I am married with one son and live in Bedfordshire, England. After a varied career, I spent ten years heading up corporate communications for some of the UK’s largest snack companies. Essentially this meant my role was persuading the media, governments, consumers and health campaigners that biscuits (cookies in US) and crisps (chips in the US) could be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet. After that, historical fiction was a doddle!
If you have read any of my books, you will know that I like basing them around less well known historical characters who have achieved amazing feats, and ideally using first-hand accounts. I am an unashamed history buff, but much of the source material is dry or the author had a poor idea of what posterity will be interested in. To bring their achievements to life I have created an earlier generation of the Flashman family, made famous by Thomas Hughes and George Macdonald Fraser (GMF). I am a big fan of GMF’s work, much of what I know of the Victorian era I learned from Harry Flashman’s memoirs. If you have not read them already, they are strongly recommended.
But for me, the Georgian era was one of even greater colour and with some fantastic stories to tell. With the industrial revolution, far more people had their memoirs printed and while many have since been lost in dusty archives, with the advent of the internet age, they are now being found again.
If you are interested in the history, I have a couple of the more engaging source documents available free, in the Download section. They are John Blackiston’s account of India and the first Mahratta war, which was essential to writing Flashman and the Cobra and Colonel Mayne’s account of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion, which was key to parts of Flashman in the Peninsula.