Antoine Vanner's historical mission: “The past is a foreign country…”

I’m delighted to welcome Antoine Vanner, author of the Dawlish Chronicles, for a return visit to the blog. Set in the late Victorian period, the series of naval adventures are linked closely to real historical events, and sometimes personalities, of the period and in most feature a high degree of moral ambiguity and ethical […]

Being realistic in historical fiction

My guest today is Antoine Vanner is author of the Dawlish Chronicles, naval fiction set in the 1870s and 1880s. His latest novel, Britannia’s Gamble, was published last month (October 2017). Royal Navy officer Nicholas Dawlish is a fascinating character, very much in the mould of Hornblower, something that attracted me to Antoine’s novels. The […]

What readers want in 2017 - the survey results!

Thank you so much to readers who completed my recent survey asking them how they found books and interacted with authors.

It was a follow up to a similar survey two years ago triggered by pure curiosity combined with a sincere wish to give my readers what they want.

Headline results:

– Fewer people […]

Places and spaces

Former site of Judge Jeffreys assize

Last month I was in Dorchester for a few days’ writing retreat. The theory is that you concentrate on writing without distraction. But you also talk about writing and compare notes with other writers over meals, and even visit a few writing related places. The sitting muscles become […]

Annelise Freisenbruch and the Rivals of the Republic

Today I’m delighted to welcome to my blog somebody whose writing I deeply admire. I bought ‘The First Ladies of Rome’, which explored the hidden history of women in Ancient Rome, as soon as I saw it in 2010. The author and today’s honoured guest, Annelise Freisenbruch, was born in Bermuda and studied Classics at […]