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Recommend an historical novel, win a signed copy of Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction

Update: 27th June 2016: The competition is now closed, and I announced the winners in this post. Thank you very much to everyone who entered; it's a fantastic list of recommendations which my bedside table does not thank you for, but I do.

I would love this post to become a resource for the future, so do feel free to add more recommendations, and comment on other people's. I'll be back to post my two penn'orth in a few days.


To celebrate the publication of Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction, which is now also out in the USA, I thought it would be fun to have a little competition. There are two copies of the book available to win, and I'll sign them to you the winner, or to the friend, family, enemy or pet of your choice.

Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction

I thought it would be good to do something in the spirit of This Itch of Writing, but I'd hate to ask you - or me - to do lots of work. Publisher Scott Pack suggested getting my lovely blog-readers to recommend a historical novel, which will have the bonus of building up a really interesting list for anyone who's To Be Read pile has got worryingly small.

So, to be in with a chance of winning, please post a one-sentence comment at the bottom of this, recommending an historical novel or short story, including something about why a writer should read it. What it is about the book which is useful, inspiring, or would help a writer to develop their art, craft or technique? 

If you're not sure the kind of thing I mean, have a browse on the short but perfectly formed Itch of Writing Bookshelf, where you'll see longer versions. And if you're not sure if the book you want to recommend counts as Historical Fiction, have a look here. To summarise:

  1. Post in the comments on this post.
  2. In one sentence you should include:
  3. the title of the book
  4. the author (who must not be you)
  5. why a writer would benefit from reading it

Please don't plug your own work: I will delete comments which do. I'll also ignore any which don't stick to the one-sentence rule. (But, as you know, I'm a fan of the well-built long sentence, and well-wielded semi-colon, though I do also know a comma-splice when I see one.)

I'll leave the comments open until Sunday 12th June, and pick a winner soon after that: I'll be looking for entries which really explain and evoke why the book would be worth a writer's time. 

Even if you don't want to enter, you can buy Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction from your independent bookshop, borrow it from your library, or click through any of these links to buy online:

Hive (supporting your local UK independent bookseller); WaterstonesFoyles;  Indigo CanadaBarnes & NobleAmazon UKAmazon Australia; Amazon US

And if you like the look of the book and feel I could help with your writing, or with a writers' festival, event, course, class or conference that you're involved with, then do click through to The Itch of Writing Studio, to find out more about what I do.