Welsh Pronunciation

“Names are not always what they seem. The common Welsh name BZJXXLLWCP is pronounced Jackson.” Puddinhead Wilson (Mark Twain, Following the Equator) For an English speaker, Welsh is not easy.  The following is a quick guide: a  ‘ah’ as in ‘rah’ (Caradog) ae  ‘eye’ as in ‘my’ (Cadfael) ai  ‘eye’ as in ‘my’ (Owain) aw […]

The Good Knight has a new cover!

I spent twenty years telling myself I didn’t have a creative bone in my body.  I told myself I wasn’t a visual person. I don’t paint and photoshop is beyond me, but I know when something is beautiful and right.  Christine DeMaio-Rice (http://flipcitybooks.com/) is my cover designer.  So far she’s revamped Cold My Heart, The Last […]

SOPA and Internet Piracy

Wikipedia is blacked out today.  Here’s why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SOPA_logo.png I am opposed to internet piracy.  I make my living off my books and if people pirate my books, they don’t pay me.  At the same time, I see no point in going after readers–who might actually like my book and want to read more, that they’ll […]

Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn

Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn was a contemporary of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last Prince of Wales who died in 1282.  He was father to Owain, who with Dafydd ap Gruffydd, Llywelyn’s brother, conspired to murder Llywelyn in 1274. Gruffydd was born sometime before 1216, the date of his father’s death.   Llywelyn Fawr had driven the family from their […]

Better Know a Castle*: Abergavenny

On Christmas Day in 1175, William de Braose, a Marcher lord (the 4th Lord of Bramber), summoned Seisyll ap Dyfnwal, Seisyll’s eldest son, Geoffrey, and a number of other local leading Welshmen from Gwent to Abergavenny Castle to hear a royal proclamation.   He then murdered them all.  This was justified in William’s mind because of a prior […]

The Welsh Robin Hood

The idea of ‘Robin Hood’–one who steals from the rich and gives to the poor–or even someone who is on the side of the weak and downtrodden against the unjust ruler, is very old.  One of my favorite books, Sherwood by Parke Godwin, sets the story in the time of the Norman conquest, making Robin a […]

History of Paper

Medieval lords had castle accounts, right?  On what were these written?  Did they call them paper, or parchment?  Were they made of dried skins, linen, paper? Account books could have been made of paper, which was viewed as less sturdy than parchment and thus for less important matters.  “There are indeed very many medieval manuscripts […]