Happy Publication Day to Helen Steadman on the publication of The Running Wolf. Helen’s latest historical novel is about the Shotley Bridge swordmakers, and one swordmaker in particular: Hermann Mohll. It’s a fictional take on the real story of a group of master swordmakers who left Solingen, Germany and moved to Shotley Bridge, England in 1687.
The Running Wolf is a the result of a number of years of extensive research. Helen’s research even uncovered some hitherto unmentioned historic documents which answered some long-standing questions about the swordmakers. These research findings will be published in the Taylor & Francis journal, Northern History.
About The Running Wolf
When a German smuggler is imprisoned in Morpeth Gaol in the winter of 1703, why does Queen Anne’s powerful right-hand man, The Earl of Nottingham, take such a keen interest?
At the end of the turbulent 17th century, the ties that bind men are fraying, turning neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend and brother against brother. Beneath a seething layer of religious intolerance, community suspicion and political intrigue, The Running Wolf takes us deep into the heart of rebel country in the run-up to the 1715 Jacobite uprising.
Hermann Mohll is a master sword maker from Solingen in North-West Germany, who risks his life by breaking his guild oaths and settling in England. While trying to save his family and neighbours from poverty, he is caught smuggling swords and finds himself in Morpeth Gaol facing charges of High Treason.
Determined to hold his tongue and his nerve, Mohll finds himself at the mercy of the corrupt keeper, Robert Tipstaff. The keeper fancies he can persuade the truth out of Mohll and make him face the ultimate justice: hanging, drawing and quartering. But in this tangled web of secrets and lies, just who is telling the truth?
What Advanced Readers have said about The Running Wolf
‘There are so many secrets, lies, and plot twists intricately woven throughout the book and you’ll be wondering who you can trust the whole time’ – Books, Beans & Botany
‘The Running Wolf is wonderfully atmospheric. The opening chapter creates such an immediate sense of time and place that I was catapulted back through time and became part of the Solingen community, conjuring the dream thieves as they tipped their beady eye over the sleeping villagers’ – Jaffa Reads Too
‘The Running Wolf is a complex, exciting, drama-filled historical full of intrigue and danger. I was gripped from the start. I loved the eeriness of the story, from page one there is something lurking in the background, in the story, it’s described as the ‘Wolf’; there is danger threading within the story and it hovers over the characters like a heavy mist waiting to settle’ – Frankie
Chicks, Rogues & Scandals
‘Helen Steadman does an amazing job of transporting you back in time and reliving this turbulent and fascinating part of history, which is jam-packed full of double-crossing, back-stabbing, subterfuge and unsteady allegiances – I could not put to down’ – On The Shelf Books
‘Everything feels authentic at Shotley Bridge – the community, the way of life, the rituals, the expectations, the politics and even the language used’ – Shaz Goodwin
The Running Wolf is available from booksellers, such as: Blackwell’s, Books etc, Forum Books, Foyles, Hive, Waterstones and WHSmith. Available in e-books for Apple, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, etc. Also available from independent bookshops, bookshop.org and local libraries.
About the Author
Helen lives in the foothills of the North Pennines and enjoys researching and writing about the history of the north east of England. Following her MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, she recently completed a PhD at the University of Aberdeen and is currently writing her fourth novel.
Helen’s best-selling first novel, Widdershins and its sequel, Sunwise were inspired by the Newcastle witch trials. Her third novel, The Running Wolf, is about a group of 17th century swordmakers who defected from Prussia and moved to England.
Helen is keen on ‘method writing’ and will go to any length in the name of research. For her witch trial books, Helen trained in herbal medicine and grew, harvested and dried her own ingredients to make a range of home remedies (which those at home ungratefully refused to take). For The Running Wolf, Helen undertook blacksmith training, culminating in forging her own sword.
Keep in touch with Helen via:
Website (all about the books and research)
Blog (usually about my books and associated research, with occasional tangents into real life)
Facebook (my books, other people’s books, folklore, historical resources)
Twitter (anything and everything that takes my fancy, plucked from the void at random)
Instagram (mainly badly taken pictures of trees – sorry in advance)