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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Gillian Bagwell chooses her Desert Island Books

Gillian Bagwell is a very clever woman. Not only has she managed to write two stunning historicals, and is working on a third, but she's also able to be in two places at once. She's on her way to the Historical Novel Society Conference in London, and she's also here minding my deserted blog, my Desert Island, whilst I'm touring the blogosphere.

Today The Gilded Lily is being reviewed at Unabridged Chick, pop over to see what the verdict is. I am also a guest on Passages to the Past with my post on the artists that inspired The Gilded Lily.You can win a book at both sites by entering the Giveaway.

Now - more about Gillian.

Gillian Bagwell grew up in Berkeley, California, and began her professional life as an actress, studying at the University of California Berkeley and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television. She moved into directing and producing theatre, founding The Pasadena Shakespeare Company, where she served as artistic director for nine years, producing thirty-seven critically acclaimed productions.

She united her life-long love of books, British history, and theatre in writing The Darling Strumpet, based on the life of Nell Gwynn.

Her second novel, The King's Mistress, is about Jane Lane, an ordinary English girl who risked her life to help the young Charles II escape after the Battle of Worcester.

Here are Gillian's choices.
Classic – Complete Works of Shakespeare
I have to choose this – pound for pound it provides more material, and more compelling material, than just about anything else.  Having acted in, directed, and produced a lot of Shakespeare, I find that it’s in my blood.

Current – Ian Rankin. He’s a best-selling author in the U.K. and not very well known in the U.S. for some reason. I’ve read all of his Rebus series, and now I’m loving his new series with a new protagonist, Malcolm Fox of the Complaints – the internal investigation bureau of the Lothian and Borders police. Both are crime fiction set in contemporary Edinburgh, and are just want I want to read when I’m writing historical fiction, i.e., something that is completely different than historical fiction!

Non-fiction – all of Liza Picard’s books: Elizabethan London, Restoration London, Dr. Johnson’s London, and Victorian London. Ms. Picard provides a great deal of information about people’s everyday lives—what they ate, how much things cost, how they got around, entertainment and leisure, sex, health, etc. Just what I need when writing historical fiction!

I am a great fan of Liza Picard's books too, so I hope Gillian will leave her selection behind when she leaves!
You can find out more about Gillian and her books at

Twitter - @GillianBagwell

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