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Blog, Short stories

Researching Roman Britain

The most recent 5* review on Amazon for my RomanoBritish mystery, The Governor’s Man, opens with: “If you thought nothing much happened in Britain between the Roman conquest and the arrival of the Saxons, then think again! Rebellion, corruption, murder, Brits attempting to take back control from Rome.” The reviewer […]

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Love and murder will out.

So says the Restoration playwright and poet, William Congreve. Murder (of the fictional variety) is, of course, very dear to my own writing heart. So it’s a great pleasure for me to welcome my guest on this month’s blog, the talented and prolific crime writer Val Penny. We’ll be talking […]

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Being a mongrel writer

There’s been a fair amount of recent chatter among the literati, critics, readers and even as far down the food chain as my kind of commercial “tell-’em-a-story” writer, about the purposes of fiction and particularly about historical fiction. Is it the job of historical fiction authors to hold up as […]

Blog, Book Reviews

Book review: Cecily

Like all of us, I suppose, I was prepared to wave goodbye to a lacklustre summer, one of rather too much cold wet weather and not enough certainty about how to stay safe from the predations of Covid. Having seen the first glimpses of the autumn now upon us — […]

Blog, Short stories

Turning over a new leaf

It’s early September, and after the cold wet summer we’ve had here in the UK it feels like a relief to slide into autumn. No more blighted hopes of sunshine; no more arts festivals spent cowering under a gazebo in a monsoon; no more endlessly arranging and re-arranging family garden […]

Blog, Books, Novels

The glamour of a writer’s life

Saturday 7 August. Venue? St James the Great churchyard, Colwall, Herefordshire. Occasion? 9.00 am, the opening Saturday of the inaugural Colwall Arts festival, that prestigious and long-awaited new cultural blockbuster of the Malvern Hills. My first ever live marketing event. Me? Lone writer with tiny gazebo among 30 other artists […]

Blog, Books

Doing it on the radio

Being terminally cheeky, I recently wrote to BBC Radio Somerset to solicit a mention for my locally-set novel, The Governor’s Man. The lovely Charlie Taylor graciously offered me a live interview on his evening show on 12 July. Sadly, on the day he was pinged and had to go into […]

Blog, Books

The world turns …

It’s exactly seven years ago today that my first ever short story was published, by an online magazine. The tax bill wasn’t an issue, as I was paid the princely sum of $3. But still, it was my first ever earnings from writing, and felt like a watershed. If I […]

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No such thing as too many books

I’m a great fan of ebooks. The arrival of my first Kindle back in umpty-dum meant my former heart-breaking policy of one-in, one-out no longer applied to books. And no more sucking of teeth and silly questions from Him Indoors whenever we moved house. Like “Do you really want to […]

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Mixed messages

It’s been a very busy week. In between working with Shika Finnemore, my design and marketing guru, to whip this blog site into better shape, I’ve kept busy with social media and preparing a guest author interview with Mary Anne Yarde of the Coffee Pot Book Club. I’m really excited […]