Writing Magazine


Transforming history

‘I write this fizzing with excitement as I have just signed off on the final proof copy of my debut historical novel The Puritan Princess to be published in March by Orion Fiction,’ writes subscriber Miranda Malins.

‘It has been quite a journey. As a child I devoured historical fiction and this helped steer me towards becoming an academic historian, studying at Cambridge and emerging with a PhD in the politics of Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum of the 1650s following the Civil Wars. Although I loved my subject, I didn’t feel suited for life in the ivory tower, and so retrained as a solicitor. But the drama and passion of the mid-17th century kept calling to me. Was there a way to combine my academic knowledge and new commerciality to help others to discover this extraordinary and often over-looked period?

‘So, on maternity leave, each time the baby napped I opened my laptop and fell in love with writing historical fiction. For all the joy it has been a steep learning curve. I had to retrain myself from my dependence on the source and footnote; soften myself from the rigour of pin-pointing academic ‘truth’ into the creativity of moulding the past to reveal its best stories. I had to force myself to write day after day pounding out 100,000 words that might never amount to anything. Then there was the long, long hunt for an agent and another eighteen months before we secured the publishing deal we wanted with Orion. But the rest, as they say, is history.

And what history it is! s tells the story of Oliver Cromwell’s

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