So delighted that The Middle Ages Unlocked by Dr Gillian Polack and Katrin Kania has finally been published! Aka ‘the Beast’, this is a must-have for writers of historical fiction and non-fiction set in the middle ages. I can personally vouch for Gillian’s wide-ranging knowledge of all things medieval as she was my mentor while I was writing the Janna Mysteries, recently rewritten and republished as the Janna Chronicles. At the same time I was writing that series, she was compiling ‘the Beast’, and I like to think I might have been as helpful to her as she was to me. She would say things like, ‘no you can’t say that because it hasn’t been invented yet, or discovered yet, or that was a Tudor thing not your period …’ and at the same time I suspect I was also giving her ideas about the sorts of info that would be helpful to writers. This book is the result of many years of research and hard work. It’s very frustrating as I haven’t actually seen it in its published form yet, being in the UK not Australia, but it’s waiting for me at home and it’ll be the first thing I open once I get back to Oz, just to make sure I’m on track with the timeslip story I’m wwriting about Marie de France and Eleanor of Aquitaine!