So Clear, So Obvious

There’s a difference between writing history and writing historical fiction, but sometimes the two can overlap. Write about a real historical character and the author has to do all the research that an academic historian would. The facts are there and cannot be changed. The difference is that the author of fiction is free toContinue reading “So Clear, So Obvious”

Shadows: what lurks behind the wainscot?

In the house where I was born, on what was then the rural fringe of Luton, we had gas brackets for lamps in the bedrooms. They were no longer connected to any gas supply (which didn’t stop me bunging mine up with plasticine, just in case), but I liked them being there, because they wereContinue reading “Shadows: what lurks behind the wainscot?”

History: getting it right

and another old post finds a new home. Yesterday is history. It’s the past. I am informed that for a novel to qualify as “historical,” the past has to be at least 60 years ago. So my first novel, A Time For Silence definitely falls into that category, as it begins in 1933, but myContinue reading “History: getting it right”

The Covenant and the World of Tom Mathias

When I first moved to Pembrokeshire, back in the early 1980s, a fascinating discovery had just been made in the area: a cache of negative plates taken by a local photographer, Tom Mathias, 1866-1940. The plates had been rescued and restored by another photographer, James Maxwell Davies, and were put on display in the village whereContinue reading “The Covenant and the World of Tom Mathias”

A Covenant of Blood

My new novel, The Covenant, is out now and religion is at its heart. It’s ironic that I am, and have always been, an avowed atheist, since religion fascinates me (I even studied it at university). That’s as well because there’s no escaping it in The Covenant. It’s a story focused on the family that produced JohnContinue reading “A Covenant of Blood”

The Covenant: The Weaker Vessel

I write domestic noir. Or is it historical fiction? Or family sagas? Whatever it is, I do like my main characters to be struggling against the odds, which is probably why they have all been women. Because, even today, being a woman gives a character a head start in the “up against it” league. SetContinue reading “The Covenant: The Weaker Vessel”

The Covenant and the low heat of technology

My new novel, The Covenant, coming out in August, is set in West Wales in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. Set a novel in that period in a city, in London or Manchester, and it wouldn’t be difficult to paint a period that everyone with any knowledge of history would recognise. My characters would be flag-waving forContinue reading “The Covenant and the low heat of technology”

The Covenant: Down on the farm

My new novel, The Covenant, which will published in August (available to pre-order now!) is set in the late 19th/early 20th century in West Wales, which was, and still is, relentlessly rural, centred around small market towns and railway halts. Not the agriculture you find in the east, broad rolling acres of golden grain around spacious farmhousesContinue reading “The Covenant: Down on the farm”