If I couldn’t write I don’t know what I would do...
It seems I have always been scribbling from contributing to school and university newspapers and editing staff newsletters
It’s well over 25 years since I started actually making money from books, booklets and articles. And it still gives me a thrill to see my name in print.
The articles and books have been on a variety of subjects, but safe to say the vast majority have been historical. They include topics such as tracing ancestors who fought in the world wars, rate books and jury lists, or British Railway's spectacularly unsuccessful Tavern Cars of 1949.
If there is a unifying theme then it is ordinary people and how to find out about their often extraordinary lives.
I have written for publications as wide as the Journal of Intelligence Studies, Waitrose Food Illustrated and the Guardian’s Society supplement, alongside the Local Historian, BBC History, and History Today.
Recent books and booklets have been on Richmond at War 1939-1945 for the Richmond Local History Society. And detailed guides to researching men who fought at Gallipoli, Ypres and the Somme, for Pen & Sword. You can buy them direct from the publishers here
But the book I am most proud of is Workhouse: the People, the Places, the life behind Doors (2nd edition, Pen & Sword, 2014) which told the story of the nineteenth century workhouses and the people who lived and worked there.
The Independent said that it was a “poignant account draw[ing] powerfully on letters from The National Archives. [It] brings out the horror, but it is fair minded to those struggling to be humane within an inhumane system.” Buy it here
A recent book was ‘Family History Digging Deeper' for The History Press which explores genealogy in more depth than normal, was published in early 2012 by The History Press. You can buy it on Amazon.
Possible future projects include how Britain returned to peace after the First World War, Richmond in the First World War, and the lives of the poor in Richmond.
But mainly I write articles for a range of magazines. At present I’m writing regularly for Family Tree, but also had recent features in Your Family Tree and Who Do You Think You Are Magazine and the occasional piece elsewhere.
Having been a magazine editor for ten years, I know what editors want from their writers. Short, snappy copy. Relevant and well written. And of course delivered on time. That’s what I do.
If you want me to write for you please get in touch. You won’t regret it.