S.D. Sykes

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S.D. Sykes

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Born
London, The United Kingdom
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Member Since
October 2013


SD Sykes (Sarah) lives in Kent, but grew up in Somerset and then South London. She is a graduate from Manchester University and was inspired to finish her first novel, Plague Land, after attending the novel writing course at literary agents, Curtis Brown. She has also written for radio and has developed screenplays with Arts Council funding. She has a passion for medieval history, and her books in the Somershill Manor series, are set in 14th Century England.

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S.D. Sykes Hi Anthony. Thank you for this question, and I'm so pleased that you have enjoyed the Somershill books. I have two main ways of approaching my researc…moreHi Anthony. Thank you for this question, and I'm so pleased that you have enjoyed the Somershill books. I have two main ways of approaching my research before writing. Firstly, I'm lucky enough to live in rural Kent, where there are many buildings that have survived from the 14th century - such as Penshurst Place, Ightham Mote, Scotney Castle and Bodiam Castle to name a few. I make an effort to visit and spend time in as many of these places as possible, just to soak up the atmosphere and imagine how life must have been 650 years ago.

In terms of desk research, I have relied heavily on the following primary sources, all of which date from around the period I'm writing in:
The Luttrell Psalter - a 14th Century prayer book with incredible illustrations of everyday life from the 1340s.
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Piers Plowman by William Langland
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
The Book of Margery Kempe

My secondary sources have included the following books - all of which I can thoroughly recommend if you are interested to find out more.
The Black Death by John Hatcher
The Scourging Angel by Benedict Gummer
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer

Other than that, it is trips to many museums, the British Library and reading PHD papers from students with a specific interest in medieval history.



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S.D. Sykes I'm currently working on my third book in the Somershill manor series. It's 1358 and my protagonist, Oswald de Lacy has travelled to Venice, as he mak…moreI'm currently working on my third book in the Somershill manor series. It's 1358 and my protagonist, Oswald de Lacy has travelled to Venice, as he makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The city is an overcrowded, thriving and exciting place - but it is also dark and dangerous - full of temptation, corruption and paranoia. When Oswald makes a terrible mistake, he finds himself at the centre of a murder investigation. (less)
Average rating: 3.7 · 3,346 ratings · 479 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
Plague Land (Somershill Man...

3.64 avg rating — 1,834 ratings — published 2014 — 12 editions
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The Butcher Bird (Somershil...

3.82 avg rating — 890 ratings — published 2015 — 9 editions
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The Bone Fire (Somershill M...

3.73 avg rating — 320 ratings7 editions
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City of Masks (Somershill M...

3.75 avg rating — 441 ratings8 editions
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Plague Land The Butcher Bird City of Masks The Bone Fire
(4 books)
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3.71 avg rating — 3,485 ratings

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S.D. Sykes answered Anthony's question: S.D. Sykes
Hi Anthony. Thank you for this question, and I'm so pleased that you have enjoyed the Somershill books. I have two main ways of approaching my research before writing. Firstly, I'm lucky enough to live in rural Kent, where there are many buildings th See Full Answer
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Someone Else's Conflict by Alison Layland
Someone Else's Conflict
by Alison Layland (Goodreads Author)
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Someone Else's Conflict is one of those rare novels that eschews easy categorisation - which is why it really appealed to me! It is a political thriller, a love story, and a mystery. The action flips between the Balkans war in the early 1990s, and cu ...more
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The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon
The Summer of Secrets
by Sarah Jasmon (Goodreads Author)
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The Summer of Secrets is the story of two teenage girls who meet in the long, hot summer of 1983. On the face of it, Helen and Victoria seem poles apart. Helen is introverted, conventional and thinks of herself as plain. Victoria has had a chaotic, b ...more
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The Penny Heart by Martine Bailey
The Penny Heart
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I was a great fan of 'An Appetite for Violets', so was keen to read Martine Bailey's second novel - and it did not disappoint. The novel is once again a delight of culinary wickedness, alongside all sorts of other wickednesses! The structure is very ...more
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Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
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Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
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S.D. Sykes liked that Nick voted in the poll
Which book would you most like to represent the MEDIEVAL or Later Historical Fiction section of the group in our 2015 MARCH GROUP READ?

Nick voted for: Plague Land ...more
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Topics Mentioning This Author

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A Good Thriller: Pick It For Me - May Read 42 122 May 06, 2015 09:09PM  
Ancient & Medieva...: MARCH 2015 (Group Read 2) Plague Land by S.D. Sykes 157 131 Aug 04, 2015 05:45PM  
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