After a working life largely spent teaching and coaching managers and leaders in Britain, Europe and the USA, I started to write fiction as a way of keeping my mind active in retirement. I have read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels during my life; another of my loves is history. It seemed natural to put the two together and try my hand at producing an historical mystery.
To be honest, I thought nobody would be interested in reading what I wrote, so I wrote for my own enjoyment, not from a desire to start another career as an author. Although my books have sold remarkably well — it’s remarkable to me, anyway — I still tend to breeze along, coming up with ideas and stories that interest me, without much attention to the commercial aspects of self-publishing.
To date, I have focused on two series of murder-mystery books, both set in Norfolk between 1760 and around 1800; a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, the revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with France and Napoleon.
Why Norfolk? Not only is it an inherently interesting county, it happens to be where I live, which makes the necessary research far easier. Besides, London has been more than adequately covered by other writers. There seemed no reason why the rest of the country should be pushed into its shadow.
Why this period? It seemed natural, since I live in a small Georgian town, close by several other towns that still bear the imprint of the eighteenth century on many of their streets and grander buildings. It also had the attraction of being a period I had never studied intensively, if at all, in the far-off days when I might have loosely described myself as a potential historian. So far, I have not regretted my choice. The period has far exceeded my expectations in richness of incidents, rapidity of change and plentiful opportunities for anyone with a macabre interest in writing about crimes of every kind. I cannot see myself running out of plot material any time soon!
If you have read this far, may I congratulate you on your persistence and offer you a warm welcome to the fascinating world of provincial England in the eighteenth century. You won’t regret venturing there, I assure you.