Karen Maitland has an honours degree in Human Communication and doctorate in Psycholinguistics. Her first novel, The White Room, was short listed for The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award. She also has written and co-written seventeen commissioned non-fiction books. She is a member of the Women Writers Network and the Historical Novel Society.
She has traveled extensively from the Arctic Circle to Albania, and has worked in Nigeria, Northern Ireland and Israel. Her work in Nigeria during a bloody civil war and in Northern Ireland during ‘the troubles’ has deepened a life-long interest in cross-cultural issues and she has worked as a writer and editor on a number of cross-cultural books including Poems of Cultural Diversity and Cinders in the Wind.
In 2002 she was commissioned by the National Rural Touring Forum to travel for three months in the middle of winter with a multicultural show playing in twenty-one isolated and rural locations from Cumbria to Devon, to write a book about the performers, audiences, people and places. It was this tour that first sparked the idea for her medieval thriller, Company of Liars, as she began to appreciate what life must have been like for those people who had to earn their living on the road.
Her love of all things medieval grew from frequent ‘escape’ visits across the North Sea to Belgium, following in the footsteps of her hero Stephen Fry, and she now lives in the splendid medieval city of Lincoln.
Titles: Company of Liars, The Owl Killers, The Gallows Curse, The Falcons of Fire and Ice (2012) (Michael Joseph/Bantam Dell USA), The Vanishing Witch, The Raven’s Head ( Headline Review) Also Mediaeval Murderers series: The First Murder, Hill of Bones, The Sacred Stone, The Deadliest Sin (Simon & Schuster) Plus Liars and Thieves, an e-published novella (2014) following from ‘Company of Liars‘
The Raven’s Head
Vincent is an apprentice librarian who stumbles upon a secret powerful enough to destroy his master. With the foolish arrogance of youth, he attempts blackmail but the attempt fails and Vincent finds himself on the run and in possession of an intricately carved silver raven’s head.
Any attempt to sell the head fails … until Vincent tries to palm it off on the intimidating Lord Sylvain – unbeknown to Vincent, a powerful Alchemist with an all-consuming quest. Once more Vincent’s life is in danger because Sylvain and his neighbours, the menacing White Canons, consider him a predestined sacrifice in their shocking experiment.
Chilling and with compelling hints of the supernatural, The Raven’s Head is a triumph for Karen Maitland, Queen of the Dark Ages.
Without Hilary I would never have been taken on by an agent or had my novels published. I am deeply indebted to her for her time, her advice and her unfailing encouragement. ~ Karen Maitland