In the beginning – a historical novelist’s early influence


To begin at the beginning: why did I first become a writer historical fiction? It seems obvious that it begins with what I read. Loved to read.

The great film editor, Walter Murch – ‘Apocalypse Now’ for one – talked about early influence. He felt that if you could make a living out of what excited you at the age of nine, you would be a happy person. He was into cutting and splicing audio tape together.

I was into in historical fiction.

I don’t know exactly why I gravitated to the genre. I know that from an early age I loved ‘the sword’. I lived in California till I was seven and there was a TV series, ‘Zorro’. There’s a photo of me aged three in mask and bandana, rapier raised. Then, from seven on I was in London. I was raised by warriors – my father was a…

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