Interview with historical romance author Emily Murdoch

My
special guest today is Emily Murdoch. She’s chatting with me about her historical
romance novel Conquests: Hearts Rule Kingdoms.
Bio:
Emily
Murdoch is a medieval historian and writer. Throughout her career so far she
has examined a codex and transcribed medieval sermons at the Bodleian Library
in Oxford, designed part of an exhibition for the Yorkshire Museum, worked as a
researcher for a BBC documentary presented by Ian Hislop, and worked at
Polesden Lacey with the National Trust.
She has a
degree in history and English, and a master’s in medieval studies, both from
the University of York. Emily has a medieval series and a Regency novella
series published, and is currently working on several new projects.
Welcome, Emily. Please tell us about
your current release.
Conquests: Hearts Rule Kingdoms is a historical romance set in 1069
that is centred on two people: Avis, an Anglo-Saxon woman and Melville, a
Norman man. Two people trapped in a situation not of their making.
What inspired you to write this
book?
While I
was studying my MA in Medieval Studies I became fascinated by the horrendous
social situations that political situations place them in, usually never due to
their choices. This was a fun way to explore that.

Excerpt from Conquests: Hearts Rule Kingdoms:
PROLOGUE
The
village burned in the darkness. Anglo-Saxon women crawled in the ashes and
blood, crying, but quietly. They did not want to be found. They knew what would
happen to them if they were discovered. In the light of the flames only one
building could be seen left standing; the great manor house. None dared
approach it. They knew that if the men returned, that would be exactly where
they would go to. In the courtyard of this house, a shadow wept.
A young
girl was crouched in a corner, sobbing. The stone wall behind hid her in its
silhouette, and she tried to muffle the sounds of her cries. She did not want
to be discovered.
A noise
startled her; the sound of hooves on wood. They were coming.
Picking
herself up and wrapping her long skirts around her, the girl ran – but she was
not fast enough.
“Hie
there!”
A whining
man’s voice rang out into the darkness and broke through the silence. It was
the rider of the horse that she had heard, but now many more horses had joined
him. It was a whole host of men. The girl gasped and tried to run faster, but
there was nowhere to run to. Nowhere was safe now. Before she could reach the
other side of the courtyard, strong rough hands had grabbed her.
“Bring
her here!”
The same
gruff voice spoke, and the girl struggled. The man holding her had to drag her
over to the horse of the speaker. The man had dismounted, and the girl caught
sight of his broadsword. She gasped, and pushed backwards trying to stay as far
away as possible from the blade. She had seen swords similar to that one. She
had seen what they could do.
“Hold her
up.”
The man
was older than her, probably as old as her father. He stank of sweat, and his
mean eyes bore down into her. When he gazed down upon his captive, he was
surprised. The lonely figure that he had taken to be a child was much older.
The girl must be verging onto womanhood.
He leered
at her.
“Do you
have a name, my sweet?”
The girl
stared back at him. Fear danced in her eyes, but also resentment. She knew why
he had come to her home. She knew what he wanted.
“My lord
Richard asked you a question!” said the man holding her back, twisting one of
her arms so she let out a yelp of pain.
“Avis,”
she breathed, her arms searing and tears brimming in her eyes. “My name is Avis.”

What exciting story are you working
on next?
I’ve gone
slightly further back by about a decade, and I’m currently researching a
historical character that definitely existed but almost no one knows much about
– no more details available right now I’m afraid!
When did you first consider yourself
a writer?
I think
when I first heard from a reader that wasn’t related to me! The idea that there
was something else out there that had read my words, something that I had
written just from the sheer love of it, was so exhilarating.
Do you write full-time? If so,
what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do
you find time to write?
I don’t
work full time – I love being able to work in an office and be full of drama,
gossip, intrigue, and relationships! I write whenever I have time around that
and my family.
What would you say is your
interesting writing quirk?
I always
want to listen to music from the historical period that I’m working on, but
when I’m editing I have to listen to Christmas music!
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
An
author. I just wanted to write as a career, to be able to use words in the most
beautiful and powerful way to make people think. I’m incredibly fortunate to be
able to do that both as an author and as a writer at my job.
How can readers connect with you
through social media?
Thanks for being here today, Emily! Happy writing.

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