Writing a Painful Truth

Most articles about British fascists in the 1930s mention antisemitism sooner rather than later, and often it’s the only focus of the story. When writing the Room Z series, it is an issue I had to confront straight away. Although there is a light touch to some of Hugh Clifton’s adventures and he throws himself... Continue Reading →

An Author’s Guide to Publication Day

It's publication day for Blackshirt Conspiracy, the second in my series of alternative history thrillers set in a Britain under the shadow of fascism. Cheerful stuff eh? Well, I'll raise a glass to it! Writing a novel is immense fun, but is an incredible amount of work once the research, drafting, editing, re-editing and proofing... Continue Reading →

Launch Day for Blackshirt Conspiracy

“A powerful and gripping narrative with a shocking outcome.” Million-selling crime writer Leigh Russell It's been a busy week with the launch of Blackshirt Conspiracy, and has meant a blizzard of social media posts, cross-posts and interactions. A number of blogs and websites have carried interviews and short pieces about challenges in writing the book... Continue Reading →

Making a Drama out of a Crisis

A British prince falls in love with a divorced American commoner and scandal rocks the establishment. Wouldn’t happen these days, would it? The Abdication Crisis took place in the autumn of 1936 and the relationship between King Edward VIII and his American mistress Wallis Simpson has been portrayed frequently in fiction as a love story,... Continue Reading →

The Battle of Cable Street, 1936

October 4th marks the anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, one of the most infamous pieces of public disorder in inter-war Britain. For years afterwards, right up to modern times, socialists trumpeted that it was the day British fascism was defeated by the workers, but this is little more than romantic myth. This day... Continue Reading →

Fiction is Stranger than Truth

It was hard to believe the coincidence. I wanted an obscure, slightly silly but real English name for a character in Blackshirt Conspiracy. Much was my surprise when I bought a copy of Dorothy L. Sayer’s The Nine Tailors in a second-hand bookshop this weekend, and noticed she had made the same choice 90 years... Continue Reading →

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