Goodreads asked Nicola Griffith:

How do you get inspired to write?

Nicola Griffith Writers are shamen: we travel to unknown places and bring back maps. I write to find out and then to share what I've learnt.

So HILD is my answer to a question: how, fourteen hundred years ago, in a time when might was right--a culture of illiterate, petty warlords--did the second daughter of a widow, hunted and homeless, become the towering figure we know today as St Hilda of Whitby? How did she midwife English literature, train five bishops, and host and facilitate the Synod that changed the course of history?

Essentially, it's my response to the ridiculous assertion (unstated but nonetheless usually obvious and woven into the deepest fabric of our culture) that women are less than human, that in times past we allowed ourselves to be subservient chattel, or that women only make their mark through sex.

Hild never uses sex as a weapon or means of persuasion. She is extraordinary, yes, but extraordinary within the constraints of her time (or, should I say, the constraints suggested by current interpretations of what we like to call history). But she does not--nor does any person or event in the book--contravene what is known to be known. Young Hild has no special powers, she doesn't use a sword or perform miracles.

So my inspiration is changing the world: rewriting the past in order to recast the present and steer the future.
Nicola Griffith

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