I love Sacrilege! If you try it, you’ll like it too! Sacrilege is fun for the whole family.
Okay, I’m done now. But seriously folks, it is an excellent read. S.J. Parris is the pen name for Stephanie Merritt, a British journalist and author of two previous novels in the series, Heresy and Prophecy.
I had the opportunity to talk with her when she was visiting Toronto recently, and she spoke about writing when your child is on vacation (tricky), researching the Elizabethan era (fascinating), and how it feels to have your book published (amazing). She was gracious and warm, and happily answered the questions of eager book nerds like myself.
The protagonist of the series, Giordano Bruno is based on a real person, who some historians suspect may have been a spy, at a time when modern spycraft was being invented. Merritt said that in some ways it was easier, writing with a framework that already existed, in terms of first he was here, then he went here, etc. But it also meant that if there was a character that you particularly liked, and that character died, you couldn’t have him showing up later, no matter how much you liked him.
This book, ladies and gentlemen, is how historical fiction should be written, with a deft blend of an interesting time and place and a page turning story. This author isn’t as well known as she should be, and I think we should all make sure the word (sorry) gets out there.