The Sound of the Hours: An Interview with Karen Campbell

Scots novelist Karen Campbell made her name with the Anna Cameron series of police novels before publishing two critically acclaimed contemporary dramas: Rise, set against the backdrop of the 2014 independence referendum, and the refugee story This is Where I Am.

Now the graduate of Glasgow University’s Creative Writing Masters programme has turned her hand to historical fiction with The Sound of the Hours, a powerful tale set in the final stages of World War II around Barga, the Tuscan hill town to which many Scots Italians can trace their roots.

Published in July by Bloomsbury, Campbell’s latest work tells the story of Frank Chapel, one of the black American “Buffalo Soldiers” who played a pivotal but long-underplayed role in the liberation of Italy, and Vittoria Guidi, a young Scottish-Italian woman caught in the middle of an occupied town and a divided family.

Karen, who will be talking about her new novel at this year’s Islay Book Festival, spoke to the festival’s Angus MacKinnon about how her latest work came about and how it fits into her eclectic writing career.

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