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Masterworks: Legacy - Samantha Wilcoxson - Interview

  Today is the last of a series on nine interviews I'm sharing on the Crowvus Book Blog. These are from the authors of the short stories included in the  Masterworks  anthology by the  Historical Writers Forum . We're running through chronologically, some are video interviews, others are written. I am delighted to welcome the fantastic Samantha Wilcoxson, who is sharing the artist inspiration for her short story Legacy , as well as the appeal of James A. Hamilton, and the delights of researching. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself, what you write (besides Masterworks!), and what inspired you to begin writing. I was inspired to write by my love of reading. After watching me read, write reviews, and keep journals for twenty years, my husband asked me why I didn’t try writing, so I did! Without really planning on it, I ended up writing historical biographical fiction. I’m drawn to a tragic tale but also to lesser known historical figures with emotive stories to tell

NEW RELEASE: Masterworks - short stories inspired by works of art

 Today is very exciting! It is the launch day for the fabulous third anthology from the Historical Writers Forum. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 


This anthology is comprised of eleven stories from writers of HWF, and range from the 3rd Millenia BC to the 20th Century, each one inspired by a piece of artwork. Keep scrolling to meet the authors involved as well as their chosen artwork, but first of all, let's meet the book...


Strolling through an art gallery gives art appreciators a glimpse at the heart of creativity artists from across time and distance have poured onto canvas, into clay, through wood, metal, and stone. Art inspires us and helps us connect with emotions and ideas. But have you ever wondered what inspired the artists themselves? Perhaps it was a loved one, a moment of suffering or despair, a celebration, or a victory. Have you ever wondered what stories these works tell?

We asked the authors of the Historical Writers Forum these questions, to imagine what stories might be revealed in the history of famous works of art. Through their short stories, you will be transported back in time to the magnificence of works of art from ancient Mesopotamia to nineteenth century America, exploring the people, events, and emotions that may have inspired incredible works of art.

You can find Masterworks on #KindleUnlimited here!

This anthology from Historical Writers Forum includes the following short stories:

A Našû for Ilu
Stephanie Churchill
 Inspiration: Šarru-kēn – Empire Builder
  Guest Post: A Masterwork of Ancient Mesopotamian Music

   Proof of the Old Faith
   Virginia Crow
   Inspiration: The Maeshowe Dragon as Inspiration for "Proof of the Old Faith"
     Post: Harald Maddadsson - A Man Without Morals?

      La Belle Dame sans Merci
      Kathleen Guler
       Inspiration: La Belle Dame sans Merci
        Guest Post: Down the Rabbit Hole

         Blood on White Mountain
         Eleanor Swift-Hook
          Inspiration: Prophesy, Battle and Betrayal
           Guest Post: The Defenestrations of Prague

            The Lacemaker’s Son
            Melissa Speed
             Inspiration: The Lacemaker's Son
              Guest Post: Mother Made Lace

               The Portrait
               Lars D.H. Hedbor
                Inspiration: Coming Face-to-Face with a Character

                  The Ambassadress
                  Ronan Beckman
                   Inspiration: The Artist and His Muse
                    Guest Post: The Ambassadress

                     A Good and Proper Lunacy
                     Tempest Wright
                      Inspiration: A Good and Proper Lunacy
                       Guest Post: City of Chaos

                        Portrait of a Lady
                        Joanne Major
                         Inspiration: Portrait of a Lady

                           The Watcher on the Wall
                           Gareth Williams
                            Inspiration: Shakespeare, and the National Portrait Gallery
                             Guest Post: The Personality of a Portrait

                              Samantha Wilcoxson
                               Inspiration: Masterworks - Legacy
                                Guest Post: James Hamilton

Keep checking back over the month to find each author's blog about their chosen artwork, their guest blogs, and a Q&A post.

Now let's meet the authors!

Stephanie Churchill

Stephanie Churchill is the author of three historical-feeling fiction novels, The Scribe’s Daughter, The King’s Daughter, and The King’s Furies, and one short story, Shades of Awakening, written for the Historical Writers Forum anthology, Hauntings. Her writing takes on a cadence that is sometimes literary, sometimes genre fiction, relying on deeply-drawn and complex characters while exploring the subtleties of imperfect people living in a gritty, sometimes dark world. Her unique blend of non-magical fantasy fiction inspired by true history ensures that her books are sure to please of historical fiction and epic fantasy literature alike. A Našû for Ilu is her first published work of historical fiction.

Stephanie grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. After graduating college with a degree in History and Political Science, she worked as an international trade and antitrust paralegal in Washington, D.C. She now lives with her husband, their two children, and two dogs in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Virginia Crow

Virginia Crow is a Scottish author who has a passion for historical fiction on the cusp of the supernatural. Her book The Year We Lived won the Supernatural Historical Fiction Prize in the 2022 Coffee Pot Book Club Awards. When not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music or walking her spaniels, Orlando and Jess.

Kathleen Guler

Kathleen Guler is the author of the multi-award winning Macsen’s Treasure Series: four historical novels set in fifth-century Arthurian Britain. The series includes A Land Beyond Ravens, which won the 2010 Colorado Book Award in the historical fiction category. The author has also published numerous articles, essays, short stories, reviews, and poems. Her work has appeared in Goose River Press, Eastern Iowa Review, Steamboat Magazine, and Saber and Scroll Journal, among other publications. She is a member of the Colorado Authors League and the Historical Novel Society. Her fifth novel intertwines a trio of stories revolving around a tough warrior-priestess in ancient nomadic Scythia, an impulsive, headstrong widow on the run in early medieval Europe, and a suicidal female archaeologist in late nineteenth-century Britain. The author lives in the magnificent Colorado Rocky Mountains with her husband, two parakeets, and probably what amounts to the entire county’s bird population.

Eleanor Swift-Hook

Eleanor Swift-Hook enjoys the mysteries of history and fell in love with the early Stuart era at university when she re-enacted battles and living history events with the English Civil War Society. Since then, she has had an ongoing fascination with the social, military and political events that unfolded during the Thirty Years’ War and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. She lives in County Durham and loves writing stories woven into the historical backdrop of those dramatic times.

Melissa Speed

Melissa Speed writes fiction and poetry in addition to her creative non-fiction, personal essays and travel blogging. Much of her work is published on Medium in a variety of publications, including the popular Scribe. Her personal essay I Was Ashamed of My Post-Surgery Body Hair was published in Issue 1 of Aghh! Zine (2022, Brighton, UK). Her historical poem Queen of the Iceni (published in Medium's Share the Love, June 2020) was adapted into a choral work by the American choir Pantera, and she is the winner of a Kids Poetry Club poetry for children competition. She writes a history-themed disabled travel blog at

In addition to her writing, Melissa has previously been a beta reader for several historical fiction authors. A volunteer for two heritage trusts, she is also an artist and an avid reader in her spare time.

She lives in Buxton, Derbyshire in the UK.

Lars D.H. Hedbor

Lars D. H. Hedbor is the leading novelist of the American Revolution, as well as being an amateur historian, linguist, brewer, cuckoo clock restorer, fiddler, astronomer and baker. Professionally, he is a technologist, high school foreign exchange coordinator, marketer, writer, and father. His love of history drives him to share the excitement of understanding the events of long ago, and how those events touch us still today.

Ronan Beckman

Ronan Beckman is an American educator who has lived in the UK for over 30 years. He has a wife and daughter at home, who he is immensely dependent upon for feedback and editing of his writing. His interest in history and genealogy helped to spark an interest in further developing the stories of some of the family he researched - resulting in his debut novel An Actress of Repute. Subsequently, he has become a bit obsessed with all things Georgian and Regency related. In addition to fiction based on historical biography, Ronan is working on editing the works of a coal miner who became a Member of Parliament, and gathering information for a planned biography of a French cartoonist who was the roommate and collaborator of a young Mark Twain.

Tempest Wright

Tempest Wright is an author of historical fiction and fantasy, though she's been known to dabble in sci-fi and poetry. Living amongst the beautiful scenery of Vancouver Island, Canada, she finds inspiration in nature, music, and the people who come her way. This includes the love of her supportive husband, and the cuddles of two cats who have a playful fascination with her keyboard.

Tempest enjoys a strong, character-driven story, which should always be had with an equally good cup of tea. She aspires to create characters and plots that inspire her readers and immerse them into both her historical and fantastical worlds.

History often leaves gaps, and places where Tempest can weave a story, and it’s these gaps she loved embellishing in A Good and Proper Lunacy.

Joanne Major

Joanne Major is the author, and co-author, of several works of historical nonfiction published by Pen & Sword History, set mainly in the Georgian era. Her latest book is the biography of an eighteenth-century courtesan whose name is remembered in a nursery rhyme, Kitty Fisher: The First Female Celebrity. Joanne holds a BA (First Class) in Creative Writing from the University of Lincoln and is studying for an MA in the same, focusing on crime/thriller writing. She lives in Lincolnshire with her family and dogs.

Gareth Williams

I studied History and Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge before briefly working in banking and recruitment. I eventually settled on a very happy career in teaching.

I taught history at Elizabeth College, Guernsey and was then head of department at The School of St Helen & St Katharine, Abingdon. Finally, I was Director of Sixth Form at St Mary’s, Ascot.

I retired to the Isle of Skye where I am climbing all the Scottish mountains over 3000 feet. In winter, I try to ski as much as possible, both backcountry and downhill.

My first novel, Needing Napoleon, was published in November 2021. My main character is instrumental in helping Napoleon rebound after his defeat at Waterloo, ultimately helping him escape from St Helena for the shores of Africa. The sequel, Serving Shaka, came out in March 2022. In this book, Napoleon encounters the growing might of the Zulu nation and has to accommodate himself to a very different reality. I have completed the third instalment of The Richard Davey Chronicles, which is titled Rescuing Richard. This should be released in spring 2023.

I am working on a standalone historical adventure set during and immediately after the American War of Independence. I am also pondering the ending of a ghost story that weaves together three timelines that converge on Hadrian’s Wall.

I have written short stories on a variety of subjects. Most recently, I wrote a short story featuring a nineteenth century photographer. This was part of a collaborative project with a friend who has built a wet-plate collodion camera.

I give talks in my local area and beyond as well as participating in an online history writers’ group. I am chairperson of The Skye Reading Room, a local organisation for both readers and writers. I am a member of the Scottish Writers’ Association and the Historical Novel Society. I have applied to the Scottish Book Trust to join their Live Literature scheme and will be attending the Scottish Writers’ Association Conference 2023 near Glasgow in March.

Samantha Wilcoxson

Samantha Wilcoxson is the author of historical fiction and nonfiction, an administrator for the Historical Writers Forum, and history blogger.

She lives in Michigan with her husband of twenty-eight years and is the mom of three amazing young adults. Samantha loves exploring the emotional side of history and visiting historic places to feel closer to the past.


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