Monday, March 6, 2017

Interview with Felicity Pulman

It’s a pleasure to welcome Felicity Pulman to the HNSA blog today. Felicity is the award-winning author of numerous short stories and novels for children, teenagers and adults. Her historical fiction includes the medieval crime series The Janna Chronicles; also I, Morgana and the sequel The Once and Future Camelot, A Ring Through Time and Ghost Boy, set partly at the Quarantine Station in Manly where there is a special Ghost Boy tour for schools studying the novel – which is also under option for a movie. Felicity is a May Gibbs Fellow and recently received the inaugural Di Yerbury/Society of Women Writers residency award to research and write in the UK for three months. 

You can connect with Felicity via her websiteFacebook or Twitter.

What is the inspiration for your current book?

The legend of King Arthur, his sister, Morgana, and what happens after the fall of Camelot. 

Is there a particular theme you are exploring in this book?

In a combination of history + fantasy, this is a study of one of the most maligned characters in Arthurian legend and how Morgana's past may influence what happens in the future. 

Which period of history particularly interests you? Why? 

I enjoy writing about medieval time. Why? Maybe it's a past life thing? 

What resources do you use to research your book? 

Annals of the time, biographies, histories, visiting the sites, guidebooks, maps etc  

What is more important to you: historical authenticity or accuracy?

You can never be entirely accurate when writing about the distant past, so I aim for authenticity plus as much accuracy as possible. 

Which character in your current book is your favourite? Why?

There are two central characters in the sequel to I, Morgana: Marie and Morgan. Marie, based on the life of Marie de France, is probably my favourite of the two as I share her experiences as a writer. 

Are you a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantser’? How long does it generally take you to write a book? 

Definitely a pantser; half of the fun of writing something is finding out what's going to happen next! As for how long it takes: it depends on the level of research I need to do. 

Which authors have influenced you? 

Enid Blyton as a child (I'm still writing versions of 'otherworlds' a la the Faraway Tree series!) C.P. Snow (characterisation) and Ayn Rand (political ideas) in my teens and a cornucopia of writers ever since - particularly in the historical and crime genres.  

What advice would you give an aspiring author? 

Read widely, but only write what interests you. Practice and persistence pays off. 

Tell us about your next book or work in progress. 

I'm currently writing something completely different: adult 'chick lit' but with a cutting edge, titled Every Secret Thing. 

HNSA 2017 Conference

The HNSA 2017 Conference in Melbourne is being held on 8-10 September 2017. Felicity Pullman will be appearing the following panel in Session Five on Saturday 9 September at 2.15-3.15 pm.

The Outlander Effect: Parallel Narratives and Time Travelling

The success of the Diana Garabaldon’s Outlander series has inspired authors to delve into the lives of characters through parallel narratives, fantasy and cracks in time. Ella Carey, Belinda Murrell Felicity Pulman and Gary Crew discuss with Catherine Padmore the challenges of interweaving the tales of two or more protagonists from different periods into their plotlines and themes.

Felicity is also appearing in our free Sydney HNSA Meet the Author event on 29 March 7-9 pm at Mosman Library with Elisabeth Storrs, Lauren Chater and Lynette McDermott. Bookings essential. More details can be found on the HNSA website.

Early bird registration is open for the HNSA 2017 Conference. You will receive 15% off the full price for our weekend programme.  The same discount also applies for tickets to our opening reception

This celebration of the historical fiction genre will showcase over 60 speakers discussing our theme, inspiration, writing craft, research, publishing pathways and personal histories. Among the many acclaimed historical novelists participating are Kerry Greenwood, Kate Forsyth, Deborah Challinor, Lucy Treloar, Sophie Masson, Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott and Arnold Zable. The HNSA’s speakers’ list is available on the HNSA website.

In addition to the two stream weekend programme, there will be ten craft based super sessions and two research masterclasses. You won’t want to miss our interactive sessions on armour and historical costumes either! Manuscript assessments will be conducted by industry experts, Alison Arnold and Irina Dunn. And there are two calls for papers in our free extended academic programme.
Our First Pages Pitch Contest offers an opportunity for submissions to be read aloud to a panel of publishers. And we are delighted to announce the introduction of our inaugural HNSA Short Story Contest with a $500 prize!

Let’s make a noise about historical fiction!

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