Saturday, 4 March 2017

Diana talks to Kristie Dean

Hi Kristie, lovely to catch up with you and have a chat...
I have loved all your books but particularly your two Richard III related books...

''Richard III is probably the House of York’s best-known figure, but the other members of the family are just as intriguing as the king who fell on Bosworth Field brings to life the people and their  places in her latest book, On the Trail of the Yorks (with brilliant maps and photographs*)''

What made you choose this genre? I love non-fiction because it allows me to research the history I love and then present it to others. I like explaining what actually happened, although I’ve been toying with the idea of writing fiction as well.

How do you get ideas for plots and characters? I get the ideas for my books from what I love. Both Richard III and his family have always interested me, so they were my focus when I decided I wanted to write a travel history. Actually, the idea of the travel history book came about because I’d always wanted a book to give me locations for my favorite figures from history, especially Richard III.

If, as a one off, (and you could guarantee publication!) you could write anything you wanted, is there another genre you would love to work with and do you already have a budding plot line in mind? I would love to write a thriller. I have had an idea in mind for a while based on an incident that happened to me when I was in college. I’m not sure if I will ever put it on paper, though.

Was becoming a writer a conscious decision or something that you drifted into (or even something so compelling that it could not be denied?) How old were you when you first started to write seriously. It was a conscious decision. I’ve been writing since 4th grade (around nine years old) and it’s always been something important for me to do. I can’t stand a blank piece of paper.  I studied journalism in school as an undergraduate prior to earning my master’s in history, so writing non-fiction has been a good fit.  

Marmite? Love it or hate it? I have never been able to bring myself to try it… ((Smile))

Do you have any rituals and routines when writing? Your favourite cup for example or ‘that’ piece of music...?? I have to begin the day with coffee and play with my pets for a few moments before I start working. I love to work at my desk, but in all honesty, I am so messy that it’s often covered and I have to write in the family room.

I promise I won’t tell them the answer to this, but when you are writing, who is more important, your family or your characters? My family is more important, but I do neglect them while writing. It becomes an all-consuming passion. I have started at 7 a.m. and finished at 10 p.m. without noticing. I love what I do!

Other than writing full time, what would be your dream job? I would love to be a travel guide and take people to my favorite destinations.

Coffee or tea? Red or white? Coffee and white

How much of your work is planned before you start? Do you have a full draft or let it find its way? For non-fiction I plan it out, but if I find another location or something I need to add through my research, I will add it.

Imagine that you could get hold of any original source document. What would it be? Oh, that’s an easy one for me. Titulus Regius.

How much research do you do and do you ever go on research trips? For a non-fiction book, meticulous research is necessary.  In addition to primary research for the historic background, I traveled to almost every site I discuss. I liked the chance to get the ‘feel’ of the location.

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure? I read just about anything. This morning I read the back of the Cheerios box. It hadn’t changed since the last time I read it, but it was there and I was bored. Seriously, I will read just about any genre, although I’m not big on fantasy. My preference is either history or thrillers.

What drink would you recommend drinking whilst reading your latest book? White wine. ((I read it at the airport whilst drinking coffee. I can recommend that too!))

Last but not least... favourite author? This is a difficult one for me. I like so many authors, but I do enjoy Susanna Kearsley and Barbara Erskine (Lady of Hay is a favourite!) For non-fiction, there are many authors I admire, so it would take forever to list them all. I do have a book that I’m chomping at the bit to read, which hopefully will be released soon. Sharon Bennett Connolly is doing a book about medieval heroines, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
Kristie Dean has an MA in History and now enjoys teaching the subject, following a successful career in public relations. Her particular historic interest is the medieval era, specifically the Plantagenets, the Wars of the Roses and the Tudors.
She has been published in several online magazines and local newspapers, and presented a paper at the International Congress on Medieval Studies. She has also published a series of short guidebooks (less than 20 pages) to help visitors to the UK find great locations

You can follow Kristie on Twitter @kristiedavisdea, or like her Facebook page, The World of Richard III. She also has a blog at When not traveling for research, you can find Kristie at home in Tennessee with her husband, three dogs, and two cats.

© Diana Milne January 2017 © Kristie Dean February 2017

* Maps in the book by Lady White Art and Sharon Connelly provided some wonderful photos


  1. Oh wow! Thanks for the vote of confidence, Kristie. I'm honoured.

  2. Thank you Diana! Sharon, it will be great.

  3. It has been a real pleasure and is already getting a lot of attention :)

  4. Fab! A really interesting chat!

  5. I'm inspired - if I was to choose a new genre it'd be historical travel writing!! :)