Author Archives: Hannah

About Hannah

Author of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, off-road runner. Africa, modern history, coffee, roses, and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.

Becoming a writer

I believe I have mentioned my bruising editorial review of The White Lady? It took me nearly three weeks to pluck up courage to read the review properly (my initial reading was a watching-from-behind-the-sofa sort of affair in which I … Continue reading

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Testament of Mary (reading-as-a-writer 9)

I had to read Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin (2012) twice; the first time to get to the end of a gripping story, the second time to read the words. In between sittings, I studied the reviews and interviews, … Continue reading

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Babes in the Wood

My writer’s mind is very weird and wonderful. I’ve been struggling to define a key relationship in my book between two young and very frightened people in the midst of war and the phrase “babes in the wood” popped into … Continue reading

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Great War pilots (research review)

One of the characters in my WIP is a pilot. He’s very young, unrealistically romantic and rather unstable – and his relationship with my heroine is pivotal to the plot. In my book I devote around 5000 words to poor, … Continue reading

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The Roses of No Man’s Land (research review)

Out of all the books I’ve read about the #GreatWar Lyn MacDonald’s histories stand out; readable, warm and packed with the minutiae of human experience set against solid historical background. I know some historians have concerns regarding the use of … Continue reading

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Six Weeks (research review)

If I needed a book to reassure me that I’m doing the right thing writing #historicalfiction set in the #GreatWar then this is that book. Six weeks was how long a junior officer on the frontline of #WW1 could expect … Continue reading

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A Whole Life (reading-as-a-writer 8)

I really don’t want to write about A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (trans. Charlotte Collins 2015). I’m afraid I won’t do justice to it – or that thinking too hard about this exquisite book will somehow spoil it. Fundamentally, … Continue reading

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Field Service (reading-as-a-writer 7)

I first read Field Service by Robert Edric a year ago as part of my research into the aftermath of the #GreatWar. I reread it this week as a writer. This is the first book by Edric I have read. … Continue reading

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Brooklyn (reading-as-a-writer 6)

I didn’t want to read Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín because 1950s, small-town, Irish emigre, coming-of-age stories are really not my thing. (Plus, although I loved the clothes I found the film pretty insipid.) Then a writing friend urged me to … Continue reading

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Brideshead Revisited (reading-as-a-writer 5)

I’ve just reread ‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh (1945) because I really didn’t appreciate the brilliance of this novel when I read it a decade or so ago. It feels mean-spirited to condense such bounty down to just #ThreeGifts for … Continue reading

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