Last winter, my young millennial assistant Ludovico Orsini told me that he aspired to gain speedy fluency in the French language, so he could apply for a special graduate program in France. I suggested that he spend a highly-intensive period in a part of France where no one spoke English (or where people didn’t know that he spoke English.) Ludovico decided, starting in Paris, to spend 3 months and walk the main Frenc
I’ve just returned from presenting one of the most interesting categories at The Edgar Awards – Best Paperback Original. The winner: Adrian McKinty’s Rain Dogs Read the first page of Rain Dogs (Chapter 1: The Most Famous Man in The World) Below is a video of my presentation of the Best Paperback Original (McKinty’s wife accepted the award in lieu of the author). More pictures fro
T.J.’s Houses and Gardens · Copyright 2007 Katherine Neville (photos: Library of Congress – Historic American Buildings Survey – unless noted otherwise) From: Katherine Neville | To: Lynn Beebe and Travis McDonald, Poplar Forest May, 2007 Dear Lynn and Travis– Here are my notes on TJ’s two kinds of architecture: esoteric and exoteric. As I mentioned earlier, the history of sacred architecture is ver
written July 4, 2010 (Katherine Neville’s July 4th Newsletter) “THE SACRED ARCHITECTURE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON” “Let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.” -Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1826 On July 4, 1826–a date that, coincidentally, also marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence
A memorable way to spend my birthday! April 4th private tour for 50 guests, of the legendary Smithsonian Castle: my fellow author and fellow board member of the Smithsonian Libraries, Steve Berry, lead a guided tour of hidden locales in the Castle.
After my arrival at le Chateau in Brittany, France… I soon found these fantastic menhirs, nearby to the Chateau, in Carnac. (Menhir – from the Brittonic languages – ‘maen’ or ‘men’ meaning stone and ‘hir’ or ‘hîr’ meaning long) And then journeyed to Lagatyar, north of Carnac, for even ‘longer’ stones and a small dolmen. These stones were er
Preview of Katherine Neville’s short story, “The Lunar Society” Read more from Katherine on the Lunar Society (the real society of scientists and humanists) For review purposes only. Read the preview on Google Books (and buy the anthology, The Mystery Box) … To finish reading The Lunar Society by Katherine Neville – Purchase the book The Mystery Box Read more from Katherine on the
Pilgrimage is one of the oldest forms of Quest, and is celebrated by religions and cultures all over the world. Since everyone knows that my characters and I are aficionados of Quests of all sorts, it’s no surprise that this is one of my favorites! Some years ago, I was invited to lecture in Spain at several universities and other venues. Perhaps coincidentally, my path led along the Camino de Santiago (the “Wa
If you are interested in El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Santiago) – this is the best guide: The Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela by William Melczer Professor Melczer, an authority on the pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, translates the medieval pilgrim’s book with notes and fascinating history. There are four routes that converge in Spain: the French route; the Austro-Hungarian route;
What’s Inside the Box? (originally posted on Bookpage.com) The Mystery Writers of America, along with editor Brad Meltzer, have brought together 21 original stories from 21 contemporary mystery writers in The Mystery Box. In the second of three guest blog posts, Katherine Neville introduces the fascinating history behind her Mystery Box story, “The Lunar Society.” See a Preview of Katherine
Returning from my editor’s memorial, I revisited Hudson River artist and naturalist Frederick Church’s wonderful home, Olana. Chock full of ‘Orientalist’ items like Persian rugs, Moroccan Windows, and even a stuffed peacock, it reminded me of a huge version of the treehouse in Sausalito where I wrote my early books. Inspiration! Here are views of, and from, Olana, and Church’s paintbox.
My visit to Mont St Michel & Chartres One of the questions on the Graduate Record Exam before I got into grad school was: “The author of Mont Saint Michel & Chartres was also the author of what other book?” Answer: The Education of Henry Adams! Having read Henry Adams’ autobiography (written modestly in third person) I got the answer right. And I’d read Adams’ luscious descriptions and histories of thes
I’ve just returned from doing research in London, where I met up once again with St George, one of my favorite saints! As the card states, “In Genoa, the houses were often built in narrow, steep streets. This made the lintel the best place for any exterior decoration. It was often carved with images of St George and the Dragon or the Annunciation. These signalled the piety of the owner and sometimes included re
I went to Paris for my French book tour, and over that weekend, I tried to go to Notre Dame on my birthday! But instead, I ended up going to a wonderful restaurant on the Left Bank and some art supply stores. The next day happened to be Palm Sunday, so I went to Notre Dame, but it was closed for the Mass – or so I thought! I stood out of the way of the tourist lines, at the center gate, when suddenly there was
Cherry blossom festival is the best week in Washington DC, and always falls on my birthday. I wrote an entire scene in The Fire set during that first week in April. Here is a vase filled with cherry blossoms from my own tree, a 60-foot tall ornamental cherry planted fifty years ago by the famous potter Teruo Hara. Below is a picture of the same tree today, planted down in the gully, it soars way above my Japanese hou
Living here in Virginia horse country reminds me that, in the eras I like to write about, horses were the chief means of land transportation. To refresh my memory, I took off for a two hour cross country carriage ride with my wonderful French neighbors and their Belgian ponies, splashing across rivers and through lakes. We scared up gaggles of Canadian geese, flocks of mallards rising from the lake, but the wild swan