Historical fiction is currently one of the most popular genres of fiction in the UK, and in this panel three acclaimed writers of the genre will discuss the appeal of historical novels, and the challenges and rewards of writing history.

William Palmer’s first novel, The Good Republic, was published in 1990 and since then he has had eight books published; his latest novel, The Devil is White, was published in early 2013 and he has recently completed Under the Influence, a study of alcohol and its effect on writers’ lives and work. His work has appeared in many journals and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. He reviews regularly for The Independent and Literary Review. In addition to his writing, he has done much teaching, including a position as Writing Fellow at the University of Warwick in 2005-2007.

Andrew Crumey has a PhD in theoretical physics and is former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday. His novels combine history, philosophy, science and humour, and have been praised and translated worldwide. His 1994 debut novel, Music, in a Foreign Language, won the Saltire First Book Award and was longlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize; other works include Pfitz (1994) D’Alembert’s Principle (1996) and Mobius Dick (2005) which was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Anita Mason is the author of eight novels, including Bethany (1981), The Illusionist (1983), which was nominated for the 1983 Booker Prize, The Yellow Cathedral (2002), and Perfection (2003); her latest novel is The Right Hand of the Sun (2008). Anita Mason has taken up a number of fellowships at British academic institutions, including the University of Warwick from 2005-2009.