With a distinguished career embracing roles with key heritage organisations, several television series, authorship of eight history books and more, historian Dr Tracy Borman is better versed than most on the many influences which shape lives. Status, education, marriage, rivalry, money, health, the weather – a variety of elements can dictate the outcome of events. And a little serendipity helps too, as exemplified by an enticing new career path which evolved from a fortuitous meeting.
“I was at Harrogate History Festival to talk about my non-fiction book on witchcraft, when I had a chance conversation with a book editor,” explains Tracy. “He asked if I’d ever considered writing fiction. I said that if I were to write a novel, I would base it around the witch hunts of King James I. I read historical fiction all the time for pleasure but writing it was always just a pipe dream, because it involves a lot of imagination – not necessarily a natural skill for an historian. But he encouraged me to write something and it just went from there.”
The spell was cast for Tracy’s best-selling trilogy which began with 2018’s The King’s Witch and concludes with The Fallen Angel, published on November 5. It’s a fitting release date for the book, rooted in the years surrounding the Gunpowder Plot. Successful fiction requires jeopardy and heroine Frances Gorges is a closet Catholic, navigating the treacherous royal court of King James I. More pertinently, she is a skilled healer, a practice synonymous with evil in the eyes of the witch craft obsessed king.
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