Today I’m excited to be interviewing Irene Soldatos, author of the wonderful book, Bad Bishop. It really is a fabulous read, and I jumped at the chance to learn more about it. Share my curiosity? Then pull up a chair, relax, and get ready for a little fun with history!
KK: What inspired you to write this story?
IS: That’s a difficult question. There was no one moment of inspiration, rather an idea that slowly developed. I read a lot of history. And there are three historians in my family, so I’ve grown up steeped in it, and I suppose I am more conscious than most of the enormous differences, cultural, social, ideological, technological between the people of one historical period and those of another, but also the very many similarities. I found myself often wondering what someone who was born and grew up in classical antiquity would make of the middle ages, for example, if he or she could somehow see it. I suppose this book is a thought experiment on that concept. I wanted to bring together and juxtapose people from various different time periods, in one story. One way to do that would be time travel. But I didn’t like that idea, because it would mean they would have missed the process of history. And the process is even more important than the time period they would arrive at, i.e. the one I set the story in.
KK: The amount of research needed for this book must have been incredible. What did that process involve?