Author Q&A

Barry Renfrew

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

A: Agincourt was one of the greatest battles in history, an incredible feat by a small, ragged English army outnumbered by a vast French force. I’ve always wanted to try to convey not just what happens in a battle, but also what it’s like to be there, and this is a perfect setting.

Q: Sell the book in 10 words!

A: Puts you in the front of the English battle line.

Q: What are you writing next?

A: A lot of my work centres on writing traditional history books. Agincourt was a change because it is based on facts, but retold minute by minute like a movie. Now I’m doing a book about the forgotten soldiers of the West Indies.

Q: Which historical fiction do you enjoy reading?

A: Historical fiction can be the best way to understand history. My favourite writers are Robert Graves and J.G. Farrell who recreate the past with the precision of a historian and the story-telling skills of the best novelists.

Q: What are your Desert Island books?

A: Moby Dick and the Oxford History of England (which is a bit of a cheat at 14 volumes).

Q: Secret of good writing?

A: Every writer would give their lifeblood for the answer to this question. For me it’s telling a story as clearly and simply as possible while still capturing all the details, emotions and feelings of an event.