But when I’m not writing, I read a lot, and when I read it’s almost always history. The history that I like best is the stuff that no-one else is interested in – I’ll never knuckle down to Henry VIII if I can curl up with a strange old book about a forgotten island in the Pacific or social banditry in Brazil. So I tend to stumble across stories that I love, but that are too small, too odd or just too fragmentary to tell my publishers about.
They know much better than I do what is marketable, and inevitably what sells isn’t always what I find fascinating. So I created A Blast From The Past to write about these small, strange stories. Because they’re eye-opening, and because they offer insights of their own into the world we live in. Because I think they ought to be better known. And because, secretly, I think you’ll like them too.