Authors and Editors in Conversation Sean McDonald: So, 7th-century England! How did that happen? Your last novel was a distinctly 21st-century crime novel. How did you end up writing Hild? Nicola Griffith: In my early twenties I was living in Hull, a depressed (and depressing) industrialised city in East Yorkshire. For a break, for my sanity, I went north up the coast, to Whitby.