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Always eager to find new ways to connect with my readers, this week I’m launching my official podcast channel on SoundCloud. In my first podcast I talk about my new novel The Harrowing, which is due to be published in the UK in July (Heron, £16.99).

In the coming weeks and months I’ll also be discussing some of the history behind my novels, including the infamous Harrying of the North, which is the subject of The Harrowing.

I’ll also be talking about this year’s 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, and about the third volume in my Conquest Series, Knights of the Hawk, which is due to be published in the US in paperback format in August (Sourcebooks Landmark, $15.99).

Stay tuned for further podcasting adventures!

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Hot on the heels of last week’s addition to Tancred’s England, my historical guide to the kingdom as it was c.1066, I present to you another potted history for your delectation, this time focussing on the city of Durham.

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral, standing on the promontory above the River Wear. Construction of the Norman cathedral began in 1093 and was largely complete by the 1130s.

As readers of Sworn Sword will know, Durham is where Tancred’s story begins in January 1069, being the scene of an ambush by Northumbrian rebels in which his lord and many of his brothers-in-arms are killed. Controlling the north-east of England proved no easy task; even after the construction of the first castle at Durham in 1072 the Normans were faced with repeated risings as well as a devastating raid led by the Scottish king, Malcolm (Máel Coluim) III.

As you’ll be able to see by following the links above, the article on Durham is now one of five exploring some of the key places featured in the Conquest Series. In time I’m hoping to expand Tancred’s England to include not just location entries but also features on other aspects of the world in which the novels are set, and articles on various historical topics connected with 1066, the Normans and Anglo-Saxon England. Feel free to get in touch if you have any ideas that you’d like to share!

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Earlier this year I launched a new feature on this website to offer you, my readers, an extra insight into the world of the Conquest Series. Entitled Tancred’s England, the idea is to share with you some of the research that goes into writing the novels, by exploring the history of some of the key locations visited by Tancred in the course of his saga.

Offa's Dyke Path near Knighton

View over River Teme valley, from Offa’s Dyke Path, north of Knighton.

Ahead of the publication of The Splintered Kingdom in the US on Tuesday, August 5th – just two weeks from today – I’ve put up a piece about the the turbulent border region known as the Welsh March (Latin: Marchia Wallie), which forms the backdrop for the novel.

It’s a part of Britain that’s particularly rich in history, much of which can be freely accessed today. Ancient hill-forts, ruined castles and abbeys all abound, while for 64 miles the great Anglo-Saxon earthwork known as Offa’s Dyke cuts across this striking landscape. Named after the eighth-century Mercian king who is traditionally thought to have ordered its construction, the Dyke delineated the default boundary between England and Wales throughout much of the Middle Ages, and even after 1,200 years it remains a powerful symbol of Offa’s authority.

The Splintered Kingdom (US hardcover)

The cover for the US edition of
The Splintered Kingdom, due to be published by Sourcebooks Landmark
on August 5th, 2014.

As well as adding the new entry, I’ve also updated the main hub page for Tancred’s England, which now features a map of the British Isles c.1071. You’ll also notice that the menu bar at the top of the page now has a drop-down arrow for quicker access to each of the entries. As well as the article on the Welsh March, there are currently pieces exploring London, York and Ely and the Fens.

I’ll be adding more entries in due course. One of those in the pipeline is about the city of Durham, where Tancred’s tale begins on that cold winter’s night in January 1069. As always, if you have any suggestions for places I could feature in future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form.

Today I’m launching a brand new section here on the website! Eagle-eyed visitors might already have noticed the new link on the menu bar above, nestled between Bio and Blog. Entitled Tancred’s England, the idea is to offer an insight into the history behind some of the key places featured in the Conquest Series, and to share some of the research that goes into the writing of the novels.

Baile Hill, York

Baile Hill, on the western bank of the River Ouse, is all that survives of York’s second castle, constructed in spring 1069.

All of these are places that I’ve visited myself in order to try to understand the landscapes in which Tancred would have lived and fought. In each entry my aim is to give an overview of the place’s history, from the early Anglo-Saxon period through to 1066, and to suggest where you can go – both online and in person – if you’re interested in discovering more.

So far you’ll see that I’ve posted information about three locations, and there will be more to follow in due course. To begin with I’ve chosen to feature the two great Anglo-Saxon cities of York and London, as well as Ely and the Fens – where the English outlaw Hereward and his allies made their stand against King William in 1071.

River Teme valley, Knighton

The valley of the River Teme to the north of Knighton, not far from Tancred’s fictional manor of Earnford. Taken from Offa’s Dyke Path, looking north-west.

On the Ely page you can also find a map of the surrounding area, which I hope helps to illustrate the geography described in Knights of the Hawk. Unfortunately there wasn’t space to include it in the book, and so I present it to you now.

I’ll be expanding the Tancred’s England section and adding fresh content to each of these pages in the coming months, with entries on Durham, Bristol and the Welsh March all in the works. So keep checking back from time to time to see what’s new, and if you have any suggestions for things that I could add or which you’d like to know more about, please get in touch with me via the Contact page.

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Welcome to, my official website, and to this blog, where I will be posting regularly with all the latest news about my debut novel, Sworn Sword, which is due to be released on 4 August this year.

On this blog you’ll find also information on the forthcoming sequels, details about readings, signings and other events, as well as news and views on matters historical and literary.

I plan to add more features to the site as the publication date draws nearer, so watch this this space in the coming weeks. To keep up with all the latest updates you can also sign up to my official Facebook page or follow my official Twitter feed.

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