Connect with M.K. Tod


WHO AM I? My name is Mary Tod writing under the pen name M.K. Tod. I can be reached via email at mktod [at] bell [dot] net and on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

WHAT’S THIS BLOG ABOUT? A Writer of History is a place to talk about all aspects of historical fiction. Here you will find interviews with top authors and debut authors, results of my reader surveys, musings on being a writer, research on the era I’m writing about, and thoughts on the books I read.

MY BOOKS: Ever since my teenage years, I’ve had a passion for historical fiction but I never once imagined writing it until my husband’s firm sent us to Hong Kong for three years.

With no job to keep me busy, I decided to research the lives and times of my grandparents. Little did I know that I would become so fascinated with WWI trench warfare, the battle of Vimy Ridge, Canada’s spy agency in WWII and two new friends, Ann and Edward Jamieson, who bear a vague resemblance to my grandparents. That story is now titled Unravelled: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. [available in paperback from Amazon (USCanada and elsewhere), and in e-book formats from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and on iTunes.]

In parallel with agent hunting I began a second novel, Lies Told in Silence, a coming of age story set in France during WWI. Continuing to write took my mind off rejection letters and the deafening silence of literary agents in Canada, the US and England. [available in paperback from Amazon and in e-book formats from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes.]

Time and Regret is my third novel set to release in August 2016 with the great folks at Lake Union Publishing. This story is set in more contemporary times with a mystery embedded in a soldier’s WWI diaries. My muse for this novel is my husband Ian, who loves a good mystery.

MY SURVEYS: Beyond writing fiction, I’ve conducted three reader surveys, in 2012, 2013 and 2015 attracting more than 5,000 participants in total. Survey insights seem to have created great interest amongst writers and readers and have also provided ideas on how to shape my stories and participate in this lively community. Check the menu item at the top labelled READER SURVEYS for details or this link to take you to the 2015 results.

30 thoughts on “Connect with M.K. Tod”

  1. Hi Mary, thanks for your comment on my blog the other day! It’s been a little sparsely updated of late as I’ve been working on my dissertation, which is now thankfully handed in! I was writing about the relationship between academic history and historical fiction, and I found your survey and blog through joining the HNS to gain some insight into the historical fiction side of things. I found the results of your survey (which I filled in) really interesting, especially the gender analysis – unfortunately I wasn’t able to explore this thoroughly within the word limit of my dissertation, but it certainly appealed to my general interests!

    Thank you for the link to ‘Letter to My Daughter,’ I really enjoyed reading it. I’m very tempted to find a copy of The Feminine Mystique to add to my to-read pile now! I would love to read any further letters you write.

    I wish you all the best with publishing your novels – my sister is a great enthusiast for WW1/WW2 novels, and I’m a great enthusiast for any historical novel!

  2. Hi, Thanks for your recent comment on my Vintage blog. Much as I love Vintage I also have a passion for History, especially Historical novels and I love writing. I am a reviewer here in the Uk for the Indie section of HNS (Historical Novel Society) I will certainly be regularly flying by to catch up on your blog 😉

  3. Hi Mary, I’d love to contact you regarding your research regarding historical fiction readers, but I don’t see an email on your site here. Your information would be helpful for a panel I’m moderating at HNS. Could you please email me directly via artandwords [at] optonline dot net? Thanks!

  4. I’m so happy to have found your blog! It looks fantastic. As a writer of historical fiction you would have thought I may have discovered the Historical Novel Society sooner, but it wasn’t until my book was made an Editor’s Choice pick that I actually got involved. What an exciting world we live in. I can’t wait to read all the info you have here. 🙂 BTW, your book cover looks wonderful.

    1. Many thanks Middlemay Farm … HNS is a great group to get involved with. So many supportive writers and interesting information. Congrats on the Editor’s Choice pick. I hope you enjoy trolling through A Writer of History 🙂

  5. Your books sound great! I was directed over to you from the historical fiction survey. I have written a cozy historical series (am seeking agent again) and a YA mystery. Passionate about them but told a lot that historical is hard to sell. But there’s nothing so rewarding as recreating that past world. And I love research.

  6. I have been reading the summary of novels about WWl in the HNR but I see that there is no mention of my ‘Leonora’ trilogy. DAUGHTERS OF WAR; PASSIONS OF WAR; and HARVEST OF WAR were published by Severn House in 2011 and 2012 . They were inspired by the lives of three remarkable women: Mabel Stobart, the founder of the Women’s Sick and Wounded Convoy, which did wonderful service in Serbia; Grace Ashley Smith, the commandant of the FANY, the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, who were the first women to drive ambulances under fire in France, and Flora Sands, who fought with the Serbian army and was given the rank of sergeant, the first woman to be accepted as a fighting soldier in a regular army. It is sad that their names seem to have been forgotten.

    1. Many thanks for your comment, Hilary. We had so many books to choose from, the decision was to concentrate on novels and those written quite recently. In addition, Lucy and I read five novels each while our colleague, Emma Cazabonne, read one in French – definitely a significant time commitment as you can imagine. I would welcome hearing from you about your Leonora trilogy with the possibility of a guest post here on A Writer of History.

  7. Thank you for visiting my website.

    At the moment I’m reading Fighting on The Home Front – The Legacy of Women in World War One by Kate Adie.

    I have it in mind to fictionalise some family history.

    I’ve added Lies told in Silence to my to be read list.

    By chance, I’ve been researching Belgium today. Brussels on June 14 and 15, 1814,

    All the best,
    Rosemary Morris
    Historical Novelist

  8. I’d heard about your site, Mary, but never seen it until now and am glad I have. We share an interest in the First World War, my historical specialty, about which I’ve also written a pile of novels, though none published. We also share a blog theme (Chateau?), though you’ve done much more with yours than I have; I’ve been up about two weeks and can just barely manage the technical side of posting. If you’d care to, please visit my site, You may be interested in my review of Helen Dunmore, “The Lie.”

    I notice you’ve written about Vimy Ridge. My research usually leads me toward other aspects of the war (though of course I know about them), but if you need any sources regarding Belgium, just let me know.

    Larry Zuckerman

    1. Many thanks for visiting – and how intriguing to know that my blog is gaining a reputation! I’m very pleased you stopped by. And glad to see another WWI writer out there! Do yours concentrate on military aspects?

      1. Only in that I deal with the invasion and occupation of Belgium, which was what my second nonfiction book was about (The Rape of Belgium), so it’s civilians vs the military.

  9. Hi Mary! I wanted to reach out to you about the possibility of sending you a book that I think would interest you, and also to see if you would consider writing a guest blog post for my company’s new book blog. Please email me so I can give you more details! Thank you so much!

    1. Dear Mary, a note in your blog about my latest Sherlock Holmes would be very welcome!

      Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil by Tim Symonds

      From MX Publishing November 21 2016.

      First review of the ‘Nine-Dragon Sigil’

      Sigil. Pronounced sijil. An inscribed or painted symbol or occult sign considered to have magical power

      It’s the year 1906. Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching – not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London’s Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes’s task – discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it.
      But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch’ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi?

      The murder of either could spark a civil war.

      China’s fate and the interests of Britain’s Empire in the Orient could be at stake.

      Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence – until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of The Forbidden City.

      Tim Symonds was born in London. He grew up in Somerset, Dorset and the Channel Island of Guernsey. After several years travelling widely, including farming in the Highlands of Kenya and living along the Zambezi River in Central Africa, he emigrated to the United States. He studied at Göttingen, in Germany, and the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in Political Science.

      He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

      Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil was written in a converted oast house near Rudyard Kipling’s old home, Bateman’s, in the English county of East Sussex.

      Other detective novels by the author include –

      Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery Of Einstein’s Daughter, Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Bulgarian Codex; Sherlock Holmes And The Dead Boer At Scotney Castle, and Sherlock Holmes And The Sword Of Osman.


  10. I have so enjoyed your works. I look forward to your next book.
    My personal passion is WWII, and I have written a multi sensory approach text/resource for middle and high school students and anyone else interested ina new approach to the Holocaust. I was wondering if you knew any publishers in Canada who would be interested in a new manuscript which coordinates with anti- bullying and anti-harrasment and intimidation initiatives. Thank you!

    1. Hi Betsy .. many thanks for your interest. Unfortunately, I don’t have the kind of contacts you are looking for. I’m working with a US publisher and not a Canadian one. Good luck with your important initiative.

    1. I’m so pleased you stopped by, Mary. Enjoy the articles and let me know if I can help you find anything in particular. I wish you the best with your writing.

  11. Thanks so much for your posts. I’m starting a new historical fiction novel set during the American Civil War. Your posts regarding the elements of historical fiction and your surveys of readers have helped me focus my writing on what’s important and what’s not.

  12. Thank you for your blog on Michael L .Ross. At 92, my Father is limited in his activities and has turned to reading (so grateful for his good eye-sight!). He has read and re-read every Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey book and has enjoyed William W. Johnstone. On an impression, I introduced him to Michael Morpurgo and he “devoured” those books as well. Your blog popped up just as I was looking for something new. Dad thoroughly enjoyed the Across the Great Divide stories. They are now on my pile of what to read next. Again, thank you for your knowledge, hard work and willingness to share.

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