Today in the Library we have J.P. Reedman,who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
I’m J.P. Reedman, author of historical fiction and historical fantasy. My works mostly cover the English Middle Ages, from the time of Henry II to the end of the Wars of the Roses but also delve into the far-flung past—the era of Stonehenge. One interlinked series, Medieval Babes, is of short biographical fiction on little-known medieval women; queens and princesses who are little more than a few lines in history books. Another is I, Richard Plantagenet, which is about Richard III-told from his first person perspective.
Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?
I write Historical Fiction mostly, although I also write historical fantasy and high fantasy. I have had a fixation on the past since I was about four when I loved ancient Egypt. One of my first ever stories was about Cleopatra. I had just turned six.
Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
I love to read and am surrounded by thousands of books. I often have 5 or more on the go at any one time. I do read a lot of historical fiction but have been reading some Gothics and ghost stories lately, and read a lot of non-fiction on the Middle Ages and prehistoric Britain.
Are you a self-published/traditional or hybrid author?
I am self-published now, but did have several books with a small press. In the 80’s I had many short stories and poems published in the small press.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
Even though they did not write historical fiction, it is Tolkien and Alan Garner. The use of myth, the sense of place in their works was deeply inspirational. They also inspired an 11 year old to read such works as the Mabinogion, the Elder Eddas and Beowulf
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
I was born in Canada but was always attracted to the history of Britain and Ireland from a very young age. My mother was a warbride after WWII and I think she was always homesick even decades on; I grew up listening to traditional music from Britain and Ireland. Learning about the royals, looking at coffee table books filled with pictures of Britain. My first visit was when I was four; I can still clearly remember my excitement at visiting two real castles—Windsor and Guildford. I moved permanently to the UK in 1992.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
The beginning is always difficult. I usually hate what I’ve written. I often need to go back later and pull the first chapter apart as the MC is often very different than he/she is later in the story. Too different.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
I tend to write at night. I wish I could do more in the day but it never seems to work, so I do promo in the day.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
I did a little bit of acting in the past but don’t think I’d have followed it as a career. An archaeologist or anthropologist probably.
If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?
I would love to see the building of Stonehenge! Although most of my historicals are medieval, my first two were set in the early Bronze Age. This is the era that I have a real ‘specialty’ in, particularly burial and ritual. I worked at Stonehenge for over ten years.
Please tell us about your latest published work.
My latest book is THE PRINCESS NUN which is about Mary of Woodstock, daughter of Edward I. She was the ‘nun who liked fun’, spending more time attending court than in her priory. She bought lots of gold and jewels, kept hounds, and one noble claimed he had an affair with her. She was quite a character. She’s also buried in my hometown of Amesbury, although her grave is now lost.
Universal Link: https://t.co/jAUWDDPS3y?amp=1