Actually, it's not exactly new--it came out in 2013, but it takes the AHR a while to slog through the backlog of new releases.
Unfortunately it's hideously expensive over on Amazon, so try for a library copy first!
There don’t seem to be many interviews with Sutcliff readable online, so here’s a transcript of her 1983 BBC Radio Desert Island Discs interview, which you may already have listened to when the link was posted here in March. If you didn’t, it’s half an hour long, draws on her 1983 memoir Blue Remembered Hills, and her observations about her work are pretty on point (i.e. they agree with mine.) I’m posting the transcript in parts due to length limits. If you know of any more Sutcliff interviews other than the 1986 Avalon to Camelot, please hook us up.
This section of the interview, roughly the first eleven minutes, covers her childhood in England and Malta, and her first three musical selections.
Sutcliff freely acknowledges Scottish historian and educationist Michael Starforth as having given her the story of Thomas Keith. Herein, I discovered, lies the answer to the curiously dissonant feel of "Blood and Sand". Starforth didn't just give her an inspiration - he actually wrote this story first. Starforth's specialty was Middle Eastern affairs and he had spent a good deal of time working on a novel based on Thomas Keith's extraordinary adventures called "A Broadsword for Islam", but couldn't find a publisher for it. He gave the draft to Sutcliff who adapted it and subsequently published it, with Starforth's blessing, under her own name as "Blood and Sand". This is a graft that hasn't quite taken, a tale of two very different styles in uneasy co-existence - imagine an austerely masculine living room decorated with a profusion of colourful silken curtains and embroidered cushions and you'll get the idea.