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Myths, Legends & Historical Fantasy

From time travel to Arthurian legend, you'll find a wealth of stories that cater your every need.

Susan Stokes-Chapman

It's the age-old tale, isn't it? Insular, bookish, 'fell into writing'. It's cliché, but that was me down to a tee. As a child I could very happily - and often would - lose myself in a book, and was caught many times by teachers looking out a window daydreaming, feeling far more at home in my imagination than anywhere else. Inevitable, then, I turned out to be a writer in later life! ​I grew up in the historic Georgian city of Lichfield (where my love of the era began) before moving on to spend four years in the coastal town of Aberystwyth, graduating with a BA in Education & English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing.

My debut novel Pandora was published in January 2022, and became an instant #1 Sunday Times bestseller. A loose reinterpretation of the Greek myth Pandora's Box, it tells the story of aspiring jewellery artist Dora Blake and her encounter with an ancient vase that her tyrannical uncle is desperately keen to keep a secret. The novel was previously shortlisted for the 2020 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and longlisted for the Bath Novel Award that same year.

I currently live in North Wales, endlessly pestered by a pair of very beautiful (and often very naughty) British Shorthair cats named Byron and Brontë while I work on my next novel.

 

Mark Knowles

Archaeologist specialising in Roman and Greek Classical Periods, first class cricketer, semi-professional rugby player, Formula 3 racing car driver, adventurer/ explorer and writer ... are all things I wish, at various times, I had been. 

 

Sadly, the truth is a little different (except the last). I am an unashamed Ancient History and languages nerd and took degrees in Classics and then Management Studies at Downing College, Cambridge. Following various short-lived careers in legal publishing, as a head-hunter, sports writer, prep school teacher and fitness coach, I joined the Metropolitan Police Service, retiring as an acting Inspector after a decade to take up a post as Head of Classics at Ashville College in Harrogate. 

The basic premise for 'The Consul's Daughter' was first conceived whilst I was in The Met and is based closely upon real events and characters in AD 205, whilst being embroidered with my own experiences as a front-line officer. I am a very big fan of immersive history and reconstructive archaeology and get very excited about the resurgence of interest in the ancient past that began in this country, as I like to see it, with Channel 4's 'Time Team' nearly 25 years ago.

I rowed on the reconstructed ancient Greek trireme 'Olympias' in sea trials in and around the island of Poros in 1994 and look forwards to the day when another project like that reaches fruition, and only hope I'm not too creaky by then to ply an oar. I have since subjected my students to trialling a mock-up cross-section of the trireme (needed work) as well as tasting some authentic Spartan 'black broth' (tasty but bad heartburn afterwards) in lectures aimed at bringing the ancient past to life.

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Mark also has a book set during Roman times

 

Daniel Kelly

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Irish Author. Born in Donegal on the northern edge of the wild Atlantic way, I highly recommend that you visit and you will see exactly why I love history. Great teachers and a love of good historical fiction authors broadened my love of ancient history to a worldwide level.

 

Mary Anne Yarde

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Mary Anne Yarde is the multi award-winning author of the International Bestselling series -- The Du Lac Chronicles. Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology.

 

Glastonbury -- the fabled Isle of Avalon -- was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood. Mary Anne is also the founder of The Coffee Pot Book Club.

 

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is an independent author living near Windsor in the UK. He grew up in Liverpool where he began his working life as a trainee reporter on a local newspaper. After attaining a degree in Communication Studies he moved to London where he worked in newspaper publishing for ten years before relocating to Zambia where, following a period of voluntary work with VSO, he set up his own marketing and publishing business, returning to the UK in 2009.

His creative writing journey began in earnest in 2013, as a therapeutic activity whilst recovering from cancer treatment. He began writing an historical fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages, in 2014, following a visit to the site of a former Roman town. The series connects the end of Roman Britain to elements of the Arthurian legend in an imaginative narrative that speculates on what might have happened in Britain in the fifth and early sixth centuries.

The series begins with Abandoned (2nd edition, 2018), set in the year 410 as the last Roman administrators leave Britain; followed by Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (2017); Uther’s Destiny (2019); Arthur Dux Bellorum (2019) and Arthur Rex Brittonum (2020). Arthur Rex Brittonum was short-listed in the Historical Fiction (early medieval period) Book of the Year category, in the 2020 Coffee Pot Book Awards, receiving an honourable mention. Series book covers are designed by Canadian graphic artist, Cathy Walker.

Tim has also written two books of short stories, Thames Valley Tales (2015), and Postcards from London (2017); a dystopian thriller, Devil Gate Dawn (2016); Perverse (verse and short fiction, 2020); and three children's books, co-authored with his daughter, Cathy - The Adventures of Charly Holmes (2017); Charly & The Superheroes (2018) and Charly in Space (2020).

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D.K.Marley

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Historical Fiction author specializing in Shakespearean adaptations, Tudor era historicals, Colonial American historicals, alternate historicals, and historical time-travel. D. K. Marley is also the CEO of The Historical Fiction Company, and The Hist Fic Chickie Blog and Podcast.

D.K. Marley also has a book set in 1722

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Marian L Thorpe

Taught to read at the age of three, words have been central to Marian’s life for as long as she can remember. A novelist, poet, and essayist, Marian has several degrees, none of which are related to writing. After two careers as a research scientist and an educator, she retired from salaried work and returned to writing things that weren’t research papers or reports. Her first published work was poetry, in small journals; her first novel was released in 2015.

 

Empire’s Daughter is the first in the Empire’s Legacy series: second-world historical fiction, heavily researched, devoid of magic or other-worldly creatures, and based largely on northern Europe after the decline of Rome. Marian’s other two passions in life are birding and landscape history, both of which are reflected in her books. Birding has taken her and her husband to all seven continents. Prior to the pandemic, she and her husband spent several months each year in the UK, for both research and birding, and she is desperately hoping to return either later this year or in 2022. Her newest book, Empire’s Heir, will be published in late August 2021.

More books we think you'll like in this category

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Miles Cameron is the pen name for Christian Cameron. See his profile here.

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SJA Turney writes in many categories and eras. Check out his profile here.

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Angus Donald writes in other eras and categories. See his profile here.

Chris Thorndycroft also writes Dark Ages fiction. See his profile here

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MJ Porter also writes Dark Ages fiction. Check out her profile here.

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Nancy Jardine also write Roman fiction. Check out her profile here.

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