Cue fanfare from massed ranks of trumpeters, plus assorted Welsh male voice choirs…

I can finally reveal the really exciting news that I’ve had to keep under wraps for several months. My e-book publisher, the fantastic Endeavour Press, is launching a new traditional publishing imprint, Endeavour Ink…and I’m one of the authors on their launch list! You can find out more about this terrific new venture, and see what illustrious company I’m in, here and here.

First and foremost, huge thanks to Richard Foreman and the team at Endeavour for showing such faith in me – I certainly hope to be able to repay it. Along with my agent, Peter Buckman, we had quite a bit of discussion before Christmas last year about the nature and time period of the new set of stories I’d develop for Endeavour Ink, but in the end, we settled on something that we’re all very happy with. Personally, I can’t wait to get started on writing the first of the three linked stories that Endeavour Ink have commissioned from me (and have, indeed, already done a fair bit of research and planning for it). So without further ado…

The new stories will have a very new setting for me, namely the Tudor age. Having said that, this is, in many respects, very familiar turf indeed: in my ‘previous life’, I taught the Tudors to A-level students, and to much younger schoolpupils, for many years, so I think I’ve got a pretty strong grounding in the period. In terms of naval history, of course, it doesn’t get much more seminal, and the timeframe I’ve chosen for the three stories reflects that. The first story takes place in the mid-1540s, so it’s hardly a major spoiler to reveal that it might just include the sinking of a certain ship*…and similarly, the third story takes place in 1588, so no prizes for guessing which major historical event provides its primary focus.

No, not that one
* No, not that one

But the famous events serve a second purpose. They provide the backdrop to the story of one family, drawn from one particularly remarkable, haunting, and very real place, whose members serve at sea throughout the period. They live through the trauma of profound religious change, experience times of great political turbulence, are riven by the horrors of war, and fight an enemy more terrible and relentless than anything the French or Spanish can throw at them. They encounter some of the great historical figures of the period, from Henry VIII to Francis Drake. Above all, they play their parts in the rise of the English ‘navy royal’ under Henry and his daughter, ‘Gloriana’, Queen Elizabeth I. So it’ll be a big change from the Quinton Journals, both in terms of period and theme.

If all goes well, I’ll be writing the first of the new Tudor stories in the second half of the year. In the meantime, I’m finishing off the new Quinton title, The Devil upon the Wave, and will then be working on the new academic book on naval ideology, 1500-1815, that I’m co-editing with Alan James and Gijs Rommelse. So 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty busy, but hopefully very rewarding, year!

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