Dylan Thomas and Others
The well-stocked bar
The Fitzroy Tavern, London
Statue of Sherlock Holmes across from the University
I went to the meet-and-greet and registration of the first day (Sept 5) and enjoy myself meeting lots of other historical writers. My biggest thrill that day was running into renown writer Margaret George, whose work I admire. I had spoken to her at the Surrey International Writer's Conference two years ago when I attended one of her workshops, and I'd explained my concern over the length of SHADOW OF THE LION. She had told me "Just don't worry about the length. Keep on writing!" Imagine her surprise (and delight) when I told her that I'd listened to her and now I had a two-book contract, with volume one already published.
That evening we went for a dinner at a nearby restaurant for the Hardy's Historical supper and enjoy some good food, wine and camaraderie with a group of the writers.
The next day I attended the all-day sessions of various workshops. And I made sure I went to one that Margaret George was participating in. I also enjoy hearing from the keynote speakers and a couple of other presenters who were successful historical fiction writers. I met one of the writers from Oxford who is a good friend of Robin Lane Fox whose book about Alexander the Great I referred to for some of my research for SHADOW.
My last day in London I chose to go on a London Walk. I love these walks and this time decided on the Dickens & Shakespeare Walk. The American professor who was our guide proved to be entertaining as well as informative.
We strolled around all the parts of town where Dickens was inspired to write several of his books such as "Pickwick Papers" and "Great Expectation."
Monument to William Shakespeare
We also toured the noted areas of that time, such as the Guildhall (from the 1400s) the Smithfieds Market that had signs depicting the cruel punishments meted out of people those days, the place nearby where William Wallace (Braveheart) was slaughtered as well a number of other fascinating old London sites.
After the walk, which took about 2 hours (or longer) I went to see St. Paul's Cathedral. By that time I was tired from the walking and headed back to the Indian Y where I had chosen to stay for my last night in London. The next day, I headed out to Heathrow for my flight to Greece.
NEXT: GREECE: My first stop: THESSALONIKI.