Historical Fiction Panel: Alison Weir, Andie Newton, Stacey Halls and Octavia Randolph


Join Alison Weir, Andie Newton, Stacey and Octavia Randolph as they talk historical fiction from Vikings to World War II.

Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian (and the fifth-bestselling historian overall) in the UK, and has sold over 3 million books worldwide. She has published nineteen history books, including her most recent non-fiction book, Queens of the Conquest, the first in her England’s Medieval Queens quartet. Alison has also published ten historical novels.

Katheryn Howard, The Tainted Queen is Alison Weir’s tenth published novel and the fifth in the Six Tudor Queens series about the wives of Henry VIII, which was launched in 2016 to great critical acclaim. The earlier books in the series – Katherine of Aragon: The True QueenAnne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession, Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen and Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets were all Sunday Times bestsellers.

Alison is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an honorary life patron of Historic Royal Palaces.

Andie Newton writes female-driven historical fiction set in WWII. She’s the author of The Girl I Left Behind (Aria 2019) and The Girl from Vichy (Aria 2020). Andie holds a Bachelor degree in History and a Master in Teaching. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Stacey Halls was born in 1989 and grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and has written for publications including the Guardian, Stylist, Psychologies, The Independent, The Sun and Fabulous. Her first book The Familiars was the bestselling debut novel of 2019. Her second book, The Foundling, was published February 2020.

Octavia Randolph writes the kind of book she wants to read herself. She writes about history as a way to better understand our own times. Octavia writes about people who are far better, and (she hopes) far worse than herself. Beautiful objects also inspire her: the hand-carved combs, skilfully wrought swords, and gemmed goblets of the world of The Circle of Ceridwen Saga. Almost everything interests her; Octavia has studied Anglo-Saxon and Norse runes, and learnt to spin with a drop spindle. Her path has led to extensive on-site research in England, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and Gotland. In addition to the Circle Saga, Octavia is also the author of Light, Descending, a biographical novel of the great 19th century art and social critic John ruskin; Ride, a retelling of the story of Lady Godiva; and The Tale of Melkorka, taken from the Icelandic Sagas.

Octavia has been the recipient of Artistic Fellowships at the Ingmar Bergman Estate, the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House International and Byrdcliffe.