The website of the historical fiction writer.

Archive for January, 2014

Read Through History: September – December 2013

Yes, I know, I’ve fallen behind! Sorry! Here’s what I read over the last few months of last year:

1) Theodora by Stella Duffy: The rags to riches story of the sixth century Byzantine Empress

2) Sharpe’s Gold by Bernard Cornwell

3) Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin: A very good example of how historical fiction should be written (in my opinion, anyway)

4) New York by Edward Rutherfurd: Got this signed at a talk Edward gave in Winchester in July. A very nice man and this book was very good for the flights to and from New York in October.

5) Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players by Steven Cooper: A bit of non-fiction from an author who came to speak at the Portsmouth Bookfest.

6) Medal for Leroy by Michael Morpurgo: A tale based on the story of Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British Army. Another author who appeared at the Bookfest.

7) Sharpe’s Escape by Bernard Cornwell

8) Sharpe’s Fury  by Bernard Cornwell (I fell behind)

9) To Kill a Tsar by Andrew Williams: Read this back in 2010. Very good thriller set in Russia in 1881, a few years before the Revolution.

10) Sharpe’s Battle by Bernard Cornwell

Right. There we are. All up-to-date until next week! I’ll try and keep up in future…


Discovering Cover Art

Hello Fans! Happy New Year to you all! May this year be, as we say round here, well good. Or, as the young of today say, ‘Epic’ or ‘Totes Amazeballs!’

Anyway, what’s been happening here? Well, apart from a truckload of reading for the next novel (yes, the one I started when I started this blog! It’s editing time and I’ve got ten tons of research to do!) I’ve been practicing my drawing.

‘But, James!’ I hear you cry, ‘You’re a writer! What the hell are you doing, throwing away valuable writing time by drawing?’

Well, I’ve decided to add to my Author Pages on here, Smashwords and Amazon and publish my first novel! Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for a Big Announcement!

This, however, does mean I have to have a cover for the book and thought it would be great fun to design my own cover. I’ve got a few practice sketches which I might share on here at some point.

Anyway, hope all is well with everyone. I’ve noticed I’ve not put anything up for the Read Through History for a while so I’ll be doing that soon!

NaNoWriMo 2013

(Thought I’d published this… oh well, better late than never…)

Just in case you were wondering where I’d gone for the past month I was up to my eyes becoming one of these:


For those of you that have not seen or heard of this, it is a challenge to write fifty thousand words (50,000 words) in the thirty months of November, which works out at about 1667 words a day (or 1700 as I aimed for).

Is this a good thing to do? I have read of some people who can write twice this amount each day but they don’t always have to write with a full-time job too. It’s also a good way of getting ideas down quickly.

It’s not recommended if you have loads to do, you are of a lazy disposition, suffer easily from repetitive strain injury or are at risk from stress-related hair loss.

Still, I found it worthwhile (all being well you might get to read the results of my attempts sometime towards the end of 2014). Give it a go yourself and see what you think. And treat yourself to a t-shirt. There’s some nifty stuff in their store: