Helen Steadman

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Born
The United Kingdom
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Influences
Peter Carey, Annie Proulx, Hilary Mantel, George Orwell

Member Since
June 2014


Helen Steadman is a historical novelist. Her best-selling first novel, Widdershins and its sequel, Sunwise were inspired by the Newcastle witch trials. Her third novel, The Running Wolf will be published by Impress Books on 12 September, 2020.

Despite the Newcastle witch trials being the largest mass execution of witches on a single day in England, they are not widely known about. Helen is particularly interested in revealing hidden histories and she is a thorough researcher who goes to great lengths in pursuit of historical accuracy. To get under the skin of the cunning women in Widdershins and Sunwise, Helen trained in herbalism and learned how to identify, grow and harvest plants and then made herbal medicines from bark, seeds, flowers an
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Helen Steadman Hi Beadyjan!

Sorry, I've just seen this question. That's very kind of you to say so.

The sequel to Widdershins is due out in April 19. It's called Sun…more
Hi Beadyjan!

Sorry, I've just seen this question. That's very kind of you to say so.

The sequel to Widdershins is due out in April 19. It's called Sunwise and it picks up immediately where Widdershins leaves off.

Then I'm leaving witches and witchfinders alone for a while and writing about a group of master swordmakers who left Solingen and came to live in England in the late 17th century.

So that should keep you busy for a little while.

Very best wishes, Helen(less)
Helen Steadman Nowadays, I don't really suffer from writer's block. But I suffered an epic block after reading the Illywhacker by Peter Carey. (This book tells the l…moreNowadays, I don't really suffer from writer's block. But I suffered an epic block after reading the Illywhacker by Peter Carey. (This book tells the life story of a conman, Herbert Badgery.) It was such a brilliant book that I found it impossible to write for two decades after comparing my own efforts with this masterpiece. What I didn’t know then was that between 1964 and 1969, Peter Carey wrote five novels, none of which were published. His first novel, Bliss, was finally published in 1981. In a Guardian webchat, he said he’d have given up had he known how long it would take. Now, he has umpteen books under his belt, and of these, two won the Booker prize, two were shortlisted and two were longlisted. So, the lesson is: persevere.

Mostly, I struggle to find the time to write, or I get distracted by the internet (it's very easy for research to become faffing about online). If I do find myself making excuses, then I start doing morning pages. This basically means writing the second you wake up while you're still in a dream state. It's a great way to beat your internal critic, which means that your day's writing is done before you even get out of bed. It's an excellent cure for procrastinators. I hate doing it as I'm not a morning person and begrudge waking up one second earlier than absolutely necessary, but I make myself do it because it works. I'm planning to write the entire first draft of the Widdershins sequel this way. It's a method first recommended by Dorothea Brande in her book, Becoming a Writer, which is definitely worth reading. (Hilary Mantel says it's the only book on writing that you need to read, and she knows what she's talking about!)(less)
Average rating: 3.88 · 307 ratings · 66 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
Widdershins

3.81 avg rating — 272 ratings — published 2017 — 3 editions
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Sunwise

4.46 avg rating — 35 ratings3 editions
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The Running Wolf

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

Literature Review # 7: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600 - 1947 by Christopher Clark

I'm going through the final edits of The Running Wolf, my third novel, which is about a group of swordmakers who left Solingen, Prussia and moved to Shotley Bridge, England in the late 17th century. (This book is due to be published by Impress Books on 12 September 2020 and will be available from all the usual bookshops.) As part of my research, I read a lot of books and took notes. In case my not

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Published on April 26, 2020 14:00 Tags: 17th-century, 18th-century, history, prussia, the-running-wolf

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Helen Steadman wrote a new blog post

Literature Review # 7: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600 – 1947 by Christopher Clark

This blog post describes the contents of Christopher Clark's book Iron Kingdom: the Rise and Fall of Prussia, which I read while researching for my no Read more of this blog post »
Helen Steadman and 1 other person liked Alison Banks's review of Sunwise:
Sunwise by Helen Steadman
"This and widdershins are an absolute must read for anyone who is interested in witch lore and the North East of England and Scotland. I've spent two days reading these back to back and I'm left feeling I've lost a family I had never met. The points o" Read more of this review »
Helen Steadman and 1 other person liked Penny-sue Wolfe's review of Widdershins:
Widdershins by Helen Steadman
"This is a fascinating book based on the Newcastle witch trials of the 17th Century. Great characters, some of the authors descriptions are quite dark but overall a good historical novel."
Widdershins by Helen Steadman
"Review - This was our book club pick for January 2020, and I really enjoyed reading it. It's based in my home town of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and based on a true story of 15 (or 16) witches executed on the Town Moor in 1650. Steadman's writing is engagi" Read more of this review »
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Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
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Duplicity by Fin C. Gray
Duplicity
by Fin C. Gray (Goodreads Author)
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Tom McIntyre appears to have everything, and yet, it is not enough, so he makes a diabolical deal and hopes to gain even more. Tom has a tragic childhood, but even that does not prevent him becoming a monster in the reader’s eye. His towering vanity, ...more
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