The Mysteries of Iron Age Britain

October 30, 2014

Well, after three years of intermittent, dabbling sort of work, followed by two years of crazed, obsessive work, I have finally pressed send on the very, very final draft of my first foray into novel-land…Skin.

Of course there is always the chance that my editor will email with ‘just a last few things’ as we both have been doing for the past month, but I’m pretty sure that this is it, and that any remaining mistakes will be preserved in perpetuity in the pages of the final product.

So, for those who don’t know, Skin is the story of a young woman’s rise to power in Iron Age Britain on the cusp of Roman invasion. It’s a bit historical, a bit literary, and a little bit fantastical. It will be published in Australia by Text in late February next year, and in the UK, Sweden and Germany later in 2015.

It has been a serious pleasure to write. Not least because it took me on a research tour of one of my favourite places in the world: Somerset, UK.

Here is a picture of Glastonbury and surrounds at sunset viewed from the verdant slopes of the Tor.

Tor

I first came to this part of England with my dear friend Sarah in 1993 and was immediately struck by the spiritual ‘pull’ of the countryside and all its ancient stones and ruins steeped in history and legend. For the first time, I experienced a sensation of my own ancestry arising from place—something that I had never known as a white Australian. I realised at that moment that everyone is Indigenous to somewhere. Was this my place?

An ancient breed of sheep

an ancient breed of sheep!

Over the ensuing two decades I have harboured an enduring passion for ancient Britain, particularly its elusive culture of druidism, which is a cornerstone of my upcoming novel. I particularly enjoyed wandering around England’s various recreated Iron Age villages and imaging a life lived by the sun and the seasons, where there was meaning in every stone, leaf and trickle of water.

Recreation Iron Age loo

Recreation Iron Age loo

an Iron Age roundhouse

an Iron Age roundhouse

I’m very excited about Skin finally breaking free of the confines of a word doc and entering the world, and very excited to hear what you all think. See you at the launch!

Ilka

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