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Our Authors
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Kathleen Herbert

"I've always loved Kathleen Herbert's work.  Written with sensitivity, passion, and an extraordinarily vivid sense of place, her novels reflect the realities of life in a bygone age while still evoking all of its magic."
Sarah Johnson, author Reading the Past, Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre, and Historical Fiction II; editor Historical Novels Review

Kathleen Herbert gained a first class degree in English from Oxford, where she was a student of JRR Tolkien. Hearing him lecture on the languages spoken in Rome when the great city itself was under attack from Vandals and Goths awoke her own love of language and history. Kathleen remembers that Tolkien acted out a scene in the Forum, putting on different voices for the different characters and languages, with Vandal chieftain meeting Saxon trader and a leader of a British war-band. In the same way Kathleen brings to vivid life the warring kingdoms and cultures of Northern Britain in the Dark Ages.

During a teaching career which inspired many with a love of books and writing, she continued her studies, learning Welsh in order to read the Gododdin and the Mabinogion in the original.

When she took early retirement she was able to spend more time studying and writing, and eventually produced three novels and three books of non-fiction all based on what she likes to call the Heroic Age of Britain: between the sixth and seventh centuries BC.

She then turned her attention to another dark age in British history- the aftermath of the English Civil War, to produce what is arguably her richest book: Moon in Leo.

If she had not suffered a severe stroke shortly after finishing this epic novel of love, alchemy and mass hysteria, who knows what other books we would be reading now? We know from her letters that she was researching many other stories.

Kathleen's first three novels, now out of print, will be republished by Trifolium Books UK in the near future.

Published by Trifolium Books:

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Moon in Leo

COVER QUEEN for upload

The Once and Future Queen
(e-book only)

Other books by Kathleen Herbert:

Lady of the Fountain (1982) republished as Bride of the Spear
Queen of the Lightning (1983)
Ghost In The Sunlight (1987)

Published by Bodley Head and St Martin's Press. Now out of print, soon to be republished by Trifolium Books UK

Non fiction
Spellcraft: Old English Heroic Legends (1993) republished as English Heroic Legends (2010)
Looking for the Lost Gods of England (1994, 2011)
Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (1997)

Published by Anglo Saxon Books, and still in print.

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Carla Nayland

Carla Nayland is a scientist with a lifelong interest in history and archaeology. She has long been fascinated by the early medieval period, sometimes called the ‘Heroic Age’ or the ‘Dark Ages’, the centuries after the end of the western Roman Empire. This was a formative time in British history, and it was in this period that the countries of England, Scotland and Wales first began to emerge. It was a colourful period of tremendous diversity, with numerous religions, ethnic groups, languages and cultures all jostling for position. We are lucky enough to have a near-contemporary source, a history of the church in England written by the Venerable Bede in 731 AD, which is full of vivid characters, drama, warfare, intrigue and betrayal. Carla Nayland set out to bring this little-known period of history to life through historical fiction.

Numerous articles on the history and culture of seventh-century Britain, including the historical background to Paths of Exile, can be found on Carla’s website and blog:    

Subjects range from the use of silk in Anglo-Saxon England to human sacrifice, and new articles are regularly added.

Carla also writes fiction set in an invented world loosely based on medieval Britain.

Published by Trifolium Books:


Paths of Exile

Other Books by Carla Nayland:

Ingeld’s Daughter

Ring of Scorpions (forthcoming)
Continues the story of Eadwine and his companions begun in Paths of Exile.

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Julia Newsome

I have not always been a fiction writer, although I have always wanted to be. After taking a BA in Drama at Manchester University, I taught English as a Foreign Language in Greece for many years. I wrote and commissioned teaching materials for local language schools, and later for Heinemann ELT in Athens. Since leaving Greece in 1995, I have been a freelance translator, editor, publisher and materials writer for Penguin and Pearson, among others. I also continued examining and teaching EFL while accompanying my diplomat husband on postings to Brussels, Belgrade and Harare.

But now I live mainly in Cumbria and have the time to write fiction and scripts I find that it is indeed true that a story can come from anywhere. Some scream to be written, while some have to be coaxed into showing themselves, and then moulded or kneaded into shape. They seem to fly around me like butterflies, but I only manage to trap very few. And of those even fewer stabilise at last into something readable.

Travel and family take up a lot of my non-writing time. I enjoy choir singing, dance classes, and exploring on foot wherever I happen to be. And one day I mean to edit the many hours of video I have made in the last ten years, eradicating the shots of the inside of my pocket and my walking feet ...

Published by Trifolium Books:

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The Boy With Two Heads

Other Books by Julia Newsome:

Maria’s Dilemma (Richmond Readers 1996)

Saturday Storm (Richmond Readers 1997)

Nelson’s Dream (Cambridge English Readers 2008)
winner of its category,
2009 Language Learner Literature Awards

Dragons’ Eggs (Cambridge English Readers 2010)
winner of its category,
2011 Language Learner Literature Awards