Barbara Erskine says: I studied Scottish history at Edinburgh University and it was there that I began (and temporarily abandoned) my first attempt at a novel – the story which would one day become Kingdom of Shadows. Later while I worked for an educational publisher and then as a freelance researcher for books on art and history I began to sell short stories and to dream about becoming a full-time writer with a handful of historical Mills & Boons – a wonderful training in professionalism and in coming to terms with the horror of the deadline. At the same time while I was living in the Black Mountains near Hay-on-Wye in the Welsh Border March I started working on the research for Lady of Hay, at first as a part-time hobby and a barely formed idea, then with more and more urgency. Exactly 10 years after I first roughed out the story line, the book was finally published. That same year I found myself to my amazement and total terror talking about it on prime time TV and later doing a coast to coast tour of the USA. What had my dreams got me into.