994 I was hired by Columbia Pictures to turn the script of First Knight starring Sean Connery and Richard Gere into a novel. Sadly I didn’t get to meet either actor, but I did talk to the producer, Gerry Zucker of Naked Gun and Ghost fame. Writing First Knight was great fun and an excellent learning experience, not to say a discipline. I had four months to turn out an 80,000 word novel.
In 1998, my novel The Champion was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists Association Parker Pen Award for the best Romantic novel of the year. I have been shortlisted three more time since then and longlisted twice. In 2011 To Defy A King won their award for the best work of Historical fiction. A Place Beyond Courage, the story of the great William Marshal’s father John FitzGilbert (equally great in his own way in my opinion, but unsung) was selected by UK bookshop chain Waterstones as one of their Best Books of 2008 in historical fiction. In 2010 The Scarlet Lion was nominated as one of the ten landmark historical novels of the decade by Historical Novel Society founder Richard Lee
In 2009, Sourcebooks began to publish my work in the USA beginning with The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion. The Greatest Knight went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Sourcebooks has since published many more of my titles and I look forward to a continuing excellent relationship with them.