News & Interviews

ARA Historical Novel Prize Announces Longlist and Doubles Prize Monies

In conjunction with its generous sponsor ARA Group, the Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) has today announced the eight talented authors, and their outstanding novels, selected in the 2020 longlist for the inaugural ARA Historical Novel Prize. You can watch the video broadcast of the announcement below. Longlisted entries include: Master of My Fate by

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Imagining the Past: Episode 14: A French Affair: In Conversation with Kate Forsyth and Natasha Lester

The allure of France has often inspired historical novelists to conjure the romance and tumult of its history. Kate Forsyth’s novel, The Blue Rose, transports the reader to the perils of the French Revolution and the exotic world of Imperial China. Natasha Lester’s The French Photographer deals with more recent history of World War II France and America. In this

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Imagining the Past: Episode 13: The Things We Don’t Know: Research Challenges Across Eras

What are the challenges faced in researching pre-history when there are no written records? How do you approach interpreting Middle Age chronicles? Or choose between a plethora of conflicting primary sources when delving into modern history? In this week’s episode of the Imagining the Past podcast, Isolde Martyn investigates the research challenges faced by Ilka Tampke, Gillian Polack and Pamela Hart when

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Imagining the Past Podcast: Episode 10: Walking Side by Side: Collaboration Between Historical Novelist and Historian

This week’s episode of the Imagining the Past podcast was recorded during the 2019 HNSA conference in Parramatta, which was the second penal settlement established in Australia. When Thomas and Meg Keneally decided to set their Monsarratt detective series in Paramatta, Meg sought the assistance of local historian, Gay Hendrikson, to dig into the township’s history.  Gillian Polack learns

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Imagining the Past Podcast: Episode 9: Survival of the Fittest: Challenging Interior and Exterior Landscapes

A stark Australian landscape is both menacing and beautiful in Rachel Leary’s Bridget Crack with a protagonist who must overcome physical and psychological threats. David Whish-Wilson’s  The Coves explores the brutality of Australian renegades in the unlawful streets of 19th century San Francisco while Stephanie Parkyn’s Into the World forces her heroine to face ocean hazards while striving to protect a dangerous personal secret. In

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Imagining the Past Podcast: Episode 7: Personal Histories: In Conversation with Nicole Alexander and Ella Carey

In this week’s episode of Imagining the Past, Irina Dunn speaks with Nicole Alexander and  Ella Carey about their writing journeys, the inspiration for their books, and why they draw upon family legend. Nicole Alexander writes sweeping epics evoking the grandeur of Australian landscapes, the hardships of rural life, and the turmoil of historic events. Ella Carey introduces

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Imagining the Past, episode 6: We Need to Talk Bette and Joan

In this week’s episode of Imagining the Past, Linda Funnell interviews Jane Caro and Ali Alizadeh about their approach to writing about well-known historical figures: in their cases Elizabeth I and Joan of Arc respectively. Elizabeth I and Joan of Arc have already been the subject of countless books, engendering myth, obsession and various interpretations

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