Tag Archives: research

On writing only what you know

The best way to end up with something dead on the page? Write only what you know. 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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A garden by the sea

I visited Chygurno in May 2015. It’s a privately-owned garden – no tea shop, no toilets – just an honesty box in the porch and a homemade information board. I paid my money, read the history and wandered alone along … Continue reading

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Five books (written during or soon after the Great War)

An irregular series of highlighting the resources which particular inspire or inform my writing. I read a lot of books written around the time of the Great War. There is absolutely no better way to immerse oneself in the language … Continue reading

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Three books (that bring the early 20th century to life)

Unrequited love and political intrigue; resources which inspire or inform my writing. Continue reading

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Despair and despondency 

These summer months were supposed to be a time of editing and elaboration, fact-checking and polishing but with every book and blog I read I feel a growing sense of inadequacy and futility. Continue reading

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Writing history: getting it right

The Prime Directive applies to writers of historical fiction as well as starship captains. We both have the power to change the face of history. Continue reading

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What readers want from historical fiction

My job is to tell a bloody good story set in a world that conveys “a sense of historical truth”. Continue reading

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Hilary Mantel on the “deception” of empowering female characters in history

Characters should operate within the ethical framework of their day – even if this shocks readers. Continue reading

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The problem with historical fiction

The challenges of portraying the “strangeness” of a different era. Continue reading

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