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Derek was born in Hampshire in England but spent his teenage years in Auckland, New Zealand, where he still has strong family ties.

On his return to England, he read history at Reading University and for many years he taught history in a secondary school. Whilst he enjoyed his teaching career and it paid the bills, he found a creative outlet in theatrical activities, stage-managing many plays and outdoor Shakespeare performances.

Derek always wanted to write and began, aged 17, writing stories, songs and poetry – in fact virtually anything. Inevitably, work and family life took precedence for a long period of time but in 2010 Derek took early retirement to indulge his passion for history and concentrate on his writing. He is interested in a wide range of historical themes but his particular favourite is the late medieval period.

Derek writes action-packed fiction which is rooted in accurate history. He also produces podcasts on the Wars of the Roses for those interested in the real historical background to his books. Check them out on his website at:

His historical fiction works include:

The Wars of the Roses - a 9-book series set during the fifteenth century, which follows a fictional family, the Elders, through their struggle to survive the Wars of the Roses from 1459 to 1485.

The final book in the series, Crown of Fear is out on December 22nd.

Derek has recently embarked upon a new Post-Roman series and books 1-3 are out now: The Last of the Romans; Britannia: World's End; and Land of Fire.

Apart from his writing, he enjoys travelling – sometimes, but not always, to carry out research for his books. He also spends his time walking, swimming and taking part in archaeological digs.

He was a regular presence at the Harrogate History Festival, is an active member of the Historical Novel Society and you will also find him each summer talking to readers, signing books - and selling them - at the Chalke Valley History Festival outside Salisbury in Wiltshire.

Derek welcomes feedback from readers and you can order signed paperbacks from his website.

Feel free to get in touch with him at: or follow him on twitter:

or on Facebook:

More Books by
Derek Birks

By the early spring of 1485, the Elder family are still licking the wounds sustained in the abortive October Rebellion of 1483 against King Richard III. The head of the family, outlawed Lord John Elder has joined the pretender, Henry Tudor in France while his aunt and half-sister linger in the dubious safety of Ludlow. King Richard’s closest adviser, William Catesby, knowing an invasion is certain is keen to capture any of Tudor’s supporters if they land in England. Henry Tudor though is also anxious to find out who, among prominent Englishmen, he can rely upon. So in March 1485 he sends his trusted ally, John Elder to sound out one man who might hold the key to his success in the south west. Note: This story fits within the Craft of Kings series set in the 1480s, between Book 3, Echoes of Treason and the final book, Crown of Fear, out in 2021. However, the story itself is self-contained and can be read without any knowledge of the series – nor are there any major spoilers for the series.

Shadow of Doubt

Derek Birks

A Wars of the Roses Novella (The Wars of the Roses Book 8)

Book Excerpt or Article

More Articles and Excerpts by
Derek Birks
and other authors
S.P. Somtow
Donna Balon
Julia Ibbotson
Keira Morgan
Linda Bennett Pennell
Art Wyckerham
Nethaniel Spero
Gail Combs Oglesby
Vera Bell
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