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#158 Philippa Gregory

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This July, I happened to meet Philippa Gregory at a party.

Let's be clear - I never dreamed I would write a sentence like that, especially after moving away from Los Angeles where famous people do pop up in odd places. Even more surprising, I managed to have a coherent conversation with her about books and writing, to the point where she generously invited me over to record an episode talking about her latest book, Tidelands, and writing in general.

Thankfully, I was able to borrow a friend's microphone and made my way across the city to record this conversation. I hope you will forgive the slightly informal audio, I think what we talked about is worth turning up the volume a little bit for. I have loved Philippa's books for years and years. I remember how thrilled I was to find The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool when my fascination with the Tudors on an explosive trajectory.

But even beyond all of her books that I have read and loved, this conversation was about why she has chosen, as a historian, to write novels about women in history. She brings such depth to this subject and inspired me more than I can say with her thoughtful commentary on her career and writing in general, as well as on women's roles throughout history and literature.

As it's my birthday tomorrow, it seemed reasonable to peek out of my hiatus hideaway and give this episode to you as my birthday present. It was an incredible gift to be able to record it, now I want to share it with you. Happy listening.

Discussed in Episode 158 with Philippa Gregory

  • Writing women- both famous and unknown

  • How she selects characters

  • The process of researching women in historical documents

  • What she loves about writing novels

  • How to infuse your work with your beliefs without standing on a soapbox

  • The unique impact historical fiction is able to have on the world

Links and Resources

This episode sponsored by listeners like you via the Secret Library Podcast Patreon