Hello and welcome to my website. If you’re here I guess it’s because you share my love of serious history, or historical fiction – or both. I’ve been involved in this world full time for 45 years, keeping up a pretty constant flow of books, magazine articles, TV and radio items and public speaking.
Details of recent activities, as well as my fiction and non-fiction backlists, appear elsewhere on this site but this space provides the opportunity to answer some of those FAQs people tend to ask.
Q: How did you start out as a freelance author?
A: I was teaching in Kenya when the need arose for a new school text book on African history. I was asked to supply it – an example of being in the right place at the right time.
Q: Why do you think history is important?
A: In a word ‘People’. It’s the story of real life men and women and how they behave towards each other. Understanding that as best we can comes pretty high on the list of life skills.
Q: What is your favourite period of history?
A: I’ve covered a wide range in my writing but I always come back to the 16th century Reformation. It’s the single most important development in the last 1000 years of western history. Everyone, from rulers to ‘ordinary’ folk, was caught up in the massive cultural, political and social changes that came out of that ideological conflict.
Q: Where does crime writing fit into your output – and why?
A: I’ve always loved whodunits. Putting crime stories in a historical setting seems to work. My Treviot stories are fun to write and they do convey a sense of period – or so I’m told.
Q: Is there a tension between writing historical fiction and non-fiction?
A: Not if the background to my fiction is as accurate as I can make it. A good novel can actually provide readers with convincing period ‘feel’. What I do object to is historical romance which simply presents modern heroes and heroines in period costume.
If I haven’t answered your question above please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) . I always enjoy hearing from readers.