Blog

The Ghosts of My Ideas by Joy Martin

Evicted and forced to live on the roadside, some Irish itinerants joined the travelling people, or the tinkers as they used to be called, and made new homes for themselves in the traditional horse-drawn wagons known as Romani vardos. In my childhood, these brightly painted and highly decorative caravans, with their sloping bodies, large wheels…
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The Last Hero, by Tim Madge

As we look ahead to the centenary of the end of the Great War in November, we should pause to celebrate one of its most extraordinary survivors, a man who was probably the greatest explorer of the 20th century… On St Valentine’s Day, this year, an anniversary passed, unremarked by the wider world, but one…
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The Birth of ‘Prey Silence’ by Sally Spedding

Almost thirty years ago, while I was full-time teaching and my artist husband in Higher Education, we decided to find a bolthole in France where I could focus on my writing and he on his painting. We were travelling south towards the Eastern Pyrenees when we stopped at a Service Station near Cahors. The main…
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By Blood Divided by Lewis Orde

Two Twentieth-Century families have always fascinated me: the Grades of entertainment fame from England and, across the Atlantic, the publishing Annenbergs.  Each family had roots in Eastern Europe.  Each epitomized the immigrant experience, gaining fame and fortune in adopted countries.  And each was headed by a powerful figure.  So strong were the similarities, to me,…
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Games In Londinium by John Drake

Modern Britain is dead centre mainstream in world culture. It is densely populated and profoundly un-mysterious.  It is built on, over, under and around with bricks and concrete. It explains everything by science, and is civilised to the last drop of Costa coffee and the last act of Britain’s Got Talent. But go back two…
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Our September Book of the Month

Our September Book of the Month is the most gripping true spy story of the Cold War: Next Stop Execution, the autobiography of Oleg Gordievsky. This second edition comes with a new foreword from Gordievsky where he comments on the continuing relevancy of his story, and which we’ve included below. This book was originally published…
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Bless Thine Inheritance by Sophia Holloway

Writing a romance where the ‘heroine’ (and I dislike the term) has a disability may sound pretty odd, but it was not done as some token nod to inclusivity. What I wanted to show was something as relevant today as in the past, which is that we are all much too quick to see the…
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The Vengeance Man by John MacRae

When I first wrote The Vengeance Man twenty years ago, it was very much a singleton: a one-off thriller based on a mixture of individuals I had come across in my career as an Intelligence Officer with a long association with Special Forces. The hero was modelled, to an extent, on a good friend who…
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Cloven by Sally Spedding

In 1996, having moved with my artist husband to Northampton from rural Wales, and discovering that many of the Welsh drovers who’d actually passed through our village on their way to England, ended up in south Northamptonshire or went on from there to be sold at Spitalfields in London. In those days before 1832 and…
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The Proprietor’s Daughter by Lewis Orde

Back in the late 1960s, I worked for a year as a reporter on an English regional evening newspaper called the Leicester Mercury and its weekly affiliate, the Loughborough Monitor. More than 20 years later, long after I’d switched from writing (insert tongue firmly in cheek) fact to writing fiction, my ninth novel The Proprietor’s…
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