Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Changing History - 1066 and Not All That

Earlier this year, I was contacted by author Helen Hollick and asked if I would like to be part of an exciting new project in which I would get the chance to re-write history. Well, I must have thought about it for all of ten seconds before saying Yes!

1066. We all know what happened - Edward the Confessor died, and Harold became king. Look at him up there, sitting on his nice comfy throne ...

But of course, that was January. By October, things weren't going quite so well for him:

Is that Harold, with an arrow in his eye? Well, that's a debate for another time. Fact is, he didn't come out of the battle unscathed. And this fella became king.

End of story. Except that Helen and co-author Joanna Courtney decided that perhaps things could have gone differently, if only...

What if Harold had won that day at Hastings? But, even more intriguingly, what if the other battles that year had gone differently, or perhaps had never happened at all? What about the other contenders for the throne?

1066 Turned Upside Down is a collection of short stories, by nine authors, all taking one of these 'What ifs' and re-imagining history.

I don't write as much about the 11th century as I do about the 10th. But I do write an awful lot about the Mercians. And it just so happens that a Mercian family was very much involved in the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to take up with a new cast of Mercian characters, and, unfettered from historical facts, take them where I chose to lead them.

My story, A Matter of Trust, is not a complete flight of fancy though. It is grounded in fact, and I think it's a very plausible scenario. Over on my website, there is an article outlining the background to the story, and introducing the main characters in it. Pop over to the link HERE

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