Today I gave birth to five people.

The birth was easy in fact they were born as a ready made family but it had been the gestation which was the most difficult, they refused to arrive at least four of them did. The first to be born is a fifteen year old girl , she is sassy , brave and unfashionably tall and pretty in an unconventional way but most of all she is clever , she plays the harpsichord and sings like a nightingale. The neighbours in the adjoining houses in the village of Clapham an hours drive by coach from London, bring out their chairs on fine summer nights to listen to her as she practices. Her mother likes this but her father has not liked it much, he has been waiting to go to sea again and is preparing to join the great Admiral Anson on his ship the Centurion which is to embark on a great adventure. The year is 1740 and it is September the country is basking in an Indian Summer. Now this is what being a writer is all about, unlike ones own children who are not biddable, these people are mine. They go where I want them to go, they are always with me, they don’t go to Sloane Square in midwinter without a coat, bad things happen to them of course, but in my stories they come through, the villains in their lives get their comeuppance. That’s why I adore writing history , people say why don’t you write another contemporary novel? They don’t get it I want to get away from my life and oddly I learn that people do not change it is only the events that surround them that change .