'What's it all about then?'

Being an address drafted for, but spared on, those gathered for a book signing at Heffers in Cambridge on 26/03/98.


'It seems that all of my writing is concerned with the warping of history - generally English history - either through elaborately detailed 'alternative timelines' or else bolting radical new interpretations onto orthodoxy. For example, my changed history trilogy which commences with 'A Dangerous Energy' and is continued in 'To Build Jerusalem' ( and concluded - Simon & Schuster willing - in 'The Two Confessions' ) fashions a alternative world where the Reformation faltered and failed. Accordingly, the present day sits comfortably under the benign guidance of Holy Mother Church. Elsewhere, by contrast - as in 'Popes & Phantoms' - I've set my poor character, Admiral Slovo, to lifelong bloody struggle in order to pervert the true course of history into the nightmarish distopia we see all around and live in ! 'The Royal Changeling' however, is 'just' a frontal assault on standard English history and, as one critic remarked, probably the first Jacobite propaganda science-fantasy novel for some time ! I'm also deeply rooted in the Downs Country of the south, where I grew up and where ten generations, at least, of my family have lived out blameless yeoman lives. It features as the backdrop to all my work - even Admiral Slovo was dragged unwillingly from Renaissance Italy to visit it - but principally in my long running weird fiction series 'The Binscombe Tales' - wherein I sow the seeds of a future Downs Country nationalist movement.


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