Authentic Headless Women Revisited, Now With Extra Tortured Cats

The middle of August, so lots going on, almost none of it seriously work-related – lawns to mow, places to visit, etc. As an ex-teacher of many years’ drudgery service, I still have the mindset that August is pretty sacrosanct, even though that imperative doesn’t really work for writers. Even so, I suspect that many […]

The Real Gentlemen Captains, Redux, Part I

In the lead-up to my appearance on 13 March at Weymouth Leviathan, Britain’s first maritime literary festival, I thought I’d reblog some of my very earliest posts on this site, from November 2011, about some of the characters who will be making appearances during my talk. Here’s the first of them! People often ask me […]

The Moniker of the Rose

A relatively short blog this week. When it’s published, I’ll be in Venice – and by complete coincidence (naturally!) we’re staying next to the great Venetian dockyard, the Arsenale, and the naval museum. Does this mean that a future Quinton story might be set in Venice? I couldn’t possibly comment…but hopefully next week’s post will […]

The Rise of Historyism

It was a very bad week for politicians and History. Or, to be exact, it was a bad week for History because of politicians’ inability to stop distorting it to serve their own ends. Take David Cameron’s big speech to the Conservative conference, for example. ‘This is the country that … defeated the Nazis…and fought […]

The Art of Male Multi-Tasking

It’s a very odd and hectic time at the moment. I’m simultaneously completing the final edits of ‘Quinton 3’, The Blast That Tears The Skies, ahead of its UK publication on 17 April, while also writing number 4, The Lion of Midnight, keeping a weather eye on the US publication of The Mountain of Gold […]

History and Fiction

I thought I’d take a brief break from my accounts of ‘the real gentlemen captains’ to give my impressions of last week’s conference at the Institute of Historical Research in London, Novel Approaches: From Academic History to Historical Fiction, which continues this week in virtual form. First of all it was great fun, and it […]

Gentleman in the First Person

A few weeks ago, Susan Keogh, author of the Jack Mallory chronicles, posted a pretty positive and particularly thoughtful review of Gentleman Captain, in which she raised a couple of interesting and important critical points. I’ve been meaning to post about these for some time, but a combination of holidays and the completion of the […]