is a British
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...
of historical fiction
Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional...
. She is the author of the Arthurian trilogy Pendragon's Banner
, and the novels Harold the King
and A Hollow Crown
Life and career
Born in Walthamstow
Walthamstow is a district of northeast London, England, located in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It is situated north-east of Charing Cross...
, Hollick worked as a library assistant at a Chingford
Chingford is a district of north east London, bordering on Enfield and Edmonton to the west, Woodford to the east, Walthamstow and Stratford to the south and Essex to the north. It is situated northeast of Charing Cross and forms part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest...
library for 13 years, during which time she developed a passion for Dark Age history and King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...
. She wrote her Arthurian trilogy, which was accepted for publication by Heinemann
Heinemann is a UK publishing house founded by William Heinemann in Covent Garden, London in 1890. On William Heinemann's death in 1920 a majority stake was purchased by U.S. publisher Doubleday. It was later acquired by commemorate Thomas Tilling in 1961...
three days before her 40th birthday in 1994.
Previously she had published a children's personal safety book, Come and Tell Me
, a story she had written for her daughter when she was 3. "I wanted to tell her how to keep safe in a clear and simple manner — with a message that could be easily remembered," Hollick wrote on her web site. "'Always come and tell me before you go anywhere with anyone' fitted nicely." Her story became an official safety book of the British Home Office for use nationwide by police and schools. An updated and revised version of the book has been published by Happy Cat Books.
Hollick lives in Walthamstow with her husband, Ron, who is retired, and adult daughter, Kathy.
In a review of King Harold
, Cliff Moore wrote in the Dorset Evening Echo
, "What is most inspiring about Hollick is that she can produce such a mammoth book from a household where she is the only reader — both her husband and daughter suffering from severe dyslexia."
She is a member of the Society of Authors
The Society of Authors is a trade union for professional writers that was founded in 1884 to protect the rights of writers and fight to retain those rights .It has counted amongst its members and presidents numerous notable writers and poets including Tennyson The Society of Authors (UK) is a...
. As of early 2006, she was involved in the pre-production of the proposed movie 1066
as story consultant and co-script writer. She has recently completed a lecture tour of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...
and is working on her next novel in her Sea Witch
pirate series — Pirate Code
is to be published by D.A. Diamonds in June 2007.
In 2009 Hollick was approached by Sourcebooks Inc, a mainstream US/Canada publisher with the view to publishing her entire Historical Fiction list.
the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy
- The Kingmaking
The Kingmaking is the first in the Pendragon's Banner trilogy of Arthurian novels by the British writer Helen Hollick. It was published in 1994 by William Heinemann in the United Kingdom. It was followed by Pendragon's Banner and Shadow of the King....
(new edition published by SilverWood Books 2011 & Sourcebooks Inc US 2009)
- Pendragon's Banner (new edition published by SilverWood Books 2011 Sourcebooks Inc US 2009)
- Shadow of the King (new edition published by SilverWood Books 2011 & Sourcebooks Inc US 2009)
The three books are a re-telling of the King Arthur legend. They look to show Arthur Pendragon as he might have really been - no magic, fantasy or Medieval legend. This is the basic, post-Roman view of Arthur as a battle-hardened warlord.
Books in the trilogy garnered a number of positive reviews and endorsements. Best-selling historical fiction author Sharon Penman called one of the volumes "A wonderful book...breathes new life into an ancient legend". Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly, aka PW, is an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents...
said, "Hollick's interpretation is bold, affecting and well worth fighting to defend." Books Magazine
called her work ""Uniquely compelling" and "bound to have a resounding and lasting impact on Arthurian fiction."
A reviewer in Pendragon Magazine
said of one of the books, "Helen Hollick joins the ranks of Rosemary Sutcliff, Mary Stewart and Marion Bradley with this splendid novel," and Historical Novels Review
enthused that one of her books "weaves together fact, legend and inspired imagination to create a world so real we can breathe the smoke of its fires and revel into Romano-British lust for life, love and honour."
The books are available in the UK, US and Canada from any good bookstore or online.
the Sea Witch Series
Pirate-based historical fantasy novels for adults (published by SilverWood Books 2011) swashbuckling adventure that you'll love to pieces of eight!
- Sea Witch
Sea witches have enhanced many stories of British folklore for centuries. Traditionally, sea witches were witches who often appeared among sailors along with many others involved in the seafaring trade. Often, sea witches focused on witchcraft relating to the moon, tides, and the weather, which in...
Being the first voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne (2006) (new edition 2011)
- Pirate Code The second voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne (2007) (new edition 2011)
- Bring It Close The third voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne (2009) (new edition 2011)
The Saxon Series
- Harold the King (published by SilverWood Books 2011)
- A Hollow Crown (US - The Forever Queen): The Story of Emma, Queen of Saxon England (William Heinemann/Arrow Books 2004)
Other published work
- Come and Tell Me Be Sensible and Safe (published by Happy Cat Books 2002)