The Accidental Historical Novelist – by Hilary Shepherd

All about historical fiction

Albi, Hilary Shepherd‘s third novel, has been nominated for the Not The Booker competition. When Hilary was twenty-three, she went out to Ghana with a baby and one suitcase to join her new husband. That experience prompted a novel titled In A Foreign Country. She’s also the author of Animated Baggage based on the two years she and her young family lived in the Sudan when her husband was working for Unicef. Recently, Hilary has completed Albi, a historical novel inspired by … well, let’s let Hilary tell us about that.


There are some places – and certain periods in history – that get under the skin and demand to be written about. Even so, when I came to write a novel set in the area of Spain where we bought a house in 2001, my storyline was firmly contemporary. There is so much history…

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