I am happy to have Kate Braithwaite as my guest today. Thank you, Kate,
for joining me on my website.
Author Kate Braithwaite
Kate, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?
I’m from Scotland originally, but now
live in Pennsylvania, a little way out from Philadelphia. Before we moved abroad with our family, I worked as a special needs
teacher and educational consultant. But with living overseas and three young kids to look after, I decided to focus on my
writing ambitions rather than teaching.
What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?
I’m the author of three historical novels.
Each one is different. My first, Charlatan, is set in 17th Century Paris and is about an underworld of poisoners
and their connections to Madame de Montespan, Louis XIV’s most glamorous mistress. Then there’s The Road to
Newgate. It was also set in the 17th Century, but in London, where Titus Oates, a villainous liar, if ever there was
one, has everyone believing there is a vast plot to assassinate Charles I and make England a Catholic country again. The Road
to Newgate is the story of a journalist who is determined to prove Oates is a liar, and it’s a part love story, part
murder mystery too. My most recent novel is The Girl Puzzle, a story of Nellie Bly. That’s about a trailblazing
young journalist who pretends to be insane to report on conditions in Blackwell’s Island Asylum in New York City in
1887. She’s a beautiful character – brave, contradictory, outspoken, and determined to prove that women are just
as capable as men.
What they all have in
common is that they are based on actual historical events, character-driven, and have dark themes such as poison, murder,
and madness. I hope anyone who enjoys a good story will enjoy my books.
The Girl Puzzle
The Road to Newgate
What prompted you to write what you did? [or Where
do you get your writing inspiration?] What message(s) do you want readers to take away?
Charlatan because I read a non-fiction book about Louis XIV, which touched on the Affair of the Poisons, and I immediately
knew it was a story I’d love to read a novel about. That’s the basis for all my writing. My ambition is to write
gripping and exciting stories through which readers can learn something new about the history and perhaps also relate events
in the novels to their own lives and current events. I’m particularly interested in women’s stories, but mainly
I’m trying to write books I’d like to read myself. As a fan of historical and crime fiction, I’m writing
what comes naturally to me.
Do you write short stories, articles,
or have a blog? Where can we find them?
I recently had a new historical short story published in a
charity anthology, Dark London. It’s about a young girl in danger when she mudlarks on the banks of the Thames
in the mid-18th Century.
I also have
an illustrated short story about the Canadian giantess, Anna Swan, which people can get for free by signing up to my newsletter
And yes, I have a blog that is
all about books and writing. I also write a lot of historical novel features and interviews for the Historical Novel Society. All the details and links are on my website, along with additional historical information about my books! I love to connect
with readers there, and also on Goodreads, Bookbub, Twitter, and Facebook, Instagram too (although I’m more a twitter person tbh).
What do you
find the hardest about writing? The easiest?
For me, the hardest thing is carving out time and space. With the pandemic, my house is full of people coming and going,
and requesting food at odd hours (3 teenagers!) I do like quiet when it comes to writing, so I am a bit behind where I planned
to be with my next book.
The easiest is finding things to write about. When I was in my twenties and aspired
to novel writing, I knew I wanted to write but didn’t know what that would look like. Now I see stories everywhere and
can’t wait to get my current work in progress finished so I can jump into my next one!
What’s next for you after The Girl Puzzle?
I’m writing another book set in America, but a little earlier – late
18th, early 19th Century. It’s set in Virginia and is based on a real scandal about two sisters with close connections
to Thomas Jefferson and his family. There’s betrayal, revenge, damaged reputations, and a trial – the kind of
scandal that just won’t die. I’m very excited about it!
What special thing about yourself would you like to share with readers?
Like many writers I know, I don’t
feel exceptional or even enjoy talking about myself very much! I do think that a lot of people have ‘a book in them’
and would encourage anyone who feels that way to spend as much time writing as possible. Talent in writing is essential but
persistence is the key. Writing is a craft that is honed and developed. I feel pretty strongly about that and enjoy working
with other writers to help them build their stories.
How can we follow or contact you?
Please do visit my website and
grab a free short story – www.kate-braithwaite.com
Or connect with me on:
Where can readers buy your books?
My books are all on Amazon. Charlatan can also be found at
B&N and iTunes, and The Girl Puzzle is widely available as an audiobook for those who love listening.
The Road to Newgate
The Girl Puzzle
Awards / Recognition [if applicable]
Girl Puzzle was one of Bookbub Readers’ Ten most haunting books in 2019. Seeing my book in a line up with Stephen King was super exciting.
The Greek Exploration of Ireland
By Michalis Cheilos
Greek Explorers of Ireland
Hibernia is the Classical Latin name for the island of Ireland. The name Hibernia was taken from
Greek geographical accounts. During his exploration of northwest Europe (c. 320 BC), Pytheas of Massalia called the island
Iérnē. In his book Geographia (c. 150 AD), Claudius Ptolemaeus ("Ptolemy") called the island Iouerníā.
The Roman historian Tacitus, in his book Agricola (c. 98 AD), uses the name Hibernia.
a Greek rendering of the Q-Celtic name *Īweriū, from which eventually arose the Irish names Ériu and Éire.
The name was altered in Latin (influenced by the word hībernus) as though it meant "land of winter," although
the word for winter began with a long
At the beginning of the Hellenic Era, the great Greek explorer Pytheas of Massalia
(lived c. 350–c. 285 BC) sailed beyond the Pillars of Herakles (now known as the Straight of Gibraltar) and journeyed
northwards. Pytheas explored the British Isles, which had previously been unknown to Greek-speaking peoples. Most of Pytheas's
journeys seem to have focused on exploring Britain, but he seems to have explored Ireland as well.
Pytheas returned home, he wrote a book about everything he had seen on his many travels. Unfortunately, the book itself has
not survived to the present day, but many later references to it have. From these later references, we can basically reconstruct
most of what Pytheas wrote about. As a result of Pytheas's book, Britain and Ireland gradually became better known throughout
the Greek-speaking Hellenistic world. Ireland is mentioned by Aristotle (lived 384–322 BC) and by the first-century
BC historian Diodoros of Sicily. By the time of the Roman Empire, the existence of Ireland was well-known.
Alexandrian geographer Strabon (lived c. 63 BC–c. 24 AD) was well aware of Ireland and wrote about it in his Geographika,
a treatise on the geography of the entire world. The later geographer Klaudios Ptolemaios (lived c. 100 – c. 170 AD),
who was also from Alexandria, included Ireland in his own Geographika, another treatise on the geography of the world.
That is all for now. Until next time, Salve
Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!