It’s a marriage made in heaven: I’m a writer, she’s an editor. Hence our nom-de-plume, Josephine Allen. When we met, a long time ago now, neither of us had any inkling that we’d be collaborating in this fashion later in life. How lucky was that?

As my dear wife often remarks, I was a sneaky little swot as a boy. I discovered H G Wells’s Outline of History in my parents’ library; a massive black-covered tome of 650 pages measuring 28 x 18cm (11” x 7”), covering the history of the world from its molten beginning to 1920. Its beautiful line drawings of dinosaurs, cave men and historical figures fascinated me, and I’d read it from cover to cover by age ten.

This led to a lifetime interest in history, so writing historical adventure and romantic novels was a natural progression. I don’t favour any particular period, just any time, including contemporary and the future, that takes my fancy.

Writers are often asked, where do you get your ideas from? The idea for Knight Templar, the first of my indie published eBooks, came from reading Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln). Although its central premise (that the progeny of Jesus and Mary Magdelaine became the French Merovingian dynasty) has been debunked by historians, I seized on the legend that a Templar fleet escaped the suppression of the Templars and fled to Islay in Scotland. Throw in a beautiful lady in distress, and I had my story.

The idea for our second published historical, Sold!, came from reading Night’s Black Angels: The Forms and Faces of Victorian Cruelty by Ronald Pearsall (David McKay Co. Inc., ISBN 0-679-50496-6). It described, inter alia, how slum children and other poor girls could become victims of the white slavery traffic. The idea: put a feisty heiress into that situation, and see what happens!

I like feisty heroines, being married to one. You’ll find this is a thread that runs through all my books. Happy reading!

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