Category Archives: Research

Everything – and anything – that deepens my knowledge and understanding of the world of my characters. Including watching Peaky Blinders.

The Incurable Romantic (research review)

View this post on Instagram The Incurable Romantic by Frank Tallis (2018) is compulsive background reading for a writer of #historicalromance. Falling in love is “a combustable state that reproduces the symptoms of psychiatric illness” and, when love goes wrong, … Continue reading

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Lawrence of Arabia (research review)

View this post on Instagram Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Micheal Korda (2011). I listened to this thoughtful, even-handed biography on @audible_books whilst driving; odd hours here and there over a couple of months – … Continue reading

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The Joy of Writing Sex (research review)

View this post on Instagram I read The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers by Elizabeth Benedict (revised edition 2001) on Kindle, which may accounts for the boring cover image. Sorry about that – and apologies also … Continue reading

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Worthless Men (reading-as-a-writer 10)

View this post on Instagram Why do I bother writing when the world already contains books like Worthless Men by Andrew Cowan (2013)? Set in an English market town in post-Somme 1916, the action spans no more than a couple … Continue reading

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A Subaltern’s War (research review)

View this post on Instagram A Subaltern’s War by Charles Edmonds (CE Carrington) is one of my favourite soldiers’ accounts of the #GreatWar. As the author explains in the preface to my 1984 edition, he wrote the book (based contemporary … Continue reading

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Great War pilots (research review)

View this post on Instagram One of the characters in my WIP is a pilot. He’s very young, unrealistically romantic and rather unstable – and his relationship with my heroine is pivotal to the plot. In my book I devote … Continue reading

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The Roses of No Man’s Land (research review)

View this post on Instagram Out of all the books I’ve read about the #GreatWar Lyn MacDonald’s histories stand out; readable, warm and packed with the minutiae of human experience set against solid historical background. I know some historians have … Continue reading

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Six Weeks (research review)

View this post on Instagram If I needed a book to reassure me that I’m doing the right thing writing #historicalfiction set in the #GreatWar then this is that book. Six weeks was how long a junior officer on the … Continue reading

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A Heavy Reckoning (research review)

View this post on Instagram ‘A Heavy Reckoning’ by Emily Mayhew. A brilliant and totally absorbing exploration by a historian of the modern reality of battlefield injuries with occasional but highly pertinent reference to the legacy of #GreatWar medical services. … Continue reading

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Three books (soldiers’ diaries of the Great War)

Captain Charlie May is one of the kindest, funniest, most thoroughly decent men I have ever met, on or off the page. Continue reading

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