The website of the historical fiction writer.

Archive for May, 2012

Travelling Light

Last Saturday I went to London to see a play called Travelling Light at the National Theatre, a play about silent films in Eastern Europe. And as you may remember from this post ( I like silent films. Quite an interesting subject matter for the play as it was widely thought (and feared) that theatre would die out when moving pictures left the circus and made their way into the mainstream along with new gimmiks as the technology improved such as colour, sound and special effects. The production was very good with the films they made projected above the stage. It seemed they used cameras and equipment from the time as the films look as if they were made at the beginning of the last century.

Now, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma. As you know I’m going to some conferences and have a truckload of books to read. Now, when I’ve been to talks and book-signings before I’ve always had a chat with the author, bought the book as a matter of courtesy and got it signed. However, my bookcase is jam-packed with books and, despite a clear-out that would impress a bunch of book-burning extremists, I’m still overrun. Therefore I bought a Kindle last year which has been very good. But here’s a question, if I go to a talk, signing or whatever, is it alright to buy the electronic book and ask the author to sign the ticket. I personally wouldn’t mind as someone has bought a copy of my book but I don’t think I’d be too popular if I planted my signature over their tablet…

Anyway, what advice would you give, fellow readers and scribblers?



Around this time last year BBC4 had an Icelandic Season showing a multitude of programmes that were very interesting and helpful to all those writing Viking Novels (like me!) In the evenings they also showed a comedy series called Naeturvaktin or Night Shift. It was very, very funny and here is a little taster here:

It would appeal very strongly to those who love British comedy, particularly shows such as Fawlty Towers, One Foot in the Grave and I’m Alan Partridge. So, come on BBC, please show this again along with the next two series, Dagvaktin (Day Shift) and Fangavaktin (Prison Shift) and the film Bjarnfreðarson.

Temptations, Distractions and Other Bad Habits

Buonjourno a tutti!

Yes, I’m writing in Italian as the weather reminds me of when I went to Firenze in Easter 2007. A fantastic place. One of the cradles of the Renaissance, now a living museum where modernity has to fit in with history, not the other way around as you see in most cities nowadays. Mind you, war has something to do with that.

Anyway, I know it’s been a while since my last posting and I see my viewing count has dropped off alarmingly, hence the title for this post. Anyone looking for anything rude might find this. See, it’s all in the marketing. Perhaps the next post should be ‘Winning Lottery Numbers’, ‘Euro 2012’, ‘The Queen’, ‘Olympics,’ or ‘The Way this Economic Mess is Being Handled is a Load of <INSERT FAVOURITE RUDE WORD HERE> So that’s one bad habit but I do have an excuse: work has been very busy, I finished Script Frenzy, I have been entering a truckload of competitions and, of course, the novel.

Now, the novel is very nearly finished (or at least the first draft is) and hopefully it’ll be finished next month before the Winchester Writers’ Conference. I will be there and also the Historical Novel Society Conference in September. I went out yesterday to get some suitable clobber for the occasions and am compiling a list of books to read before I go.

This will, as you can guess, require a bit of multi-tasking so I’m practicing now. While writing this post I’ve been listening to a Radio 4 play, The Grudge by James Graham. A very good story about the assassination of British Prime Minister, Spencer Percival in 1812.

Over the last two weeks I watched the Kill Bill films, looked around the Japanese Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum and wrote some haiku. Now I want to visit Japan but can’t afford it so I’ll just have to play Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties.

Now if computer games aren’t a bad habit for writers I don’t know what is.