Historical research – it's a hard road

Roman relief depicting a travelling wagon (raeda) from a tomb from Virunum, Zollfeld, Austria

Drafting my new Roma Nova story set in the fourth century is slow, glacially slow at times. I know Roma Nova, I know its ‘history’, but when you get down to the nitty gritty of writing in a time […]

Conquest, occupation, resistance, liberation

Seeing this title, many people immediately think of the Second World War in Europe – the fall of France in 1940, the harsh German occupation, the bravery of the resistance and the Allied liberation in 1944/45. In the Far East, it was as brutal, but in a different context. Life under occupation for most people […]

Mel and the French Army

Mel/Mélisende is a sergent-chef in the French Armée de Terre (land forces), equivalent to junior warrant officer in the UK forces. She chose to join as a direct entrant at the non-commissioned officer (NCO) level at 18. She could have gone to the officer training school at Saint-Cyr, but she had itchy feet after leaving […]