About A J MacKenzie
A J Mackenzie is the pseudonym of Marilyn Livingstone and Morgen Witzel, an Anglo-Canadian husband-and-wife team of writers and historians.
They write non-fiction history and management books under their own names, but 'become' A J MacKenzie when writing fiction.
Marilyn Livingstone was born in Ontario.
After living in a suburb of Toronto for several years, she escaped to the West Coast where she studied history and history in art at the University of Victoria, and also met Morgen. They married in 1980, and endured the coldest honeymoon in recorded
history travelling in Europe in the dead of winter.
Marilyn and Morgen moved to the UK in 1987.
Here Marilyn returned to her first love, medieval history. She completed her MA at Royal Holloway (the college, not the women’s prison) where her thesis was about a 14th century Lord Mayor of London, Sir John Pulteney. After several years mining medieval data from various archives for
pay she then did a PhD at The Queen’s University
of Belfast where she wrote her economic history thesis based on a taxation document (the Nonae) from the early part of the Hundred Years War. She went on to write The Road to Crécy, a history of the Crécy campaign of 1346 in partnership with Morgen. As a medievalist, she often asks how she ended up writing novels set in the late eighteenth century.
No one ever answers.
As well as a writer, Marilyn is also a musician who plays cornet in a silver band, works with two choirs and writes choral music of her own. She is undergoing treatment for her addiction to the novels of Georgette Heyer, so far unsuccessfully. She also devours crime fiction: Lawrence Block,
Ian Rankin, Donna Leon, Andrea Camillieri and
Ngaio Marsh are among her favourite authors.
Morgen Witzel grew up in the wilds of northern British Columbia, and still occasionally alarms people by describing how bears and mountain lions used to wander through the family garden when he was a boy. He attended the University of Victoria, where (in order) he met Marilyn, studied history and wrote an MA thesis on diplomatic relations between France and Ottoman Turkey. This thesis changed our understanding of diplomacy in the Renaissance period, or would
have if anyone had read it.
After moving to Britain with Marilyn, Morgen went over to the dark side and became a writer and lecturer on business and management. In this guise he has written or co-written twenty-two books as well as articles for many journals and newspapers including The Financial Times. One of his books,
on the Indian business group Tata, led to several visits to India, where an Indian business journalist described him as an ‘intimidating bearded guru’. Morgen remains indignant about this. He has also lectured at a number of business schools including London Business School and the University of Exeter Business School.
Morgen began reading historical novels at a young age, and blames Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for turning him into a historical novelist. Rafael Sabatini and John Buchan were and remain strong influences. The Flashman novels of George MacDonald Fraser and the Falco novels of Lindsey Davis are among
the novels of