Interview with Michael Lynes, Author of The Red Citadel

08 Nov 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Red Citadel?

I was inspired to write the Isaac Alavrez series after visiting Seville in 2013. The first book in the series, Blood Libel, was based on the stories I was told about the prejudice the Jewish community faced in Europe. In particular, the idea that Jews used the blood of children in their rituals. I became fascinated by this and set it in the context of the Alvarez family who had been forced to convert to Catholicism. I wanted to explore how a family can survive in such troubled times. The Red Citadel is the third in the series and is set mainly in Granada at the height of a rebellion against King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Red Citadel, what would they be?

Devils and Dust by Bruce Springsteen: ‘Fear’s a powerful thing, It can turn your heart black, you can trust, It’ll take your God-filled soul, And fill it with devils and dust.’

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I read a lot of crime fiction, mainly modern. I’ve started to read more YA recently as I explore the possibilities of expanding my writing.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I’m looking forward to Michael Connelly’s Resurrection Walk, Alchemy by S J Parris, and The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The scene about three quarters of the way through where the main protagonists have to convince a crowd to support them against the forces of evil. I enjoyed imagining this and building it up from a single conversation to a large scale cinematic scene. I’m sure it would look good on the big screen. Maybe one day.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Unfortunately I’m pretty boring in this respect. I have a routine where I write mainly in the morning fuelled by coffee and trying to resist a mid-morning cake.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Hopefulness. These books are about troubled times where governments and communities were set against each other. But they got through them and went on to better times.


Michael Lynes is the author of the new book The Red Citadel

Connect with Michael Lynes

Author Site



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