Tag Archives: history

EXTRA: Author Interview #2 with Dan Cross: The Art of Historical Fiction



Dan Cross is a writer, amateur historian, business owner, and shortlisted for the 2018 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Award for best unpublished work. Dan’s soon to be debut novel, Caesar of Mercenaries, is represented by Bravo Blue literary agency and who is on a quest of her own to find a publisher for Dan.

Dan joins Frank in this Extra Episode to discuss the fine art of historical fiction. Topics covered include their own shared love of history, the challenges and rewards of crafting historical narratives, books holding their own in the “new” media age, and the resurgence of the humanities thanks to podcasts.

The characters, plot, and narrative of Caesar of Mercenaries is still a very closely guarded secret. During the show Frank attempts to pry teasers from Dan on his wonderful work and what future readers can expect.

You can find Dan at www.dan-cross.com  and also on Twitter @dancrossauthor Here is Dan’s Website

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The Ottoman Series Episode 12: The Battle of Ankara and Death of Sultan Bayezid I



Sultan Bayezid is finally roused from his slumber in Edrine. Mustering his army he sets out from Bursa to stop Timur’s army as the Asian Warlord bears down on him from the City of Sivas. Arriving outside the Town of Ankara the Sultan finds his own army exhausted and thirsty. Timur manages to slip past Ottoman scouts leading to the fateful battle on the plains of Ankara. The deaths of both Bayezid and Timur is explored along with a detailed break down of both armies order of battles. Announcements at the end of the show and a hint of a special episode to be released later this week.

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The Ottoman Series Episode 11: Of Thy Insolence and Folly-Prelude to the Battle of Ankara



By 1399 Sultan Bayezid ‘Thunderbolt’ had secured his European and Anatolian holdings. The Kingdom of Hungary was on the retreat after the disaster of the Crusade of Nicopolis. In the east Anatolian Beys were swallowed up one by one and the hated Karamanid City of Konya finally fell into Ottoman hands. However in the far east rose the Ottomans greatest threat yet, that of Timur. The episode covers the run-up to the devastating Battle of Ankara by examining the political/strategic situation and the factors and circumstances leading up to the battle. Timur is profiled.

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The Ottoman Series Episode 10 Part 2: A Crusade Dies at Nicopolis



The Crusaders head out from Buda, Hungary and turn south into Ottoman territory. Along the way the army brutally sacks the Town of Oryahovo spreading terror and dread of the Crusader army in both Muslim and Orthodox Christian hearts alike. Meanwhile the Thunderbolt Sultan is gathering his army in Bulgaria readying for a quick march to catch the invaders by surprise. Dogan Bey the wily Ottoman governor of Nicopolis settles down for a siege as the Crusaders encamp outside the city gates. The Crusader War Council is divided against itself with King Sigismund arguing for a rational plan of attack vs the obstinate and arrogant French Knights full of pride and folly. Sultan Bayezid closes in with the well disciplined Sipahi and iron Janissaries for the kill.

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The Ottoman Series Episode 10 Part 1: A Crusade Dies at Nicopolis



King Sigismund of Hungary develops and implements a grand strategy for countering the Ottoman threat. Sultan Bayezid is forced to play catch up behind Sigismund. The dreaded Akinji raiders cause massive suffering and havoc as they spread terror across a wide swath of territory. In Western Europe a temporary lull in the Hundred Years War enables England, France, Burgundy, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire to start a Crusade against the Ottomans. Pope Boniface XI blesses the Crusader forces. The security competition between the Ottoman Empire and Kingdom of Hungary is explored in-depth. This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series on what history calls the Crusade of Nicopolis.

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The Ottoman Series Episode 9: Thunderbolt turns to Europe



Episode 9 wraps up Sultan Bayezid’s first campaign into Anatolia by covering the Battle of Kirkdilim. A rebellious subordinate and maverick commander prevents the Ottomans from putting the final whammy on the City of Konya. The remaining free Turkish Beys rally behind a crafty warlord. Events in Europe thanks to King Sigismund of Hungary forces the Sultan to switch forces from Anatolia and a brief bio of Sigismund. The end of episode announcements cover special shout outs, podcast recommendations, and how you can support the show.

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The Ottoman Series Episode 8: The Thunderbolt Strikes



Bayezid I assumes the Sultanate after the death of Murad I. Ferocious in temper, impulsive, martial, greedy for lands and glory, he quickly earns numerous enemies and becomes known as the ‘Thunderbolt’ Sultan. Brief bio of his background and the first part of his campaign into Anatolia as the Sultan cut a bloody swath through the hinterlands. Also covers the post-Battle of Kosovo settlement with Serbia as Stephan the Tall becomes the leader after Lazar’s death.

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The Ottoman Series Episode 7: Battle of Kosovo and the end of the road for Sultan Murad



While deep in Anatolia fighting the Karamanids Sultan Murad I gets word of a massive Ottoman defeat in Bosnia, the Battle of Belica. The Ottoman defeat causes the Christian kingdoms to unite in a Crusade meant to crush the Turks in Europe and drive them out. Sultan Murad invades Bulgaria then swings west and crosses into Serbia intent on finding and killing Prince Lazar. At the Plain of the Black Birds in Serbia both sides meet for what history would call the Battle of Kosovo. At the zenith of the battle Murad is brought down by an assassins dagger. The stage is thus set for the future Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, or Thunderbolt Sultan.

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The Ottoman Series Episode 6: Rebellious sons and the Karamanids



Sultan Murad faces down a rebellion orchestrated by his own son. In the midst of war and attempted coups the Sultan implements reform. In Anatolia the Karamanids make a move on the City of Ankara prompting the Sultan to respond. Meanwhile in Europe trouble brews when a Bosnian force defeats an Ottoman army while the Sultan is away leading to next episodes coverage of the Battle of Kosovo.

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The Ottoman Series Episode 5: Sultan Murad I, Janissaries, Chernomen



Orhan is dead. Murad ascends the throne to be girded with the sword of Osman. While away handling his business in Anatolia, Serbian lords get the notion they can cause trouble. Along the way Murad establishes the Imperial Janissary Corp. An elite fighting force recruited as children and raised in the strict discipline and arts of war to serve later Sultans as the Shock Troops of the Empire. The stage is rapidly being set for epic battles in the future between the Ottomans and their soon-to-be Balkan subjects.

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