On Sale: December 6, 2011
To begin with, ‘Margaret Frazer’ was two people, both interested in writing and in medieval England, one of them with modern murder mysteries already published, the other with file drawers, shelves, and notebooks full of research on England in the 1400s. They met in a historical recreationist group called the Society for Creative Anachronism and joined forces to write The Novice’s Tale, the first in a history mystery series centered on a Benedictine nun, Dame Frevisse, of a small priory in Oxfordshire.
During their collaboration, the authors worked together by first laying out the general idea of a story. Then the ‘Frazer’ half of the team developed the plot and characters in detail and wrote the first draft. The ‘Margaret’ half then re-worked that into a second draft, the ‘Frazer’ half re-worked that, and then they did the final draft together. The collaboration worked well through six books and two award nominations––an Edgar for The Servant’s Tale and a Minnesota Book Award for The Bishop’s Tale––before the ‘Margaret’ half grew tired of the series and amicably returned to the 20th century, leaving the ‘Frazer’ half to continue the series, with an Edgar nomination for The Prioress’ Tale.
Margaret Frazer writes stories set in medieval England because she greatly enjoy looking at the world from other perspectives than the 20th century. Her brief college career was as an archaeology major with writing intended as a hobby, but with one thing and another, her interest came down to medieval England with writing as her primary activity, only rivaled by my love of research. Frazer learned about medieval English politics, religion, philosophy, sociology, economics––all the multi-layered elements that go into making the lives of people in any time period. So when the chance came to write a mystery series set in medieval England, she took it.
In everyday life, Margaret is Gail Frazer, living in the countryside north of Elk River, Minnesota, with four cats and not enough bookshelves. Over the years she’s had various jobs, including librarian, secretary, reseacher for a television station, gift shop manager, and assistant matron at an English girls’ school. Married once upon a time but not anymore, she has two well-grown sons. She writes more often than not, and when once she moaned “I have to get a life,” her family informed her, “You have one. It’s in the 1400s.” That seems to sum up things rather nicely.
Book Recommendation Only, not a review by me.