James Heneage is an historical fiction writer, and the co-founder of the Ottakar’s bookshop chain.
Between 1982-87 he worked in advertising, finishing as an Account Director for Ogilvy and Mather and in 1987 he founded the bookshop chain Ottakar’s which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1998 and grew to a chain of 142 branches, employing some 2,500 people. The chain was sold to the HMV Group, then owner of Waterstones, in 2006 and that same year he was awarded The Random House Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling. In 2007, he became chairman of the Cheltenham Literary Festival and three years later he co-founded the Chalke Valley History Festival, the largest festival devoted entirely to history in the UK. In 2010, Heneage became a full-time writer and also chaired the Costa Book Awards in 2014. His works include The Walls of Byzantium (2013), The Towers of Samarcand (2014), The Lion of Mistra (2015), By Blood Divided (2017) and A World on Fire (2018). He lives in Wiltshire and, for part of the year, in the Peloponnese, where he has written much of his fiction to date.